Militarised masculinities beyond methodological nationalism: Charting the multiple masculinities of an Indonesian jihadi

Presented by: Dr David Duriesmith, UQ Fellow, School of Political Science and International Studies

Studies of masculinity and armed conflict have struggled to capture the complex interaction between globalised militarised masculinities and local gender formations. Particularly in conflicts characterised by a high degree of combatant mobility (in the form of foreign fighters, massed displacement, or significant diaspora involvement) locating the relevant gender dynamics can prove to be a difficult step in understanding the character of armed groups.

Based on fieldwork with Indonesian former foreign fighters during 2016 and building on the framework developed in Masculinity and New War (2016), this article explores some of the difficulties of locating masculinities in many contemporary conflicts. Analysing the experiences of former fighters this article suggests that efforts must be made to resist methodological nationalism in our understanding of the gender order. Instead, a framework which addresses the multiplicity of gender orders in contemporary wars is developed to explore the ways in which foreign fighters traverse local constructions of gender, national gender hierarchies, and transnational social structures to participate in the conflict.  

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