On Target: Jessica Trisko Darden on Reframing Gender and Political Violence

As global news headlines race from one story to the next, the line between fact and speculation is often blurred. At the same time, the dynamics driving international relations often get ignored. On Target unpacks the most pressing issues of the day, from nuclear weapons to US foreign aid. Zuri invites IGA’s nonresident fellows to break down their research and apply it to today’s most critical foreign policy debates.

War can shake up traditional gender dynamics, or it can reinforce the status quo. In times of conflict, gender can also be a potent source of propaganda. In this episode of On Target, host Zuri Linetsky is joined by Jessica Trisko Darden, an expert on the relationship between international development, gender, and political violence. Jessica helps us debunk and reconsider the many myths and stereotypes that influence how we think about women fighters in the ongoing war in Ukraine and other conflicts.

Jessica Trisko Darden is an assistant professor of political science at Virginia Commonwealth University and a former nonresident fellow at the Institute for Global Affairs. Jessica is also the author and co-author of several books, including Aiding and Abetting: US Foreign Assistance and State Violence (2019).

Zuri Linetsky

Zuri Linetsky is a research fellow at IGA, whose research focuses on US grand strategy in Asia and US security sector assistance.

Reading List

This discussion includes references to the Eurasia Group Foundation, now known as the Institute for Global Affairs.

This post is part of Independent America, a research project led out by IGA senior fellow Mark Hannah, which seeks to explore how US foreign policy could better be tailored to new global realities and to the preferences of American voters.

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