COOL CLASSES: “Women in War and Peace”

This political science course analyzes the complex issues surrounding women as political actors and the ways in which citizenship relates to men and women differently.

Class name: “Women in War and Peace”

Taught by: Associate Professor of Political Science Susanna Wing

Here’s what Wing had to say about her class:

“Women in War and Peace” is a course in which we reconsider central themes of political science from a gendered perspective. For instance, security and representation can have very different meanings when we factor in gender into our analysis. This course is designed to give each student the tools necessary to analyze the diversity of women’s conditions globally in democracies, during wartime, and in post-conflict societies. We explore commonalities, as well as differences, across cultures with respect to citizenship and the position of women.

War is often studied as a power struggle between states, but what happens when we consider the particular ways that women have been impacted by conflict? What role does gender play in the analysis of war and peacekeeping? In this class we examine human trafficking in the United States to better understand gender, power, and economics in our own backyard. Other questions we explore include how women have been agents in building and rebuilding societies, and how women contributed to political change across the globe. We examine the gendered nature of institutions that inhibit women’s participation in politics.

I want students who take this class to have the tools to analyze politics and articulate what they see through a newly acquired “gender-sensitive lens.” I want students who take this class to see the world differently.

I created this class because I think the themes that we discuss are not only essential to the study of political science, but also to our broader understanding of the world around us. If we cannot see women, in a variety of roles, as political actors, or the political world as a gendered space, then we are missing an essential aspect to the study of politics. If we are unaware of the double standard to which women in politics are held then it is even harder to make informed decisions about politics.

See what other courses the Political Science Department is offering this semester.


Photo of Angela Merkel courtesy of the European People’s Party.

Cool Classes is a series that highlights interesting, unusual, and unique courses that enrich the Haverford experience.