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Sex and World Peace Hardcover – April 17, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0231131827 ISBN-10: 0231131828

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (April 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231131828
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231131827
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Sex and World Peace should be on top of every introductory International Relations reading list.

(Sara E. Davies International Affairs 1900-01-00)

[A] pioneering and readable book.... Highly recommended.


This is an important, well written, and inf ormative book that will serve a wide audience of graduate and undergraduate students, academics, and policymakers, as well as the interested public.

(Helen M. Kinsella Ethics and International Affairs 1900-01-00)

highly readable and provides a thought-provoking introduction to the reasons why equality between women and men within the family matters for the relations between states and, ultimately, world peace.

(Marijke Breuning Peace and Conflict 1900-01-00)

A landmark book.

(Gloria Steinem Ms.)


An eye-opening contribution to our understanding of the powerful misogynist forces that still contribute to violence and war. This volume should be required reading for all students of international relations and those who make policy.

(Ann Crittenden, author of The Price of Motherhood)|

Sex and World Peace is unprecedented. While there have been books on gender and international relations and books exploring the causes of war with statistical analyses of archival data, to my knowledge no other book does both. This is therefore a germinal contribution to the emerging field of gender and international relations. It will also add to the ongoing American debate between realism and idealism in foreign policy. Of course this book will appeal to researchers and advanced graduate students, yet the accessible writing--leading the reader into the central argument by vivid 'case studies'--will also make it useful to advanced undergraduates. Finally, practitioners and activists in diplomacy, international aid NGOs, enlightened multinational corporations, and women's and men's organizations aimed at transforming gender relations will find much here that is instructive and useful.

(David G. Winter, University of Michigan)|

Valerie M. Hudson and her colleagues take a monumental stride forward in providing a clear theoretical and empirical case for linking important outcomes in international politics, such as security, to the treatment of women. Their tour de force book connects micro-level incidents of violence against women--instantiated in such phenomena as inequity in family law, polygamy, and imbalanced sex ratios--to macro-level occurrences such as conflict and war. In this approach, they highlight the way in which legal institutions in particular serve to perpetuate patterns of violence within the family and larger society. The authors argue that the true clash of civilizations is not taking place between East and West, Christian and Muslim, but rather occurs in the chasm between men and women and in the discrepancy between attitudes, expectations, responsibilities, and opportunities playing out on the world stage. They provide an important theoretical link locating the origins of the mechanisms individuals use to establish and sustain hierarchies of dominance in international relations through the use of violence within the family. This learning then generalizes out into other domains, unconsciously but pervasively aligning dominance in the family to power between states that threaten or use violence to maintain control over groups constructed as a weaker "other." The implicit and ubiquitous nature of these patterns, in turn, provides unquestioned justification for the repression and protest spawning conflict around the globe.

(Rose McDermott, Brown University)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By cKevan on June 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Sex and World Peace explains the situation of women around the world in an accessible way. You don't need a PhD to understand the research and conclusions. It is a brilliant collection of stories and analysis and paints a picture of how the world really is. This book is different from all other socio-political views of the world because it actually recognizes the important role women play in societies. Not only does this book point out the issues women face, it also provides pragmatic solutions for every level's involvement. It is not another depressing book that overwhelms the reader with the horrors of being a woman. It states the realities and gives ways that we can realistically change things for the better. Reading this book helped me to know how I can fight for the equality of men and women around the world.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Fritz Jensen on June 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
.--- Wow! If you are female and under the age of 99 years this is a must read for you.
If you are Male and under the age of 110 this is a must read for you.
This book highlights the thoughts that we have all been thinking for years with sound research and stories of women around the world. It deals not only with women in the United States, but in many both developed and third world. It takes a hard look at the way women have been suppressed by men in power.
In light of the Supreme Court Decision regarding affordable health care I have re-read the book. We need more women in the decision making process in this ever shrinking world of instant communication. I am afraid that the only way we are going to get that is for women to seek the power of politics, not only of government but of the home.
I believe this book should be required reading for every undergraduate, If you are a College or University professor put it on your list, and talk about its implications with your students.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K-Rin on May 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A fascinating read that changed how I look at women's rights and politics. This book keeps you interested with compelling stories about women all around the world--how they are oppressed and how they are taking a stand. It's not just interesting though. The authors totally back up their arguments with impressive statistics. Such important information! I wish everyone would read it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gordon Finnigan on June 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It is amazing that on the stage of current events and world history we forget to include women. This book is an amazing conglomeration of research on the power of women in world peace and international development. I firmly believe that to have peace and to increase equality we must include women and men equally on the world stage.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. Kent Harrison on August 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent book on gender and world politics. The authors make a fine case for the connection between a nation's culture, laws, and attitudes toward gender and its disposition toward peace. Better attitudes and treatment of women could help the progress of peace in our world. The book contains considerable useful data about cultural feelings about women, education of women, laws regarding women, familial status, crimes against women, etc., for various countries, and it suggests various ways, top down and bottom up, for coping with and improving these matters. Everyone should read it to understand today's world views on women!
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More About the Author

Valerie M. Hudson is Professor and George H.W. Bush Chair at The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. She has previously taught at Brigham Young, Northwestern, and Rutgers universities. Her research foci include foreign policy analysis, security studies, gender and international relations, and methodology. Hudson's articles have appeared in such journals as International Security, Journal of Peace Research, Political Psychology, and Foreign Policy Analysis. She is the author or editor of several books, including (with Andrea Den Boer) Bare Branches: The Security Implications of Asia's Surplus Male Population (MIT Press, 2004), which won the American Association of Publishers Award for the Best Book in Political Science, and the Otis Dudley Duncan Award for Best Book in Social Demography, resulting in feature stories in the New York Times, The Economist, 60 Minutes, and other news publications. Hudson was named to the list of Foreign Policy magazine's Top 100 Global Thinkers for 2009. Winner of numerous teaching awards and recipient of a National Science Foundation research grant and a Minerva Initiative grant, she served as the director of graduate studies for the David M. Kennedy Center for International and Area Studies for eight years, and served as Vice President of the International Studies Association for 2011-2012. Hudson is one of the Principal Investigators of the WomanStats Project, which includes the largest compilation of data on the status of women in the world today. She is also a founding editorial board member of Foreign Policy Analysis, and an editorial board member of Politics and Gender, the American Political Science Review, and the International Studies Review, has testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Her most recent book is Sex and World Peace, co-authored with Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli and Chad Emmett, and published by Columbia University Press, and her forthcoming book with Patricia Leidl, also from Columbia University Press, is entitled The Hillary Doctrine: Sex and American Foreign Policy. She and her husband David, a landscape architect, are the parents of eight children.

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