Feminist methodology between theory and praxis

Elisabeth PRüGL

The article revisits the problematic relationship between feminist theory and praxis through the writings of Marysia Zalewski, one of the foremost feminist theorists of IR. Zalewski has dealt with this relationship through her work on methodology. In three sections, the article explores: (a) her engagement with standpoint theory through her interventions in feminist IR debates with 'the mainstream'; (b) her adoption of feminist postmodernism, embracing a deconstructive posture and in particular the notion of 'hauntings' as a methodological device; and (c) the development of a distinctive methodological attitude that seeks to involve, rather than explain or instruct. Crucially, for Zalewski, theory and praxis/politics cannot be separated methodologically: languages of mastery and an attitude of 'doing something' are of one cloth. The paper ends with a reflection about how L. H. M. Ling's method of 'chatting' could be enacted in engagements that cross the social fields of academia and policy. Keywords: