The Hillary Doctrine: Sex and American Foreign Policy

The Hillary Doctrine: Sex and American Foreign Policy

BY Valerie M Hudson, Patricia Leidl

Columbia University Press 2015


"A sound study that carries an urgent message." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"In this remarkably readable book, Valerie Hudson and Patricia Leidl make clear the direct link to enhanced stability in countries where women actively participate in public life. The landscapes surveyed are startlingly broad, from developments in China, India, and Rwanda to in-depth case studies of Afghanistan, Guatemala, and Saudi Arabia. This volume is important for anyone who wants to think seriously about the shape and purpose of foreign policy. Secretary Clinton's declaration that women's subjugation threatens our national interests has been dismissed by many as mere idealism, yet it stems from a pragmatic approach and deep experience. Understanding what Hudson and Leidl reveal about the varying applications of the Hillary Doctrine strikes me as the start of wisdom." from the foreword by Swanee Hunt
"A sound study that carries an urgent message." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Women define security differently than do men. For 50 years, grass-roots global feminism has urged policymakers to see women, to see that women are the first and worst affected by violence, poverty, wars, displacement, and other catastrophes--yet the least and last to be consulted about solutions. Yet consciousness is finally trickling up, and the centrality of women to global security for all--set forth here with scholarly rigor by Hudson and Leidl--is a most welcome leap forward in legitimizing the crucial need for major policy re-visioning. Ignore this book at your peril." Robin Morgan, author of The Demon Lover: The Roots of Terrorism
"The Hillary Doctrine may not make you comfortable, but it will change the way you think about national and international security. Through a combination of case studies, interviews and meticulous research including perhaps the most exhaustive compilation of data ever assembled on the subject, Hudson and Leidl make the case that the equality of women is not simply an issue of fairness. It is fundamental to peace and prosperity globally. The authors are never tendentious or polemical. This superbly written narrative is understated if anything. The carefully assembled facts and the often searing voices of women themselves tell a compelling story. Hudson and Leidl follow a concise historical treatment of women's rights with illuminating case studies, setting the stage for focused policy recommendations. Having established that the security of women and the security of states are closely linked, the authors argue for an expansion of the Hillary Doctrine as U.S. national policy to an international Right to Protect Women. This book is required reading for policy makers and implementers as well as anyone concerned about where we are going as a nation and a world." Ryan Crocker, former ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq, and dean, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University
"How has the exclusion of the female half of this country damaged U.S. foreign policy? Let me count the ways -- from ignoring a North Vietnamese peace initiative because it was headed by a woman to excluding the violence against females that is the normalizer of all violence. This country is fighting poisonous growths, yet leaving their roots intact. From now on, no debate about national or global policy can proceed without reading The Hillary Doctrine by Valerie Hudson and Patricia Leidl. It is the first book about high level efforts to create a foreign policy as if women mattered." Gloria Steinem
"I recommend it." Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times
"A solid introduction"  Library Journal
"Thoughtful and nuanced.... I highly recommend [The Hillary Doctrine] to anybody interested in elevating women's voices in world affairs, as well as the practicalities of day-to-day U.S. foreign policymaking." Micah Zenko, Newsweek
"Highly relevant."Gideon Rachman, Financial Times
["The Hillary Doctrine] is valuable pre-election reading for Americans, and illuminating for the rest of us as well."  Tom Sandborn, The Vancouver Sun
"A comprehensive overview of how women's rights have become better accepted as a part of US foreign policy.... As the first book-length study of the Hillary Doctrine this is a valuable and energetic start." Jessica Abrahams, Prospect
"Nuanced, sober, and meticulous.... Highly recommended." Midwest Book Review
"Hudson and Leidl's book is a must-read for scholars and students interested in the relationship between women's rights, human rights, and national security. And if we take the authors' premise seriously that women's rights are fundamental to human rights, then this book should be a must-read for any scholar or student interested in foreign policy.  Shawn J. Parry-Giles, H-Diplo
"The strongest case to date for considering women's rights a central issue of national security.... Highly recommended. " Choice
"Even-handed, deeply researched.... [The Hillary Doctrine] is a highly readable, fast moving history that covers a critical topic." Christina Asquith, Open Democracy
"The Hillary Doctrine is a painstaking examination of Clinton's efforts to advance the status of women during her tenure as secretary of state.... [Hudson & Leidl] make the case that advancing the status of women will require giving the issue a permanent place on the U.S. foreign policy agenda, one that will long outlast Clinton."  Suzanne Nossel, Foreign Affairs
"Rich in empirical research and theory, The Hillary Doctrine... is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding why and how women's security and the status of women around the world matter for U.S. foreign policy and national security." Ethics and International Affairs

Here there be monsters: Lara Logan and the madness of crowds

As more sickening details emerge in the Arab media—including mobile phone videos etc.—of what actually happened to CBS reporter Lara Logan in Tahrir Square February 13 the rhetoric on the left/right divide shows no signs of abating. Some bay that it was ‘pro-Mubarak’ thugs who sexually assaulted (mounting evidence points to gang rape) and almost killed the 39-year-old mother of two, while others point the finger at ‘pro-liberation’ hooligans, Muslim fanatics or ‘liberal’ revellers. Such distinctions however, have nothing whatsoever to do with the reason why Logan was attacked and in fact obscures the real issue. The simple fact is that the gang of men who attacked Logan did so because they wanted to and could. Not only was she blonde and western (Logan was born in South Africa) but she was an independent, seasoned reporter at the top of her game in a country where females are still regarded as third-class citizens. Once separated from her team (some Arab sources claimed a burly bearded man pulled her away by her hair) she was a lone woman in an ocean of men.

The Arab Intifada and Women's Rights

By Valerie M Hudson and Patricia Leidl | Published by World Politics Review The massive, exhilarating protests in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen mark a sea change for the better in the Arab world. But the implications of the uprisings for women in these countries have not yet been fully analyzed. All of the countries currently experiencing upheaval have made significant progress for women -- progress that could be swept away very easily, as it was in Iran in 1979, never to be regained.

A report on malnutrition in Rwanda for World Vision

Killing unhurriedly

Pervasive stunting hampers poverty alleviation efforts

By Patricia Leidl and Didier Habimana

Jeanette is five years old but unnaturally tiny for her age. A year ago she could not stand, play with other children, eat solids or talk. The thin monotonous wail that convulsed her scrawny frame drove her mother, Esperance, to distraction. “I desperately feared that she might die”, says the 45-year-old. “Her hair colour changed. It turned orange.”

A World Vision feature on birth registration in Pakistan

Missing People, Missing Rights

Universal Birth Registration in Pakistan

By Patricia Leidl | Published by World Vision

It is an overcast day and stagnant ponds of greasy water pockmark the fields that surround Matta, a nondescript village located in Kasur, Pakistan, a bleakly impoverished district huddled against the teeming Indian subcontinent to the south. In the compound where Safina Sarfaz, her husband and three daughters live, goats bleat angrily while scrawny chickens scratch amid piles of refuse.

Nawa: hearts and minds, one community at a time


Marjanne is so shrunken that from a distance she looks like a heap of black velvet that someone carelessly tossed onto the chaff-strewn ground. Six months ago, she and the dusty little boy she travels with—a nominal chaperone—would never have ventured down from her home in Lashkar Gah (Lash to the locals) to Nawa unaccompanied and in her case, uncovered. Today she squats balanced on two ancient ankles patiently waiting in the scorching heat: the only woman of among a group of one hundred men and two marines. What looks to be some kind of skin cancer is eating away at the tip of her nose, but her sunken black eyes are sharp and penetrating. Her purpose? To gather an allotment of cut-rate seed, a USAID-backed scheme designed to encourage local farmers to grow wheat instead of opium poppy.