Catia Cecilia Confortini

in Intelligent Compassion

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199845231
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199979875 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Gender and International Relations


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This chapter summarizes the empirical findings and returns to the assessment of whether Ackerly’s theory of TWFSC adequately represents WILPF’s methodology in the context of the postwar liberal West. Drawing on and expanding this theory, the chapter outlines a methodology of emancipatory agency that better adapts to the context in which WILPF, like many other Western peace organizations, operates. The chapter takes inspiration from a methodological tool whose elements were described by outgoing WILPF International Chair Dorothy Hutchinson in 1968. Hutchinson claimed that WILPF used “intelligent compassion” to formulate policies that challenged the economic, political, and ideological status quo. Intelligent compassion complements and enriches TWFSC. Together, intelligent compassion and TWFSC constitute a superior feminist critical methodology for emancipatory social change. The story of WILPF suggests not only that a feminist understanding of peace is dynamic and always changing but also that we should indeed shift away from trying to define once and for all what is social change, emancipation, or even peace and rather focus on peace as a continuous and holistic process of building justice.

Keywords: feminism; WILPF; peace; feminist critical methodology; Third World feminist social criticism

Chapter.  3863 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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