Troubling Motherhood: Maternality in Global Politics

ISBN : 9780190939182

Lucy B. Hall; Anna L. Weissman; Laura J. Shepherd
312 ページ
156 x 235 mm

In global politics, women's bodies are policed, objectified, surveilled, and feared, with particular attention paid to both their met or unmet procreative potential. While the significance of motherhood varies across cultures, it is, as this book argues, connected not just to gender and sexuality, but also to religion and nationality. Reproduction is central to the flourishing of any nation or culture, and therefore motherhood is a major signifier of women's relationship to the state. This is so much the case that states enact laws about which women can bear children and have supported sterilization efforts in cases where women are not deemed appropriate bearers of the nation. States also legislate reproductive technologies, adoption, and government support for parenting.

By considering representations and narratives of maternity, this volume shows how practices of global politics shape and are shaped by the gendered norms and institutions that underpin motherhood. Motherhood matters in global politics. Yet, the diverse ways in which performances and practices of motherhood are constituted by and are constitutive of other dimensions of political life are frequently obscured, or assumed to be of little interest to scholars, policymakers, and practitioners.

Featuring innovative and diverse chapters on the politics of motherhood as an institution, this collection shows that maternality is troubled, complicated, and heterogeneous in global politics. Thus, performances and practices of motherhood warrant closer and more sustained scrutiny. This book builds on work by feminist international relations scholars, extending into disruptive spaces of queer theory, literary critique, and post-colonial studies. The chapters in this book consider the meaning of motherhood, particularly during times of war versus peace; the connections between motherhood and nationhood (and reproduction of the state); and care work and maternal labor, particularly as performed by transnational workers. Ultimately, this book demonstrates the complex interconnections between the individual, the state, and the global through the lens of maternality.


1. Motherhood and Maternality in Global Politics

Anna L. Weissman and Lucy B. Hall


2. A Mother's Violence in Global Politics: An Interrogation of Violent Femininity and Motherhood Narratives

Katerina Krulisova

3. Protestant paramilitary mothering: Mothers and daughters in the Northern Irish Troubles

Sandra McEvoy

4. Stigmatized acts of motherhood

Jamie J. Hagen

5. Logics of Protection and the Discursive Construction of Refugee Fathers

Lucy B. Hall


6. Bearing Peace and War: Sex, Motherhood, and the Treaty of the Pyrenees

Laura Sjoberg

7. Ideal Citizens and Family Values: The Politics of Reproductive Fitness

Anna L. Weissman

8. Mother Knows Best? Critical Maternal Ethics and the Rape Clause

Rebecca Wilson

9. Queering Reproductive Aid

Corinne Mason

10. Troubling Conceptions of Motherhood: State Feminism and Political Agency of Women in the Global South

Anwar Mhajne and Crystal Whetstone


11. Feminist Politics Still Needs Motherhood

Amanda Watson

12. Privatised Bodies in Public Locations: C-Sections, Toddler Meltdowns and the Neoliberal Gaze

Penny Griffin

13. Raising children in strangeness: cosmopolitan mothering and domestic helpers in expatriate families

Catherine Goetze

14. Celebrity global motherhood: Maternal care and cosmopolitan obligation

Annika Bergman Rosamond

15. Earthborn: Maternity and Natality on a Hurting Planet

Cara Daggett

16. Speaking from the Margins of Motherhood: A Politics (M)otherwise

Sara C. Motta


Lucy Hall is a lecturer at the University of Amsterdam. Lucy's research focuses on the gendered construction of protection and the gendered logics of statist ontologies of protection. In particular, Lucy is interested in the protection of conflict-affected populations (civilians, internally displaced persons and refugees) and the ways in which states discursively construct protection through existing and evolving laws, normative frameworks, policies and practices. ; Anna L. Weissman is a PhD Candidate and Instructor at the University of Florida, and former FLAS Fellow at UF's Center for European Studies (2013-2017). Her research theorizes the relations between sexuality, reproduction, an national identity. Anna focuses on same-sex reproductive rights in Europe, uncovering the intertwining histories of normative sexuality, traditional procreative gender roles, and the mythology of the nation-state, developing the concept of Repronormativity. Anna has published in the Journal of GLBT Family Studies, the International Feminist Journal of Politics, the Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy, and in the Routledge Handbook of Gender and Security. ; Laura J. Shepherd is Professor of International Relations at the University of Sydney, Australia, and a Visiting Senior Fellow at the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security in London, UK. Laura's primary research focuses on the United Nations Security Council's Women, Peace and Security agenda. She has written extensively on the formulation of UNSCR1325 and subsequent Women, Peace and Security resolutions. Laura is author/editor of several books, and many academic articles in journals such as European Journal of International Relations, International Affairs, and International Feminist Journal of Politics.