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Author: Jeff Hearn

This article derives from considering the interrelations of two sets of long-term international work: that on interdisciplinary crisis studies and that on critical studies on men and masculinities. More specifically, it interrogates the place and potential of crisis and crises in the politics and problematics of men and masculinities, including how crisis can be a driver of critical studies on men and masculinities. Further to this, four main forms of deployment of crisis within critical studies on men and masculinities are interrogated. There is a well-elaborated debate on what has come to be called ‘the crisis of masculinity’. Interestingly, this takes very different shapes, sometimes even opposite constructions, in different parts of the world and within different discourses. Even with this diversity, crisis is often presented as ‘fact’, identity and a result of ‘role confusion’ for boys, young men and men around what it might mean to be a boy and man in contemporary times. This approach contrasts with those foregrounding more endogenous crisis tendencies, first, within patriarchal relations and then of gender itself, with associated deconstructions of men and masculinity. Meanwhile, within critical studies on men and masculinities, there has been a relative neglect, at least until recently, of large-scale global crises. Key examples include financial crisis, political crisis, ecological crisis and pandemic crisis. In short, there appears to have been over-recognition of the ‘crisis of masculinity’, some recognition of crisis tendencies of patriarchal relations and of gender, and under-recognition of crises created or reinforced largely by certain men and masculinities globally and transnationally.

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Authors: Jeff Hearn and Linda McKie

The notion of policy can easily appear as gender-neutral, yet processes of policy formation and implementation are informed by presumptions about gender. In this article an analytical framework to identify and critique presumptions about gender and policy is developed, through a focus on the policy problem of ‘domestic violence’. Three gendered processes in policy construction are considered: gendering the naming and defining of violence; the absent presence of men's practices; and gendering the locations and contexts of violence. We propose gender analysis and gendering of analysis that include critical engagement with men's practices, as a basis for informing the development of policies per se.

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In the world we live in today, the presence and claims of crisis abound – from climate change, financial and political crisis to depression, livelihoods and personal security crisis. There is a challenge to studying crisis due to the ways in which crisis as a notion, condition and experience refers to and operates at various societal levels. Further, different kinds of crisis can overlap and intersect with each other, and act as precursors or consequences of other crises, in what can be thought of as inter-crisis relations or chains of crises. This article makes an enquiry into how to develop more adequate analytical tools for understanding crisis as a multidimensional phenomenon. We ask how crisis can be conceptualised and what the analytical potentials of a distinct crisis perspective might be? In this article we suggest a multi- and interdisciplinary approach to bridge between traditionally separated realms. Our ambition is to present a case for the development of Interdisciplinary Crisis Studies as a field of scholarly enquiry, which allows for new perspectives on data collection and analysis. Using the cases of, first, crisis and security and, second, crisis and climate, conflict and migration, we illustrate how studying and intervening in crises requires non-linear approaches which connect across disciplines to develop more comprehensive, interdisciplinary understandings of societal problems and better solutions. In concluding the paper, we assert that key features of Interdisciplinary Crisis Studies must include (1) temporality, spatiality and scale; (2) multi-layeredness, processuality and contradictions; and (3) gender, intersectionality and social inequalities.

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