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Bananas Beaches & Bases Making Feministby Cynthia Enloe
Synopses & Reviews
"I have no hesitation in describing Bananas, Beaches and Bases as the most significant book in contemporary feminist International Politics. Each time I re-visit it, I am taken aback by its profound implications for both feminism and International Politics. The deceptively provocative question at its core--'where are the women?'--irrevocably transforms our views about what the central and important landscape of global politics is. In my view, it is the essential text not only for feminist International Politics courses but for anyone interested in starting to understand just how International Politics really works."--Marysia Zalewski, author of Feminism After Postmodernism: Theorising Through Practice
"A new edition of Bananas, Beaches, and Bases is cause for cosmic good cheer. This trailblazing treatment of the gender politics of global market and military projects is a feminist classic. Always ahead of the curve, before globalization had achieved cache in academic circles Enloe was there, cajoling Western feminists out of our political parochialism. There is no more creative, insightful, engaging feminist guide to international politics. Cynthia Enloe is an international feminist treasure, and Bananas, Beaches, and Bases her signature work."--Judith Stacey, author of Brave New Families
"Bananas, Beaches, and Bases is both a 'Pandora's Box' and a roadmap: It unleashes questions and insights that many conventional students of International Politics are accustomed to ignoring or overlooking about the dynamic between gender and international political life, and it guides us to see how both are mutually constitutive. As the "magna carta" of Feminist International Relations, it has helped create a new generation of women and men in the world of international relations."--Katharine Moon, author of Sex Among Allies
"Cynthia Enloe writes with passion, conviction, intelligence and verve as she makes such good feminist sense of international politics that the world never looks quite the same again. Innovative and a great read, Bananas, Beaches and Bases continues to be an outstanding example of the difference gender makes in social analysis. This is a book which provokes discussion with students, colleagues, friends and family. It is a book which has set the standard form much that followed. A classic."--Diane Bell, author of Ngarrindjeri Wurrurwarrin: A World That Is, Was, and Will Be
"With this volume, Cynthia Enloe single-handedly carved out a major new field. Combining contemporary political insight and historical sensitivity, Bananas, Beaches and Bases revealed the gendered workings of high politics, without which the entire machinery of war, diplomacy and governance would have long since collapsed. A pioneering tour-de-force."--Philippa Levine, author of Victorian Feminism, 1850-1900
This radical new analysis of international politics reveals the crucial role of women in implementing governmental foreign policies, be it Soviet Glasnost, Britain's dealings in the EEC, or the NATO alliance. Cynthia Enloe pulls back the curtain on the familiar scenes—governments restricting imported goods, bankers negotiating foreign loans, soldiers serving overseas—and shows that the real landscape is less exclusively male.
Bananas, Beaches and Bases shows how thousands of women tailor their marriages to fit the demands of state secrecy; how foreign policy would grind to a halt without secretaries to handle money transfers or arms shipments; and how women are working in hotels and factories around the world in order to service their governments' debts.
Enloe also challenges common assumptions about what constitutes "international politics." She explains, for example, how turning tacos and sushi into bland fast foods affects relations between affluent and developing countries, and why a multinational banana company needs the brothel outside its gates. And she argues that shopping at Benneton, wearing Levis, working as a nanny (or employing one) or planning a vacation are all examples of foreign policy in action.
Bananas, Beaches and Bases does not ignore our curiosity about arms dealers, the President's men or official secrets. But it shows why these conventional clues are not sufficient for understanding how the international political system works. In exposing policymakers' reliance on false notions of "feminity" and "masculinity," Enloe dismantles a seemingly overwhelming world system, exposing it to be much more fragile and open to change than we are usually led to believe.
"This is the work of a well-travelled feminist mulling over the inequalities of the postmodern world. In a lively overview of tourism, the food industry, army bases, nationalism, diplomacy, global factories, and domestic work, Enloe persuasively argues that gender is key to the workings of international relations."—Aihwa Ong, University of California, Berkeley
About the Author
Cynthia Enloe is Professor of Government at Clark University and author of Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women's Lives (California, 2000), The Morning After: Sexual Politics at the End of the Cold War (California, 1993), and Does Khaki Become You? (1988).
Table of Contents
Preface to the 2000 edition
Preface to the 1989 edition
1. Gender Makes the World Go Round
2. On the Beach: Sexism and Tourism
3. Nationalism and Masculinity
4. Base Women
5. Diplomatic Wives
6. Carmen Miranda on My Mind: International Politics of the Banana
7. Blue Jeans and Bankers
8. 'Just Like One of the Family': Domestic Servants in World Politics
9. Conclusion: The Personal is International
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