Intersections: Reimagining Governance and Security in the Asia-Pacific Region
Intersections: Gender, History and Culture in the Asian Context
Issue 15, May 2007

Reimagining Governance and Security
in the Asia-Pacific Region

Vera Mackie

  1. For several weeks in 2006, the most popular television program in Australia was the 'reality' series Border Security.[1] This series focuses on the activities of immigration, customs and quarantine control officers working for the Australian government. The government's willingness to co-operate in the production of such a television program reflects the concern of contemporary nation-states with the policing of borders and matters of national security. The government's promotion of its activities in security matters is perhaps unsurprising. That this has become one of Australia's most popular television programs, however, suggests that there is also a huge popular interest in matters of security and border control.[2]
  2. One reason for this official and popular interest in matters of security and border control is the anxiety which developed in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in the United States on 11 September 2001 and subsequent incidents in the Asia-Pacific region. Even before '9/11,' however, a heightened interest in border control had developed in response to the movement of migrants and asylum seekers under the conditions of economic globalisation.[3]
  3. While individuals seek to migrate for reasons of their own wellbeing and personal security, governments are concerned with the policing of borders. At times, the imperatives of national security and the needs of individuals for human security may appear to be in conflict. The meanings and connotations of mobility look very different to a Japanese expatriate working in a multinational corporation in Shanghai, a refugee in the borderlands between Thailand and Burma, an Indonesian domestic worker in Singapore, an immigration officer patrolling the northern coast of Australia, a scholar of gender and international relations, or someone watching the Border Security program in their suburban living room, as we shall see in the articles in this special issue. In order to understand some of these viewpoints and standpoints we first need to review the concepts of globalisation, governance and security, and to consider the gendered workings of these concepts.

  4. The term globalisation refers to changing economic relationships accompanied by the increasingly rapid and intensified circulation of finance, commodities, people, signs and symbols. Many forms of corporate activity are carried out on a global scale; production and consumption transcend the scale of the nation-state; and institutions of global governance are gradually developing to deal with issues which go beyond the boundaries of one nation-state.[4] Catherine Eschle has described globalisation as 'a process of intensifying global social inter-relatedness, whereby space and time are compressed and previously separated locations brought into a new proximity'.[5] As suggested in Jacqui True and Michael Mintrom's explication of the features of globalisation, there are gendered dimensions to all of these processes.

      First, economic globalization has intensified social and economic polarization, both within and across states. In particular, it has increased inequality between men and women, as manifest, for example, in the feminization of poverty and the gendered international division of labor...Second, alongside economic integration and the rise of powerful supranational actors (such as multinational corporations and organizations like the European Union), we see the emergence of new forms of communication and association among traditionally less powerful groups (such as citizen coalitions devoted to environmental, women's or human rights issues).[6]

  5. One of the major areas of contestation in the discussion of globalisation is the role of the nation-state.[7] Although some would argue that the nation-state has been weakened by the economic influence of transnational corporations (TNCs), states can also facilitate or hinder the actions of TNCs. They do this through the management of tariffs, tax systems, labour mobility and capital-labour relations, for example, or through the creation of free trade zones or special manufacturing zones in order to attract transnational investment.
  6. Although political action is now carried out in a world in which the effects of the decisions of transnational corporations are felt across national boundaries, most of us nonetheless carry out our political actions as citizens of a particular nation-state, and it is the nation-state which is the guarantor (or at times the violator) of our individual political rights. Even when individuals call on the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, or the International Criminal Court for redress against violations of human rights, it is ultimately the nation-state which is called on to act in these cases. It is nation-states which are expected to ratify the various international conventions on human rights, and a state's failure to ratify any one of these conventions weakens its citizens' claims for vindication of their rights. These issues take on further complexity when individuals move between nation-states as migrants, as temporary labour migrants, or as asylum seekers.
  7. In the context of migration, migrants may be treated, not as 'citizens of the world' but as 'non-citizens' wherever they live, travel, work, form relationships and produce children. As citizens of a particular nation-state we have 'the right to have rights'; as migrants, we may lose the right to make claims against the nation-state.[8] Nevertheless, such supranational organisations as the United Nations do attempt to exercise moral suasion on the actions of member nations, particularly with respect to issues of equity and human rights. The United Nations has convened a series of international conferences on gender equity and on human rights, some of which have resulted in the framing of international conventions. Although there are few punitive provisions in these international conventions, there is a certain moral pressure attached to becoming a signatory.
  8. True and Mintron argue that transnational feminist advocacy networks have been a significant factor in the embedding of 'gender mainstreaming' policies and machinery in the structures of national governments. Their conclusions are based on an analysis of 157 countries, of whom 110 had adopted gender mainstreaming policies between 1975 and 1988.

      We argue that transnational networks composed largely of non-state actors (notably women's international non-governmental organizations and the United Nations) have been the primary forces driving the diffusion of gender mainstreaming...Our findings support the claim that the diffusion of gender-mainstreaming mechanisms has been facilitated by the role played by transnational networks, in particular by the transnational feminist movement. Further, they suggest a major shift in the nature and the locus of global politics and national policymaking.[9]

    They further argue that: 'studying the factors accompanying the spread of gender-mainstreaming mechanisms can provide fresh insights concerning the social and cultural dimensions of globalization and how the local and the global interact in politically significant ways.'[10] In other words, transnational feminist advocacy networks have also been an important catalyst for institutional transformation at the level of the nation-state.
  9. In contrast with the institutions of global governance, Arjun Appudarai argues for the importance of 'grassroots globalisation,' or 'globalisation from below,' involving 'forms of knowledge transfer and social mobilization that proceed independently of the actions of corporate capital and the nation-state system.'[11] He argues for the importance of the role of the imagination in social life.

      The a faculty that informs the daily lives of ordinary people in myriad ways: It allows people to consider migration, resist state violence, seek social redress, and design new forms of civic association and collaboration, often across national boundaries...On the one hand, it is in and through the imagination that modern citizens are disciplined and controlled—by states, markets and other powerful interests. But it is also the faculty through which collective patterns of dissent and new designs for collective life emerge. As the imagination as a social force itself works across national lines to produce locality as a spatial fact and as a sensibility, we see the beginnings of social forms without either the predatory mobility of unregulated capital or the predatory stability of many states.[12]

  10. Examples of social transformation which have grown from the transnational imaginary and transnational linkages include the transformed discourse on violence against women and the associated legal and institutional changes; the transformed discourse on militarised sexual violence and the first prosecutions for such crimes against humanity; the creation of a consciousness of gender and development and the institution of gender impact statements in international aid projects; and the institution of gender mainstreaming policies in the national machineries of several nation-states.
  11. Once it has been recognised that the processes of globalisation have gendered dimensions, it becomes clear that one of the tasks of feminist analysis is to explore those gendered dimensions, to develop strategies for addressing issues of equity and diversity in transnational contexts, and to consider the appropriate locale and scale for campaigns around issues of gender equity. We also need to recognise, however, that the transnational imaginary may equally be an anxious one, steeped in notions of hierarchy, difference and threat, as members of national populations are encouraged to support their governments' actions in the name of national security.[13]

  12. As noted above, one effect of the development of institutions of global governance has been the development of transnational norms with respect to gender equity and human rights. The diffusion of these norms is a complex process, as it necessitates a focus on several levels of government, and a consideration of the interactions of state and non-state actors, as explained by Georgina Waylen.

      Processes of governance occur at different levels: the local (sub-state), national, regional and international. Different types of organizations and actors, apart from just the national state, have to be analysed. These range from international organizations like the UN, IMF [International Monetary Fund], World Bank and WTO [World Trade Organization], to regional organizations such as the EU [European Union] and North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA), as well as sub-state agencies. Non-state actors such as transnational corporations (TNCs) and global civil society organizations also have to be considered. Global governance therefore refers to the regulatory norms and practices that arise from the interaction not only of states, but also of interstate systems and organizations of global civil society (such as NGOs and social movements).[14]

  13. Thanks to a series of international conferences on women's issues, a limited international consensus on gender equity has developed.[15] Nations who have ratified the 1980 Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) have made a commitment to various policy measures on gender equity and regular reporting to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) on the progress of these measures.[16]
  14. In response to the 1995 Beijing Plan of Action, United Nations members have made a commitment to 'gender mainstreaming.' There has been a shift from the language of 'Women in Development' (WID), which sought to increase women's participation in existing institutions, to the language of 'Gender and Development' (GAD) which critiques the gendered workings of organisations and aims to transform broader structures of inequality. 'Gender Mainstreaming' policies 'reflect a strategic change in language and the globalization of that agenda to address gendered outcomes and promote institutional change in the "developed" world as well as the "developing" world.'[17]
  15. One country which has acted on these issues at the national policy level is Japan, and in her contribution to this issue of Intersections Laura Dales considers some effects of these policies at the local level. Dales reports on fieldwork among women's non-governmental organisations in Western Japan and in a regional women's centre. Such women's centres have been supported by Japanese governments at both the national and the local level. As such, these local women's centres mediate between local communities and the various levels of government. They also provide a physical location for the activities of non-governmental organisations. Dales' article thus sheds light on the influence of transnational norms of governance on one national government and its sub-national institutions. This is brought together with a discussion of the actions of NGOs at the grass-roots level.
  16. These particular Japanese government policies on gender equality, however, also need to be placed in a transnational frame. Japan's liberal postwar Constitution—with its guarantees of freedom from discrimination on the grounds of 'race, creed, sex, social status or family origin'—was enacted during the period of Allied Occupation from 1945 to 1952. Japan's ratification of CEDAW occurred during the International Women's Decade (1975–1985), reflecting the increasing influence of global norms of governance on domestic politics. Similarly, the creation of the Office for Gender Equality in the Prime Minister's Office (later the Cabinet Office) and the enactment of the Law for a Gender-Equal Society in the 1990s reflect the influence of transnational norms of 'gender mainstreaming,' in terms compatible with True and Mintrom's abovementioned discussion.[18]
  17. Another aspect of the activities of supranational organisations is the disbursement of foreign aid to 'developing' nations. Such aid is often tied to compliance with particular expectations of the transformation of local policies on economic restructuring, trade, welfare and human rights. These structural adjustment policies often result in the implementation of neo-liberal economic policies whereby governments retreat from the provision of public welfare services. Many commentators argue that these policies have unforeseen gendered effects.

      Two aspects of these processes have been emphasized: first, the restructuring of production and consumption by transnational corporations, incorporating women into the global division of labour in new ways; and second, the disproportionate impact upon women of IMF- and World Bank-driven structural adjustment programmes. Such programmes are associated with the privatisation of state-owned utilities that has led to large-scale female unemployment...and with large-scale cuts in social spending and welfare programmes that have increased women's unpaid domestic and caring labour.[19]

  18. It is one of the paradoxes of globalisation that the rhetoric of free trade and the mobility of capital has been accompanied by increasing attention to national security, the policing of borders, and control of the movement of people between nation-states. For some elite workers, the experience of globalisation has meant increased mobility. For workers without specialised technical qualifications, however, they are likely to meet with increasingly strict border controls. In addition, the number of individuals seeking refuge from political repression continues to grow. Gillian Vogl's article brings these themes together through a discussion of the narratives of some individuals whose lives have been affected by these global processes involving processes of economic transformation accompanied by the intensification of border control. The gendered aspects of these processes are just starting to be explored.

  19. The United Nations has in recent years paid attention to what has been described as 'human security.' The coining of this phrase reflects a desire to balance the needs of individuals for a secure and safe life against the nation-state's imperative for border security. According to the United Nations Commission on Human Security Report of 2003, human security means

      protecting people from critical and pervasive threats and situations, building on their strengths and aspirations. It also means creating systems that give people the building blocks of survival, dignity and livelihood. Human security connects different types of freedoms—freedom from want, freedom from fear and freedom to take action on one's own behalf. To do this, it offers two general strategies: protection and empowerment. Protection shields people from dangers. It requires concerted effort to develop norms, processes and institutions that systematically address insecurities. Empowerment enables people to develop their potential and become full participants in decision-making. Protection and empowerment are mutually reinforcing, and both are required in most situations.[20]

    The Commission is also confident that human security is compatible with state security:

      Human security complements state security, furthers human development and enhances human rights. It complements state security by being people-centered and addressing insecurities that have not been considered as state security threats. By looking at 'downside risks', it broadens the human development focus beyond 'growth with equity'. Respecting human rights are [sic] at the core of protecting human security.[21]

  20. The Commission describes some of the positive effects of migration: 'the movement of people across borders reinforces the interdependence of countries and enhances diversity. It facilitates the transfer of skills and knowledge. It stimulates economic development.' According to the 'Final Report of the Commission on Human Security,' most people move to 'improve their livelihood, seek new opportunities or escape poverty,' while others move due to 'forcible displacement or coercion because of war, violent conflict, human rights abuses, expulsion or discrimination.' Migration is thus 'vital to protect and attain human security.'[22]
  21. It is also, however, possible to imagine that migration may well have a negative effect on human security. While some people move as asylum seekers only to meet with the increasingly strict controls over border security in receiving countries, migrant workers may find themselves working under various degrees of coercion, far away from the protection of their own government once they cross national borders to work. Indeed, migration is one site where potential conflicts between individual human security and national security are likely to arise, as will be discussed in more detail below. The United Nations has also started to take an interest in the gendered dimensions of security in conflict situations.
  22. In October 2000, the United Nations Security Council devoted a special session to the question of gender issues in international peace and security. The session considered such issues as 'the impact of war and armed conflict on women, violence against women and girls, gender issues in peacekeeping missions, the role of women in rebuilding societies in the post-conflict phase, and women's participation in peace negotiations and decision-making processes.'[23] The meeting resulted in a Security Council Resolution on the importance of a gender perspective on international peace and security and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations' 2000 report, Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective in Multidimensional Peace Operations.[24]
  23. These developments are a welcome corrective to earlier understandings of security. The concept of human security challenges the state-centric focus on national security and border control. The abovementioned report on peacekeeping operations brings gender into the discussion of international peace and security. Nevertheless, a gendered perspective means more than simply 'adding women' to the picture. In many cases, it is the masculinism of state institutions, the military, corporate culture, and even the United Nations itself which needs to be critiqued. The threats to women's human security may also take place in the home due to the actions of partners or family members, in addition to the threats posed through the actions of the police, the military, or other state institutions.[25]

  24. The experience of migration has significant classed, ethnicised and gendered dimensions. It is often the most elite and highly-qualified workers who can move most freely. Eiko Hasegawa in this issue Intersections considers the context for the choice of some Japanese women to live and work in such cities as Shanghai. These women, suggests Hasegawa, not only redefine their own identities, life choices, and relationships with people from outside the Japanese nation-state, they also are part of an ongoing process of redefining relationships between Japan and China. The role of the imagination is vital in the reconfiguring of relations between the two nation-states.
  25. Amarjit Kaur provides a comprehensive overview of the management of border control in peninsular Southeast Asia. The flows of migration in the region are complex, with some countries, such as Malaysia and Thailand, acting as both sending and receiving countries for migration. Kaur focuses particularly on those regulations which control the movement of domestic workers, a highly gendered category of work. Disparities of income between the countries in the region mean that middle-class families in such places as Singapore can afford to employ domestic workers to assist with cooking, housework and childcare. This pattern leads to chains of caring labour whereby those who migrate as domestic workers need to delegate the care of their own children to relatives or cheaper paid domestic labour in their home country.[26] The domestic workers considered by Kaur contrast sharply with the privileged expatriate women in Shanghai who are described in Hasegawa's article. The patterns of their mobility also reveal traces of the colonial histories of the region.
  26. Mary O'Kane's attention is focused on refugee women on the borderlands between Thailand and Burma. Their movement outside the borders of their own nation-state to inhabit the borderlands is to a large extent determined by the repressive nature of the current regime in Burma. O'Kane uses Agamben's concepts of the 'state of exception' and 'bare life' to explore the political identities of these women.[27] Despite their marginalised situation, these women benefit from the actions of transnational advocacy networks and some have been able to address international forums. Indeed, O'Kane argues that the development of feminist activism for Burmese women has only been possible in these borderlands. The identity of these women has been transformed from 'refugee' to 'activist-refugee', with a corresponding transformation of their individual agency and subjectivity.
  27. Gillian Vogl considers some examples of migration between the countries of South Asia, and the example of one woman from South Asia who sought refuge in Australia. Her case studies start from the assumption that the kinds of structural adjustment policies which have been imposed on developing nations as a condition of the granting of aid by international development agencies have been detrimental to the lives of individuals in these countries, and that these policies have had differential effects on men and women. Structural adjustment policies have been shaped by the logic of neo-liberalism, which privileges the mechanisms of the market, and promotes the removal of expensive state-based social welfare machinery. The removal of 'safety nets' in their home countries is one more inducement for the migration of the poor. Vogl's essay brings us full circle by focusing not only on the influence of the wealthy countries of the 'North' on developing economies, but also inviting us to consider the effects of the restrictive policies on the entry of migrants and asylum seekers in first world countries. Australia provides the example of a nation-state which is enacting more and more restrictive policies on the entry of asylum seekers.

    Gender and International Relations
  28. In a 1992 critique of notions of national security, Jan Jindy Pettman pointed out that according to the understandings of security in mainstream international relations, the nation-state was the basic unit of analysis; its boundaries and interests were taken as given; and the government was assumed to be able to speak for the interests of all citizens. [28] Pettman described a series of alternative ways of seeing the world.

      We can re-image the world in other ways, and ask what security implications follow. For example, we can see the world as a global web with movements of people, goods, ideas, and social relations that crisscross state borders; or as a world society, with vulnerable but growing global norms, rules and international organisations; or as an international political economy in which multinational companies and international banks may be far richer and more powerful than many states, and the global structure is one of profound inequalities, of exploitation and dependence. Such re-imaging allows us to trace boundaries beyond those of the nation-state, examining links and exclusions, and to place both state-making and historical and global context.[29]

  29. All of the contributors to this issue are engaged in such a process of re-imagining international connectedness. Our work is interdisciplinary, drawing on history, economic history, ethnography, political science, gender studies and cultural studies. A major influence on all of the contributors has been the recent developments in the theorisation of gender and international relations (IR). We are thus pleased to be able to include a reflective essay by Jan Jindy Pettman, a pioneer in the study of gender and international relations. She reflects on the changing discipline of IR, through an account of her own academic trajectory. Pettman's work has provided a challenge to the discipline of international relations, which has largely focused on the actions of nation-states, to the detriment of a consideration of the individuals whose lives are affected by governmental actions. Once we focus on individuals, we are forced to recognise that individuals have not only a nationality but also a gender,[30] in addition to complex identities shaped by class, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference and linguistic and cultural background.
  30. The lives of individuals in affluent suburbs in Australia are increasingly connected with those of migrant workers and asylum seekers in the region—not simply as the objects of voyeuristic attention in such programs as Border Security, but through our imbrication in a series of economic, political and military relationships which transcend the scale of the nation-state. Pettman's reflections on and interrogations of the conventions of the discipline of international relations can help us to find a vocabulary for understanding our connections with individuals in the region and can assist in the project of imagining new forms of international connectedness in the Asia-Pacific region.


    [1] The Age, 31 August 2006, Green Guide, p. 12. See also: 'Border Security,' Yahoo7!, online:, site accessed 6 September 2006.

    [2] This interest has also been reflected in research activity, in Australia at least. One of the Australian Research Council (ARC)'s designated research priorities is the theme of 'Safeguarding Australia.' The ARC-funded Asia-Pacific Futures Research Network's signature theme for 2005 was 'Towards a Secure Future in the Asia-Pacific.' Because of a desire to see a gendered perspective included in these debates, I applied to the Asia-Pacific Futures Research Network for funding for a workshop on the theme of 'Gendering Governance and Security in Australia, Asia and the Pacific.' The articles in this special issue developed out of this workshop, which was held in September 2005 at the University of Technology: Sydney in association with the Women in Asia Conference. I would like to express my thanks to the Asia-Pacific Futures Research Network, the Transforming Cultures Research Centre, the Women's Caucus of the Asian Studies Association of Australia, Anna Bentley, Carolyn Brewer, Lola Sharon Davidson, Stephanie Hemelryk Donald, Keri Glastonbury, Louise Edwards, Harriet Evans, Stephanie Fahey, Devleena Ghosh, Purnendra Jain, Elaine Jeffreys, Vijaya Joshi, Amarjit Kaur, Barbara Leigh, Anne Marie Medcalf, Jan Jindy Pettman, and the anonymous referees for the articles in this issue. Particular thanks to my co-editor, Sarah Pinto, for her meticulous work throughout and her constructive comments on an earlier draft of this introductory essay.

    [3] See, for example, the collection of critical essays on Australia's security policies published in 1992, which includes discussion of hostility against Muslim Australians at the time of the first Gulf War. Gary Smith and St John Kettle (eds), Threats Without Enemies: Rethinking Australia's Security, Sydney: Pluto Press, 1992.

    [4] Armand Mattelart, Transnationals and the Third World: The Struggle for Culture, translated by David Buxton, South Hadley: Bergin and Garvey Publishers, 1983; Ulf Hannerz, 'The World in Creolization,' in Africa 57 (4) (1987):546–59; Ulf Hannerz, 'Notes on the global ecumene,' in Public Culture 1 (2) (Spring 1989):66–75; Arjun Appadurai, 'Disjuncture and difference in the global cultural economy,' in Public Culture 2 (2) (Spring 1990):1–24; Inderpal Grewal & Caren Kaplan (eds), Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994; Roland B. Tolentino, 'Bodies, letters, catalogues: Filipinas in transnational space,' in Social Text 14 (3) (Fall 1996):49–76; Stanley J. Tambiah, 'Transnational movements, diaspora and multiple modernities,' in Daedalus 129 (Winter 2000):163–94.

    [5] Catherine Eschle, 'Engendering global democracy,' in International Feminist Journal of Politics 4 (3) (December 2002):315–41, p. 316.

    [6] Jacqui True & Michael Mintrom, 'Transnational networks and policy diffusion: the case of gender mainstreaming,' in International Studies Quarterly 45 (2001):27–57, p. 28. See also Jacqui True, 'Mainstreaming gender in global public policy,' in International Feminist Journal of Politics 5 (3) (November 2003):368–96.

    [7] Katie Willis, Brenda S.A. Yeoh & S.M. Abdul Kahder Fakhri, 'Introduction: transnationalism as a challenge to the nation,' in State/Nation/Transnation: Perspectives on Transnationalism in the Asia-Pacific, ed. Yeoh & Willis, London: Routledge, 2004, pp. 1–15.

    [8] Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, New York: Harcourt Brace, 1951, p. 290, cited in Seyla Benhabib, 'Sexual difference and collective identities: the new global constellation,' in Signs 24 (2) (1999):335–61, p. 357.

    [9] True & Mintrom, 'Transnational networks and policy diffusion: the case of gender mainstreaming,' p. 27.

    [10] True & Mintrom, 'Transnational networks and policy diffusion: the case of gender mainstreaming,' p. 34.

    [11] Arjun Appadurai, 'Grassroots globalization and the research imagination,' in Public Culture 12 (1) (2000):1–19, p. 3.

    [12] Appadurai, 'Grassroots globalization and the research imagination,' p. 6.

    [13] See the discussion of different forms of the 'transnational imaginary' in Vera Mackie, 'Shifting the axis: feminism and the transnational imaginary,' in State/Nation/Transnation, ed. Yeoh & Willis, pp. 238–56.

    [14] Georgina Waylen, 'Putting governance into the gendered political economy of globalization,' in International Feminist Journal of Politics 6 (4) (December 2004):557–78; pp. 559–60.

    [15] These include the Conferences associated with the United Nations International Decade for Women in Mexico, Copenhagen and Nairobi in 1975, 1980 and 1985; the follow-up conference in Beijing in 1995, and the New York conference in 2000 which considered the progress of the Beijing Plan of Action. The 1993 Vienna Conference on Human Rights and 1994 Cairo Conference on Population also included discussions relevant to the development of transnational norms on gender equity and human rights.

    [16] Non-governmental organisations often provide 'shadow reports' to the Commission where they point out the limitations of the official government reports. True, 'Mainstreaming gender in global public policy,' p. 377. On the history of CEDAW, see 'Convention on the Prevention of all forms of Discrimination Against Women,' United Nations, online:, site accessed 28 September 2006.

    [17] True, 'Mainstreaming gender in global public policy,' p. 370.

    [18] See also Jennifer Chan-Tiberghien, Gender and Human Rights Politics in Japan: Global Norms and Domestic Networks, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004, passim.

    [19] Eschle, 'Engendering global democracy,' p. 319.

    [20] See the 'Final Report of the Commission on Human Security,' Commission on Human Security, 1 May 2003, online:, site accessed 15 August 2006.

    [21] 'Final Report of the Commission on Human Security.'

    [22] 'Final Report of the Commission on Human Security.'

    [23] True, 'Mainstreaming gender in global public policy,' p. 373.

    [24] True, 'Mainstreaming gender in global public policy,' p. 373; United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000); adopted by the Security Council at its 4213th meeting, 31 October 2000; United Nations, Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective in Multidimensional Peace Operations, Lessons Learned Unit: Department of Peacekeeping Operations, July 2000. On the question of the regulation of the sexual behaviour of members of peacekeeping operations, humanitarian relief operations and non-governmental aid organisations, see Jennine Carmichael, 'First do no harm: addressing the problem of sexual exploitation and abuse by international aid workers and peacekeepers,' unpublished MA thesis, Gender Studies, University of Melbourne, 2006.

    [25] Vijaya Joshi provided a discussion of the limits to state-centric views of women's security in her unpublished roundtable presentation at the September 2005 workshop on 'Gendering governance and security in Australia, Asia and the Pacific'. See also Tracy Fitzsimmons, 'The postconflict postscript: gender and policing in peace operations,' in Gender, Conflict and Peacekeeping, ed. Dyan Mazurana, Angela Raven-Roberts & Jane Parpart, Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, 2005, pp. 185–201.

    [26] Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, Servants of Globalization: Women, Migration and Domestic Work, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001.

    [27] Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, trans. Daniel Heller-Roazen, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998, pp. 126–35.

    [28] Jan Jindy Pettman, 'National identity and security,' in Threats Without Enemies: Rethinking Australia's Security, ed. Gary Smith & St John Kettle, Sydney: Pluto Press, 1992, pp. 53–68, pp. 53–54.

    [29] Pettman, 'National identity and security,' p. 54.

    [30] In Imagined Communities, Benedict Anderson commented that we have a nationality in the same way as we have a gender. Anderson was indicating the constructed nature of both of these categories of identity. Although Anderson did not really pursue the gendered implications of this insight, other scholars have made important contributions to our understanding of the gendered nature of national identities. Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism, revised ed., London and New York: Verso, 1991, p. 5; Nira Yuval-Davis & Floya Anthias (eds), Woman, Nation, State, London: Macmillan, 1989; Anne McClintock, Aamir Mufti & Ella Shohat (eds), Dangerous Liaisons: Gender, Nation & Postcolonial Perspectives, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1997.


This paper was originally published in Intersections: Gender, History and Culture in the Asian Context, with the assistance of Murdoch University.

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