The Politics of Collective Security

Part I argues that conventional international legal analyses about Security Council actions do not consider the gender-differentiated effects of those actions. The universality of male interests is taken for granted by international lawyers. The first level of analysis thus involves adding women in; that is, considering the consequences that Security Council actions have had for women in Kuwait, Iraq, Cambodia, Somalia, Mozambique, Bosnia, and the United States. I argue that many women are in fact rendered less secure by actions authorized by the Security Council in the name of collective security. As a result, women must have a voice in the decisions about security that are supposedly made, in part, in their interests. Second, Part II argues that the assumptions which underlie theories of collective security limit the capacity of those theories to represent the security interests of many groups, including most women. Far from enabling a more secure global environment, the knowledge produced by international lawyers about disorder and chaos contributes to the creation of a context in which oppressive military and economic actions in the name of the Security Council are rendered both plausible and possible