Feminist Experiences of Studying Up: Encounters with International Institutions

Katharine wright, Georgina Holmes, Roberta Guerrina, Christine Chang, Sumita Basu, Maria Martin de Almagro, Matthew Hurley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)


This article makes the case for feminist IR to build knowledge of international institutions. It emerges from a roundtable titled ‘Challenges and Opportunities for Feminist IR: Researching Gendered Institutions’ which took place at the International Studies Association Annual Convention in Baltimore in 2017. Here, we engage in self-reflexivity, drawing on our conversation to consider what it means for feminist scholars to ‘study up’. We argue that feminist IR conceptions of narratives and the everyday make a valuable contribution to feminist institutionalist understandings of the formal and informal. We also draw attention to the value of postcolonial approaches and multi-site analyses of international institutions for creating a counter-narrative to hegemonic accounts emerging from both the institutions themselves, and scholars studying them without a critical feminist perspective. In so doing, we draw attention to the salience of considering not just what we study as feminist International Relations scholars but how we study it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-230
Number of pages21
Issue number2
Early online date5 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

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