2018 Jill Vickers Prize

May 31, 2018 | Jill Vickers Prize

Winner: Sylvia Bashevkin

2017 CPSA conference paper – Listening to Women Leaders: Feminist Narratives Among US Foreign Policy Appointees

Photo: Karen Bird (McMaster University – jury member) and Sylvia Bashevkin (University of Toronto – recipient), CPSA President’s Dinner, May 31, 2018, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Conference Centre Regina, Regina.

Excerpt from jury report: This paper offers a conceptually sophisticated analysis of patterns of feminist identification and critical action among female foreign policy leaders. With a focus on the US, the author applies a “listening methodology” to guide an innovative analysis of the publicly available memoirs of national security lawmakers Jeane Kirkpatrick, Madeleine Albright, Condoleeza Rice, and Hillary Clinton. The result is a nuanced account of the layered dimensions of these women’s experiences as they navigate traditionally masculine foreign policy institutions, against a backdrop of evolving claims of feminist and counter-movement mobilization from the 1980s on. Built on a comprehensive and well structured theoretical foundation combining feminist IR, comparative gender and politics, and gender and social movements research, the paper is engaging and eminently readable. It offers substantively fresh insights to the gender politics of foreign policy appointees, while opening a promising agenda for future use of this methodology to illuminate the diverse perspectives of women leaders.