Conceptual resources for gilding the cracks. Non-essentialist vulnerability and epistemic justice


Recent academic debates concerning the WPS agenda have highlighted the existence of several cracks undermining the conceptualisation as well as the operationalisation and implementation of the principles and actions stemming from the WPS framework. After proposing to consider the WPS Agenda as a norm lab and recognising the urgency to repair its conceptual cracks, this article critically analyses two main conceptual weaknesses limiting the emancipatory potential of the Agenda, namely the conceptualisation of identity and agency that it reflects and projects, arguing that the former reveals a stereotypical and ambiguous formulation, while the latter is thin and unfit for sustaining a transformative political project. The article discusses insights from the discussion on epistemic (in)justice, which originated from the work of Miranda Fricker, arguing that they are valuable heuristic resources for developing a WPS conceptual framework able to escape the essentialist trap, identifying the injustices done to women and men as discriminated and marginalised subjects in their capacity as knowers and active contributors to the dialogues concerning the planning and deployment of measures for conflict and post-conflict management.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20398573v8n1p187

Keywords: WPS Agenda; Gender; Vulnerability; Essentialism; Epistic justice


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