Harel-Shalev, Ayelet and Daphna-Tekoah, Shir. 2020. Breaking the Binaries in Security Studies: A Gendered Analysis of Women in Combat. New York: Oxford University Press.
The book focuses on the study of women combat soldiers in the fields of Security Studies and International Relations. It addresses this issue by bringing the soldiers' voices and silences to the forefront of research in these domains and by presenting the women soldiers as narrators. The book introduces a theoretical framework in Critical Security Studies for understanding – by binary deconstructions of the terms used in these fields – the integration of women soldiers into combat and combat-support roles and the challenges they face. The book draws on Feminist IR scholarship and introduces an interdisciplinary theoretical perspective that aims to lead scholars to consider why and how women’s experiences should be incorporated into the analysis of violence, state violence, combat trauma, security and in-security. The book therefore emphasizes the importance of including, in critical approaches to security, the understudied topic of the voices of women in combat. The book explores the voices and silences of women who served in combat roles in the Israeli Defense Forces. The analysis, however, extends beyond the Israeli case insofar as the book offers important general insights into the larger issues of the links between war and gender, body and gender, trauma and gender, and politics and gender. It also raises methodological considerations about ways of evaluating power relations in conflict situations and patriarchal structures. The binary deconstructions discussed in the book offer a paradigm shift in Security Studies and Conflict Studies.