The Past, Present, and Future(s) of Feminist Foreign Policy

Columba Achilleos-Sarll, Jennifer Thomson, Toni Haastrup, Karoline Färber, Carol Cohn, Paul Kirby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (SciVal)


Almost a decade after Sweden first declared that it would follow a feminist foreign policy (FFP), a further eleven countries from across Europe, North and South America, and North and West Africa have adopted, or have signaled an interest in potentially adopting, an FFP in the future. These developments have been accompanied by a growing body of feminist scholarship. Although still in its infancy, this literature can generally be divided between more normative accounts and those that are empirically focused, with particular attention paid to the FFPs of Sweden and Canada. Yet, few studies compare FFPs' uptake across different countries and regions, examine its connections to longer histories of ideas around women and gender, or unpack the policy intersections FFP (tentatively) engages. Contributing to these different areas, Part I provides an overview of the history of FFP, interrogates FFP in the context of Foreign Policy Analysis, and explores what FFP can achieve in the current (liberal) global system. Part II turns to consider policy intersections in relation to the climate crisis, migration, militarism, and bodies. Thinking through its origins, policy intersections, and potential future(s), the contributors to this Forum explore FFP's multiple and contested future(s). Ultimately, the Forum takes stock of this feminist turn in foreign policy at a critical point in its development and considers what future possibilities it may hold.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberviac068
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Studies Review
Issue number1
Early online date23 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Jennifer Thomson's contribution was supported by the ESRC, (ES/V016407/1). Paul Kirby's contribution was supported by the Global Challenges Research Fund Gender, Justice and Security Hub (AH/S004025/1).


  • bodies
  • climate change
  • feminist foreign policy
  • migration
  • militarism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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