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Home arrow Sociology arrow Being an Early Career Feminist Academic: Global Perspectives, Experiences and Challenges
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Doctoral Education in the United Kingdom

I decided to pursue my PhD in the field of politics and IR in the UK. It is worth noting that feminist struggles exist within this discipline. For instance, Hooper (2001) remarks that the male dominance of the IR field “seems a particularly appropriate site for an investigation into masculinities, and particularly into their dominant, or ‘hegemonic,’ forms” (p. 5). Blanchard (2003) also notes that “national security discourses are typically part of the elite world of masculine high politics” (p. 1289). With these characteristics of the IR field in mind, my PhD thesis examines the US-Japan alliance through the neo-Gramscian framework in an attempt to answer the research question, Why is the US-Japan alliance being strengthened, and how might this be related to the concept of hegemony? By adopting this alternative IR approach to the US-Japan alliance, I attempted to broaden our understanding about security and IR rather than restricting it to narrow political considerations. Although this should be and often is the attitude of most academic researchers in general, it can also be regarded as an example of research as praxis—rather than limiting myself to the mainstream understanding of the US-Japan alliance, my research attempts to explain political dynamism in a broader context. In this way, completing my PhD degree in the United Kingdom can be seen as a platform for me to pursue my research activities in the areas of security studies, politics, and IR in an emancipatory and empowering way.

 
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