All branches of modern governments struggle to adapt to social and political changes today, in an age when such changes follow each other with speed, and change the very fabric of society. Foreign ministries are doubly challenged as they not only are confronted with the changes of their domestic environment, but they also have to navigate the international arena which is another stage of frequent upheavals. As a consequence, the German Federal Foreign Office has ventured on a path of continuing reforms that have led to new structures in the organisation, human resources management and the use of new technologies. Compared to former ages, the German foreign ministry has turned into a complex, multifaceted bureaucratic apparatus with fluid borderlines, recognisably more of the same nature as German society as a whole.
The aim of this study is to contribute to a deeper understanding of the gendered condi- tions under which diplomats network. We still have limited knowledge of how female diplomats network when serving abroad in strongly male-dominated contexts. To what extent do they experience token tendencies (visibility, assimilation and contrast) and how are these tendencies perceived to affect their access to important contacts? Based on 28 interviews with diplomats and civil servants from the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA), this study compares how female and male diplomats are expected and perceived to network. The results indicate that the greater visibility of female diplomats makes them assimilate to a stereotypical gender role that closely resembles that of diplomatic wives. Women thus legitimise their presence in the MFA and make it less intrusive. Still, they experience contrast in silent resistance and con- stant reminders of their presence in a gender-inappropriate profession.
The article investigates whether Hobbes’s political theory gives us reason to expect the systematic subordination of women. It argues that who dominates whom is a matter of victory in the quest to pull allies into ordered alliances. The primary means of gaining allies—force and wiles—depend on both skill-fitness and affective fitness. The analyses suggest that it is sex-linked and gender-linked differences in affective fitness—particularly in the intensity of men’s desire to use religious wiles—that most plausibly explain the subjection of women, both across the spectrum of states of nature and within civil societies. Although Hobbes’s political theory enables us to make sense of how it happened, there is nothing in that theory that either necessitates or should cause us to expect the systematic subordination of women.
Despite the vast amount of scholarship on Hobbes’s philosophy, his writings on sexuality have gone largely unexplored. This paper offers an interpretation of Hobbes’s writing on that topic. I argue that if we pay attention to his remarks on sexuality, we can retrieve a coherent account of sexual morality, one that takes a strong stance against doctrines of natural sexual morality, replacing them with a commitment to positivism about sexual norms. With this reconstruction of the Hobbesian view of sexual morality in hand, I conclude by exploring some of its implications from a contemporary feminist perspective.