Is the violence against women a threat to the security of the United States? According to a new book co-authored by faculty members from MSU's College of Communication Arts and Sciences and Texas A&M University, it is.
“The Hillary Doctrine: Sex and American Foreign Policy” argues that far from being a “soft” foreign policy issue, the subjugation of women worldwide undermines global prospects for peace and is therefore a direct threat to U.S. national security.
This was a position first articulated by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
“In societies that permit and encourage violence against women, men develop a willingness to harm, kill and enslave others,” said Patricia Leidl, an international communications adviser and instructor in MSU’s Department of Advertising and Public Relations and School of Journalism. “When male bonding intensifies as competing groups vie for power, men see women’s rights and freedoms as threats to their own legitimacy.”
Co-authoring the book was Valerie Hudson, a professor in the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.
“Nationalism is strongly gendered,” Hudson said. “Men typically build a violent nationalism on a foundation of misogyny, and women’s rights become a battleground in resulting conflicts.
“That’s why women’s rights come under attack immediately after regime overthrow and why women are often explicit targets of war.”
Earlier this year, “The Hillary Doctrine” was nominated by the Kirkus Reviews as one of its top nonfiction picks of 2015. It said the book offers “a compelling argument for women’s rights” and is a “sound study that carries an urgent message.” It has also been nominated for a National Book Award.
Before coming to MSU, Leidl was a Canadian journalist with the Vancouver Sun and the Vancouver Province newspapers, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and CTV. During the past 16 years, she has worked with various United Nations agencies and, more recently, advising various USAID-funded projects in Afghanistan and Yemen. She formerly headed the communications department at the Geneva-based HIV/AIDS Department of the World Health Organization, and was senior editor/media adviser with the New York-based United Nations Population Fund.
Hudson is an expert on international security and foreign policy analysis. In 2009, “Foreign Policy” named her one of the Top 100 Most Influential Global Thinkers, and the International Studies Association named her a Distinguished Scholar of Foreign Policy Analysis. Most recently, she received an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship. As part of her efforts to shine a light on the treatment of women worldwide, Hudson developed a nation-by-nation database, http://womanstats.org, which has been used by a variety of agencies, including the United Nations and the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
For more information on “The Hillary Doctrine,” visit http://cup.columbia.edu/book/the-hillary-doctrine/9780231164924.Share via these networks: