This project investigates contemporary development, humanitarian and security efforts to change men and masculinities. There is a growing attention to men as the “other side” of gender justice efforts, whether as perpetrators, agents of change, or survivors of violence themselves. Initiatives in national militaries, development programmes, civil society campaigns, humanitarian crisis responses and public health ministries today seek to reform or abolish certain forms of masculinity and masculine behaviour (e.g. ’traditional masculinity’, ‘toxic masculinity’) in favour of other values and identities (e.g. ‘positive masculinity’). How do such initiatives work? What theoretical and practical problems arise in the effort to govern masculinity? Through participant observation, interviews and discourse analysis, this project engages with key organisations, practitioners and activists working with men towards gender justice. Outputs include peer-reviewed journal articles, policy briefs and a conference on ‘Governing Men’.
Dr Paul Kirby, London School of Economics and Political Science