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Introduction — Challenging Patriarchal Violence

Many feminists and other peace advocates welcomed the emergence of the concept of human security as the idea that would instigate the long awaited and much needed scholarly and public discourse on alternative security systems. The notion of alternatives to the war system is one that has held the attention of a narrow sector of the international peace research community since its founding in the early 1960s. In the decades immediately following World War II several serious plans for legally constituted international institutions capable of preventing war, and ultimately abolishing it, were circulated among academics and other citizens in proposals for a stronger United Nations advanced by groups such as the World Federalists, a movement that followed in the tradition of western philosophy that had for several centuries explored the problematic of permanent peace. However, this same tradition of political thought also produced political realism and its assertion of the need for force to maintain order and resolve confl icts.