Feminist responses to violent extremism

Katherine E. Brown*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Terrorism and the threat of terrorism, are often characterised as all-pervasive, existential, and unpredictable. Consequently, Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) and Counterterrorism (CT) permeate national and international security agendas. Feminist engagement with state and non-state violence linked to terrorism and extremism explores the gendered mechanisms and outcomes of various forms of extremist violence. This chapter focuses on discussions of women’s agency and empowerment within organisations, and on how gender ideologies inform violent extremism. Feminist peace researchers have also provided valuable critiques of existing P/CVE and CT efforts. This chapter notably highlights the failure to engage in gender-mainstreaming practices, the instrumentalisation of women’s rights, and the failure to work towards an inclusive, sustainable, and transformative peace. Two heavily contested areas are discussed in this chapter: whether misogynist terrorism is a productive development to research and policy, and whether there can be a feminist P/CVE within the limits of the current war on terror. The chapter also highlights two areas for future development – broader and sustained inclusion of Queer theory and gender analysis of child rights and theories of childhood as they pertain to terrorism, violent extremism, and P/CVE and CT.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Feminist Peace Research
EditorsTarja Väyrynen, Swati Parashar, Élise Féron, Catia Cecilia Confortini
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780429024160
ISBN (Print)9780367109844, 9780367685102
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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