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Hillary Rodham Clinton was the first Secretary of State to declare the subjugation of women worldwide a serious threat to U.S. national security. Known as the Hillary Doctrine, her stance was the impetus behind the 2010 Quadrennial Diplomatic and Development Review of U.S. foreign policy, formally committing America to the proposition that the empowerment of women is a sta Hillary Rodham Clinton was the first Secretary of State to declare the subjugation of women worldwide a serious threat to U.S. national security. Known as the Hillary Doctrine, her stance was the impetus behind the 2010 Quadrennial Diplomatic and Development Review of U.S. foreign policy, formally committing America to the proposition that the empowerment of women is a stabilizing force for domestic and international peace. Blending history, fieldwork, theory, and policy analysis while incorporating perspectives from officials and activists on the front lines of implementation, this book is the first to thoroughly investigate the Hillary Doctrine in principle and practice. Does the insecurity of women make nations less secure? How has the doctrine changed the foreign policy of the United States and altered its relationship with other countries such as China and Saudi Arabia? With studies focusing on Guatemala, Afghanistan, and Yemen, this invaluable policy text closes the gap between rhetoric and reality, confronting head-on what the future of fighting such an entrenched enemy entails. The research reports directly on the work being done by U.S. government agencies, including the Office of Global Women's Issues, established by Clinton during her tenure at the State Department, and explores the complexity and pitfalls of attempting to improve the lives of women while safeguarding the national interest.


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Hillary Rodham Clinton was the first Secretary of State to declare the subjugation of women worldwide a serious threat to U.S. national security. Known as the Hillary Doctrine, her stance was the impetus behind the 2010 Quadrennial Diplomatic and Development Review of U.S. foreign policy, formally committing America to the proposition that the empowerment of women is a sta Hillary Rodham Clinton was the first Secretary of State to declare the subjugation of women worldwide a serious threat to U.S. national security. Known as the Hillary Doctrine, her stance was the impetus behind the 2010 Quadrennial Diplomatic and Development Review of U.S. foreign policy, formally committing America to the proposition that the empowerment of women is a stabilizing force for domestic and international peace. Blending history, fieldwork, theory, and policy analysis while incorporating perspectives from officials and activists on the front lines of implementation, this book is the first to thoroughly investigate the Hillary Doctrine in principle and practice. Does the insecurity of women make nations less secure? How has the doctrine changed the foreign policy of the United States and altered its relationship with other countries such as China and Saudi Arabia? With studies focusing on Guatemala, Afghanistan, and Yemen, this invaluable policy text closes the gap between rhetoric and reality, confronting head-on what the future of fighting such an entrenched enemy entails. The research reports directly on the work being done by U.S. government agencies, including the Office of Global Women's Issues, established by Clinton during her tenure at the State Department, and explores the complexity and pitfalls of attempting to improve the lives of women while safeguarding the national interest.

58 review for The Hillary Doctrine: Sex and American Foreign Policy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    Recently published by Columbia University Press, this book illuminates the underpinnings of what has become known as the Hillary Doctrine, or the stated principle that “the subjugation of women is a direct threat to the security of the United States.” Hillary Clinton began speaking about this idea as First Lady Clinton in 1995 in Beijing, and made it a pillar of U.S. foreign policy during her tenure as Secretary of State. The authors ask the question whether or not the assumptions behind Clinton Recently published by Columbia University Press, this book illuminates the underpinnings of what has become known as the Hillary Doctrine, or the stated principle that “the subjugation of women is a direct threat to the security of the United States.” Hillary Clinton began speaking about this idea as First Lady Clinton in 1995 in Beijing, and made it a pillar of U.S. foreign policy during her tenure as Secretary of State. The authors ask the question whether or not the assumptions behind Clinton’s statement are demonstrably true, and then whether or not it should be a tenet of U.S. foreign policy. Hudson is an academic and Leidl is a journalist and lecturer, both interested in the connection between sex ratios and violence. In Part Two, after they have discussed the establishment of a pillar of foreign policy focused on human rights (“women’s rights are human rights”), the authors ask “Is there in fact a direct connection between the relative security or insecurity of women in a given society and that society’s level of stability, security and resilience?” Part Three evaluates efforts by the U.S. government to implement that policy during Clinton’s term as Secretary of State. The authors cite studies making the case for the notion that empowered women in national and local government, in the business community, and in society in general have a felicitous effect upon education, health, community income and political outcomes, while also exerting a moderating effect on the use of military options in conflict. They examine ways in which the subjugation of women not only makes them less safe, it deprives them of the opportunity contribute to their security. Studies conducted now in countries where females are treated differently from males growing up may show a difference in how the two sexes respond to threats of violence, and conclusions may show females have dampening effect on militarism. The question remains whether, once females and males are treated similarly growing up, the dampening effect on militarism will still manifest. Although we do not have a perfect case study in the United States because women in power now have had to fight for equal rights, the United States does now have powerful women in political leadership. Among the examples of their effect upon militarism is arguably one of the worst foreign policy decisions in recent history: "…it was reportedly a coalition among Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, and Samantha Power that swayed the president toward military action in support of the Responsibility to Protect operation in Libya in 2011, even though Obama’s secretary of defense and his vice president opposed the intervention."I find the notion of "bombing to protect" a troubling one. In fact, smart weapons not all that smart, and can cause enormous collateral damages resulting in unexpected outcomes; witness Libya today. Furthermore, the decision to intervene in domestic conflict assumes a consensus on what outcomes are "right." Intervention could be perceived as imperialist, hegemonic, or, were it not so destructive, as bullying. We have the case of Iraq to show us that imposition of "right" by another country does not have a long-lived outcome compared to what might be accomplished by internal dissent and political reformation by domestic agents of change. Perhaps the pace of change in some parts of the world has made the "haves" impatient for the "have-nots" to catch up. The "haves" can help by directional support for the "right" side, but do they need to intervene to show support for change? When the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) norm was proposed to the United Nations by then-U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan in 2001 as a result of the atrocities committed in Africa (Rwanda) and Europe (Srebrenica) in the 1990’s, it listed three responsibilities of signatory states which include but do not insist on military intervention: 1) the responsibility to prevent, 2) the responsibility to protect, and 3) the responsibility to rebuild. The norm was adopted by the 2005 World Summit at the U.N. and was the guiding principle behind the Libya campaign. Though it is difficult to see where the first and the third responsibilities were implemented in Libya, the point is that military interventions are not the only responsibilities. R2P might be seen to give the U.S. some international support for interventions in support of women in light of the "women’s rights are human rights" declaration. While one wouldn’t expect, nor would one want, the U.S. to intervene, militarily or in any other way, in every case around the world of violence against women, Clinton has shown her willingness to use military interventions by supporting U.S. involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. The authors quote Mallika Dutt of Breakthough, a human rights organization, as saying "It is ironic…I don’t think [Clinton] would have been able to get much traction on women’s issues if she hadn’t been seen as being tough in these other spaces." Clinton is well aware of how long it takes to change attitudes at home and abroad. With the Hillary Doctrine, she began a shift of resources and focus during her term as secretary of state, with the intent to begin the process, sometimes bruising and firm when encountering resistance, just like her male colleagues. In a chapter entitled “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly,” we are treated to the implementation of the Hillary Doctrine under the aegis of USAID and other agencies. The chapter is a riveting but disappointing catalog of the ways policy directives get lost in the bureaucracy, illustrating the difficulty of steering a large ship of state. The final chapter, “The Future of the Hillary Doctrine,” makes the point that "As long as men wield the preponderance of economic, political, and military power, men’s voices and men’s priorities will inevitably be privileged." In the few short years since Clinton resigned as secretary of state, observers noted a slip in focus and priority from women’s issues at the highest level of government but, paradoxically perhaps, not in the bureaucracy. The State Department and USAID continued the inexorable churn of policy directives through the change in management and no longer see the focus as confusing or controversial. Attitudes and attention are changing. Proportional numbers of women in power may eventually have a stabilizing effect on national and international governance. Change takes attention and time, and a strong advocate, perhaps like Clinton. When the authors propose something more--R2PW (Responsibility to Protect Women)--I find myself backing away from support until we have more women in governance. I do not feel confident that military action won’t be the first tool chosen to shoulder aside nascent indigenous attempts to develop rights among women in trouble areas, and we know such rights cannot be imposed by military muscle.

  2. 5 out of 5

    John Borthwick

    This was an absolutely devastating and depressing book to read. Not only for its brutal subject matter, but the fact that a lot of the incredibly serious global problems brought up in this book are pretty much non-issues this election. Hudson and leidl discuss an area of international relations that has found little voice in international politics: gender. The authors make a convincing case that women's safety, legal rights, and representation helps build states and societies. I was immediately s This was an absolutely devastating and depressing book to read. Not only for its brutal subject matter, but the fact that a lot of the incredibly serious global problems brought up in this book are pretty much non-issues this election. Hudson and leidl discuss an area of international relations that has found little voice in international politics: gender. The authors make a convincing case that women's safety, legal rights, and representation helps build states and societies. I was immediately struck by the section on Guatemala, a country America has had a deep history in our support and military funding, especially under Reagan, for regimes that committed mass murder and butchered, tortured, and raped thousands of women, engaging in such horrific acts as hanging unborn fetuses, ripped out of mothers, from tree limbs around attacked towns as warnings. This maniacal orgy of violence and particularly femicide has led countries like Guatemala to have lenient or non existent laws towards women, ending up as a country with one of the highest rates of violence toward women in the world. Clinton was the first Secretary of State to give USAID to Guatemala specifically towards women's health and legal needs, and pushing for the countries first female attorney general, Paz y paz, to investigate rape and murder cases of women. Since Clinton left office, and such focuses as this have become less of a priority, and Paz y paz has been ousted from office. Hudson and Leidl's discussion of Clinton's work for women as Secretary of State comes off as incredibly admirable, while at other times failes to meet the authors expectations. They discuss in detail her not being more involved (though still somewhat) in advocacy for women's rights in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. However the saddest revelation is that they find a focused career of Clinton's work on women somewhat mixed, while her typically male peers work for women in global politics often non existent. This includes the Obama administration, a president I deeply admire but was saddened to read some of the criticism of him in this book. The authors do mention some of her more hawkish stances on the middle east but I don't think they did a good enough job discussing how problematic this is (otherwise I probably would give this book five stars). They did however do a convincing job of showing how isolationist foreign policy almost never for a second considers policy decisions affect on women as being a complex problem. A complete pull out of Afghanistan right now would be devastating for the work towards inclusion in law and rights government and NGO's in the area have struggled for, and women activists and victims seem genuinely hurt that this aspect isn't even considered.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    This is an outstanding account on what came to be known as Hillary Doctrine. This doctrine basically states that the subjugation of women is a threat to the national security of the United States. The basic premise is that women are vital partners of men in any nation, and putting them in a low status is an issue which should never be underestimated. The book is thoroughly researched as any readers can see on the notes by the end of the book. The notes itself comprise of more than a hundred pages This is an outstanding account on what came to be known as Hillary Doctrine. This doctrine basically states that the subjugation of women is a threat to the national security of the United States. The basic premise is that women are vital partners of men in any nation, and putting them in a low status is an issue which should never be underestimated. The book is thoroughly researched as any readers can see on the notes by the end of the book. The notes itself comprise of more than a hundred pages. Truly this book makes the case on why every nation should take the issue of women more seriously. But more importantly this work also shows how we can further support this very important doctrine. As you read this book, you will see the politics behind this idea and the stories of women as they suffer the brutal, harsh and evil on earth conditions in their respective nation. I never thought that certain barbaric conditions are still happening today. I never imagined that an old lady's arm was chopped just because she accidentally exposed some parts of her arms while riding a bus. Oh, cmon! Only a devil can do that. Aside from those gruesome tales, this book also take us to many ways in which USAID help and contribute to the welfare of women. We will also know things that are not so good with the organization, hence, improvement must be established. If you love any woman in your life, especially if you are a man, you must read this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca McPhedran

    I received this book as an advanced copy from NetGalley. I believe the premise of this book is an important one. I believe that the overarching idea, that the safety and security of women is directly tied to national security, is an important one. I think that Hillary Clinton is an important figure in the fight for gender equality, and the authors do a good job of stating their argument and defending or refuting it. They argue that once women are included in the decisions made by their countries I received this book as an advanced copy from NetGalley. I believe the premise of this book is an important one. I believe that the overarching idea, that the safety and security of women is directly tied to national security, is an important one. I think that Hillary Clinton is an important figure in the fight for gender equality, and the authors do a good job of stating their argument and defending or refuting it. They argue that once women are included in the decisions made by their countries, and once they are treated as equal to their male counterparts, will our world be truly safe. They use a lot of political jargon, and they name drop a lot (which I consider to be par for the course). I think that the authors try to show the shortcomings of the idea of The Hillary Doctrine. I think they are hopeful to have the name Hillary removed from it, and they want it to become a gender ideal that all countries will follow. It seems easy. Include women, listen to their ideas, stop killing them. Your country will be all the better for it. Makes sense, so why is it so difficult. We still don't have an answer.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Townsend

    I was impressed with the thorough case studies and quotes. They were disturbing and necessary to make the point of the book. It was authoritative and intelligently written. But I felt it missed the forest for the trees. The CAUSE of the terrorizing and subjugation of women is multi generational, militarized men who are insane from war mostly funded by the US and multi national companies which Hillary Clinton supports. She is part of the 1% who have for millenia now, in their kind, glorified and s I was impressed with the thorough case studies and quotes. They were disturbing and necessary to make the point of the book. It was authoritative and intelligently written. But I felt it missed the forest for the trees. The CAUSE of the terrorizing and subjugation of women is multi generational, militarized men who are insane from war mostly funded by the US and multi national companies which Hillary Clinton supports. She is part of the 1% who have for millenia now, in their kind, glorified and supported the holiness of the male soldier being sacrificed for God and country. War fries the human brain. Men need peace and education; not violence. Working class men mostly are being subjugated by the military who in turn subjugate women.The cause of the subjugation of women is global capitalism that profits from the drug trade and petroleum. Hillary Clinton is shoring that up.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

    This is a pretty massive book to read. It includes a lot of research and case studies in many countries where women are not treated well. Her Doctrine (created when she was Sec. of State) states subjugation of women worldwide is a threat to our National security. I have read some books on this subject about some of the countries in these case studies and they are very barbaric in how they treat women. Until men quit running around with impunity and they have to face and account for or are charge This is a pretty massive book to read. It includes a lot of research and case studies in many countries where women are not treated well. Her Doctrine (created when she was Sec. of State) states subjugation of women worldwide is a threat to our National security. I have read some books on this subject about some of the countries in these case studies and they are very barbaric in how they treat women. Until men quit running around with impunity and they have to face and account for or are charged with a crime this situation is unlikely to change.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Prasanna

    The Hillary Doctrine: World Peace can be achieved through women empowerment. This book gives you enough reasons to believe in the Hillary Doctrine. ~ http://bookreviews.infoversant.com/th... The Hillary Doctrine: World Peace can be achieved through women empowerment. This book gives you enough reasons to believe in the Hillary Doctrine. ~ http://bookreviews.infoversant.com/th...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    The topic is very important and crucial for the conduct of global foreign affairs. In that the authors and I agree. It's in their exposition of their ideas that this book fell short for me. Unfortunately, and inspite of wishing that I could, I cannot recommend this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sam

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Nagle

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

  12. 4 out of 5

    Pat Bakalian

  13. 5 out of 5

    Wilma Venerable

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra

  15. 4 out of 5

    heather m wingo

  16. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

  17. 5 out of 5

    ADAM

  18. 5 out of 5

    Eric Thrond

  19. 4 out of 5

    AJ

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Bernstein

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lise

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rima Juonytė

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lyza Viejo

  25. 4 out of 5

    Pritam Chattopadhyay

  26. 4 out of 5

    Serene

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nick Fulchino

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  29. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

  30. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  31. 4 out of 5

    Des

  32. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  33. 4 out of 5

    Eve

  34. 4 out of 5

    Luisa Patoni

  35. 5 out of 5

    Makenzie Nokes

  36. 5 out of 5

    Annemarie Knoll

  37. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  38. 5 out of 5

    Eva Ward

  39. 4 out of 5

    Harry Eskew

  40. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Blair

  41. 4 out of 5

    Don

  42. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  43. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Lane

  44. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Luchenbill

  45. 5 out of 5

    Maria Amiel

  46. 4 out of 5

    Missi Hancock

  47. 4 out of 5

    Susan

  48. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

  49. 5 out of 5

    Grace Kalish

  50. 5 out of 5

    Amber

  51. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  52. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Jones

  53. 4 out of 5

    Maria Proudley

  54. 5 out of 5

    Miranda

  55. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

  56. 5 out of 5

    Kristina Rogers

  57. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Lynn

  58. 4 out of 5

    Claire

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