Authors Name: 
Natalia Beghin
University: 
University of Manchester
Category: 
Politics & International Relations
Award winner

Perverting the Panopticon: Feminism, Peace, and the prospect of a ‘new Totalitarianism’

In this paper argue that the critical approach of Feminism not only augments how we explain and understand Peace, but also provides society with the nostrum to effect what I will call 'a Totalitarianism of Peace' - or relations which are both gender equal and free from violent conflict. The paper is set out in four parts that critically engage with and relate concepts of Feminism and Peacefulness together to form a cohesive resolution. Firstly, I consider the nature of Peace in relation to the propositions put forward by the Norwegian theorist Johan Galtung, and explain how a Feminist critique of his work expands its potential. Secondly, I elucidate upon the philosophy of Michel Foucault - particularly with regard to the 'Genealogy of power' - and discuss its important role in enriching both feminist theory and notions of Peace more generally. Thirdly, I consider Judith Butler's Foucauldian inspired conclusions regarding the nature of gender 'performativity', and also her notions of 'responsiveness' that integrate both Galtungian and Foucauldian theory with Feminism and provide compelling arguments for the attainment of Peacefulness. Finally, I conclude with my own proposition, informed by the theorists above that I call a 'Totalitarianism of Peace' - proving that when integrated, Feminism does more than just expand our understanding of Peace, but is actually key to helping us attain it also.