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Off the record: Margaret van Kleffens and the gendered history of Dutch World War II diplomacy
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History. University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3515-3237
2018 (English)In: International feminist journal of politics, ISSN 1461-6742, E-ISSN 1468-4470Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This article makes the case for recovering women’s roles from the forgotten corners of diplomatic history, and for considering the consequences of the gap between feminist and non-feminist research. It shows how ignorance of the gendered nature of diplomatic norms and practices impacts our understanding of diplomatic history, and how specific biographies are hampered by gender blindness in particular. Using the history of Margaret van Kleffens and Dutch World War II diplomacy as an example, the article demonstrates how historians’ continued neglect of the role of women and gender norms has influenced representations of twentieth-century diplomacy. To dismiss the history of gender and of women as by definition irrelevant to the actions of states and of male statespersons is not simply part of a self-appointed focus on the political at the expense of the personal; rather, it omits much of the political history too, reproducing stereotypes and resulting in a skewed understanding of diplomatic history and foreign policy decisions. The article argues that both historians and feminist scholars need to historicize gender in order to recognize women’s roles in diplomacy, and so gain a better understanding of the history of international politics as a whole.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Diplomatic norms, diplomatic partnership, Margaret van Kleffens, gendering diplomatic history, historicizing gender
National Category
History
Research subject
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-368544DOI: 10.1080/14616742.2018.1528877OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-368544DiVA, id: diva2:1268384
Available from: 2018-12-05 Created: 2018-12-05 Last updated: 2018-12-07Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14616742.2018.1528877

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Erlandsson, Susanna

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