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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:In search of a more adequate conceptualisation of security for southern Africa: do we need a feminist touch?
Author:Van Aardt, MaxiISNI
Periodical:Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies
Geographic term:Southern Africa
Subjects:regional security
national security
Equality and Liberation
Politics and Government
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02589349308704987
Abstract:This article explores the conventional conceptualization of security from a feminist perspective. Using insights gained from difference feminism, among others, the author proposes a critique of conventional security thinking as relating only to military-political aspects. The author argues that such conventional thinking is inadequate on at least three counts: it fails to incorporate a female epistemological basis, being based on a male archetype of the individual; it lacks an ethic of responsibility and care which is necessary in order to address the very real security needs of States and people; and it assumes an irreconcilable difference between the private and the public spheres which results in differentiated standards of morality. A broader, more inclusive approach, with special reference to the national securities and regional security of States in southern Africa, is suggested. This approach, which takes into account security threats and needs other than those concerned with military-political issues, strives towards the provision of security (as opposed to the maintenance thereof). It implies fulfilling needs (rather than opposing threats), based upon an ethic of responsibility and care. The problem of the institutionalization of such an approach to security, and the who, what and how of accountability, are amongst the basic issues to be addressed in any attempt at security building in the southern African region. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.