Breaking the Binaries in Security Studies: A Gendered Analysis of Women in Combat

Ayelet Harel-Shalev, Shir Daphna-Tekoah

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


The book focuses on the study of women combat soldiers in the fields of Security Studies and International Relations. It addresses this issue by bringing the soldiers’ voices and silences to the forefront of research in these domains and by presenting the women soldiers as narrators. The book introduces a theoretical framework in Critical Security Studies for understanding—by binary deconstructions of the terms used in these fields—the integration of women soldiers into combat and combat-support roles and the challenges they face. The book draws on Feminist IR scholarship and introduces an interdisciplinary theoretical perspective that aims to lead scholars to consider why and how women’s experiences should be incorporated into the analysis of violence, state violence, combat trauma, security, and insecurity. The book therefore emphasizes the importance of including, in critical approaches to security, the understudied topic of the voices of women in combat. The book explores the voices and silences of women who served in combat roles in the Israeli Defense Forces. The analysis, however, extends beyond the Israeli case insofar as the book offers important general insights into the larger issues of the links between war and gender, body and gender, trauma and gender, and politics and gender. It also raises methodological considerations about ways of evaluating power relations in conflict situations and patriarchal structures. The binary deconstructions discussed in the book offer a paradigm shift in Security Studies and Conflict Studies.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages152
ISBN (Electronic)9780190072612
ISBN (Print)9780190072582
StatePublished - 24 Jan 2020

Publication series

NameOxford studies in gender and international relations
PublisherOxford University Press


Dive into the research topics of 'Breaking the Binaries in Security Studies: A Gendered Analysis of Women in Combat'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this