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Gender and Foreign Policy in the Clinton Administration

Karen Garner
Gender and Foreign Policy in the Clinton Administration
ISBN: 978-1-935049-60-9
ISBN: 978-1-935049-97-5
2013/333 pages/LC: 201302416
A FirstForumPress Book
"A comprehensive analysis of gender and foreign policy in the Clinton administration.... The research is solid, careful, and impressive."—Catherine V. Scott, Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy

"A comprehensive account of the rise of the global gender issues on the US foreign policy agenda, but also the serious limitations that this inclusion entailed."—Anne Sisson Runyan, International Studies Review

"Garner makes a good case that what is seen today in the way of feminist foreign policy is a direct legacy of Clinton's time in office.... An excellent contribution to liberal feminist analysis. Highly recommended.” —Choice

"An impressive achievement and an enduring contribution…. This volume will be seen as the definitive history of the US government's turn toward gender in its 1990s foreign policy."—Valerie M. Hudson, Texas A&M University


Though recent US government attention to global women's rights and empowerment is often presented as a new phenomenon, Karen Garner argues that nearly two decades ago the Clinton administration broke barriers to challenge women's unequal status vis-à-vis men around the world and to incorporate their needs into US foreign policy and aid programs.

Garner draws on a wide range of primary sources, including interviews with government officials and feminist activists who worked with the administration, to present a persuasive account of the emergence, evolution, and legacy of US global gender policy in the 1990s.


Karen Garner is associate professor of history and women's studies at SUNY Empire State College. She is the author of Shaping a Global Women’s Agenda: Women's NGOs and Global Governance, 1925–85 and Precious Fire: Maud Russell and the Chinese Revolution.


  • Feminist Foreign Policy in the Clinton Administration.
  • A Brief History of Gender in US Foreign Policy.
  • Promoting Global Democracy and Women’s Political Power.
  • Recognizing Women's Rights.
  • US Commitments to Global Women.
  • The "Vital Voices" Initiative.
  • Women's Bodies as a Policy Issue.
  • The Legacy of Clinton's Global Gender Policies.