Masculinity associated with armed groups tends to be built on assumptions of violence and insecurity. Rethinking Masculinities: Ideology, Identity and Change in the People’s War in Nepal and Its Aftermath, however, examines other ways in which the experience of participation in an armed group may impact on notions of masculinity held by low-ranking male combatants, both during conflict and in its aftermath. Using the case of Nepal, this book explores how men of the People’s Liberation Army experienced and engaged with an ideology espoused by the leadership that was more gender-positive than what existed in broader Nepali society.
Focusing on masculinity change across four different time frames: (1) pre-conflict, (2) conflict time, (3) the cantonment period, and (4) post-conflict – Heidi Riley’s analysis pays close attention to changes in attitudes towards gender specific roles and conduct, as well as perceptions of gender hierarchies. Building on feminist and masculinities literature, Rethinking Masculinities also makes a vital contribution to broader peace and conflict scholarship on insurgency, rebel recruitment, and demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration (DDR). The book exposes how masculinity change is not straightforward but influenced by both past and present, which leads to contradiction and continuity in a post-conflict context.
Heidi Riley is research fellow in the School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin.
Chapter 1: Masculinity in Peace and Conflict
Chapter 2: Ideology, Identity and Change
Chapter 3: History and Context
Chapter 4: Masculinity in a Time of War
Chapter 5: Splits and Divisions in a Time of Limbo
Chapter 6: Clash of the Revolutionary Masculinity and the Breadwinner Masculinity
Chapter 7: Wartime Masculinity and Change: What Do We Know?
9/9/21, Choice: This book was included in a feature highlighting forthcoming Asian and Asian American Studies titles.