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Reevaluating Gender and IR Scholarship: Moving beyond Reiters Dichotomies toward Effective Synergies

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Journal of Conflict Resolution

Published online on


We seek a more accurate review of, and reflection on the gender and international relations (IR) literature than that offered by Reiter. Our evaluation corrects misunderstandings related to key dichotomies (mis)used in analyzing scholarship: sex/gender, positivism/nonpositivism, and epistemology/ontology. It also underscores the comparative strengths and weaknesses of different types of research in order to identify more fruitful possibilities for synthesis. We make the pluralist case that gender and IR research is at its best when it is multimethod, epistemologically pluralist, multisited, and carefully navigates the differences between feminist analyses and large-n statistical studies. The potential payoff of careful, synergistic engagement is worth any risks.