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Feminist geopolitics and the Middle East: Refuge, belief, and peace

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Abstract

In this article, I draw on the work of feminist and critical political geographers to demonstrate what a feminist geopolitics can offer Middle East studies. I cite scholarship of feminist and critical geographers situated within and outside the region to address three key themes: “refuge,” “belief,” and “peace.” In each theme, I use the “body” as a starting point to convene a justice-oriented methodology of studying and knowing the Middle East. A major objective and contribution of feminist geopolitics to geography has been to recenter political inquiry from the state to the fleshy matter of the body. A “corporeal geopolitics” understands that all bodies have geopolitical agency, that all bodies are vulnerable—albeit differentially—to politics, and that all bodies are connected within and formative of shared economic, social, and political processes across space. Here, I chart ways that a feminist geopolitical analytic focused on “bodies” can contribute to a more complex understanding of the Middle East, one that operates through specificity, accountability, and care.

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