Kathy Gilsinan
Kathy Gilsinan
Kathy Gilsinan is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Global section. More +
  • Mohamed Abdullah / Reuters

    The Terrible Cost of Obama's Failure in Syria

    The atrocities keep coming.

  • Markus Schreiber / AP

    Theresa May Gives Putin a Deadline

    U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May used unusually strong terms to link Russia to the poisoning of a former spy on British soil, but left open the question of what happens next.

  • Asmaa Waguih / Reuters

    The Distinctive Cruelty of Killing Worshipers

    A mosque attack that killed more than 300 people in Egypt stands out for its ruthlessness, but not for the sinister targeting of the faithful.

  • Issei Kato / Reuters

    What Does It Mean for North Korea to Fly a Missile Over Japan?

    This latest strike may be Pyongyang’s most provocative test this year.

  • Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

    Emirati Ambassador: Qatar Is a Destructive Force in the Region

    Yousef al-Otaiba on the Gulf crisis and the future of the Middle East

  • Reuters via KCNA

    What Happens When No One Believes American Threats?

    The United States can avoid war with North Korea, but the “fire and fury” episode will still do long-term damage.

  • KCNA / Reuters

    North Korea Answers Trump's Vague Threats With Specific Ones

    The unusual detail of the Kim regime’s latest statement on Guam

  • Damir Sagolj / Reuters

    North Korea and the Risks of Miscalculation

    As tensions rise in East Asia, they highlight the dangers of Trump’s unpredictability.

  • Lee Jin-man / Reuters

    North Korean Nukes and the Grand International-Relations Experiment in Asia

    The scholar Robert Jervis discusses his theory of the security dilemma, and how Trump is testing it.

  • Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

    What Does It Mean to Have 'Repeated Contacts' With Russian Intelligence?

    A Russian investigative journalist parses a murky concept.

  • Andrew Harnik / AP

    Former Intel Chief: Community Caught Between 'Scylla and Charybdis' on Trump Dossier

    A conversation on intelligence and well-meant incompetence

  • Gary Cameron / Reuters

    Did Putin Direct Russian Hacking? And Other Big Questions

    Did Moscow influence the U.S. election? Who else has been hacked? Could the CIA be wrong?

  • Andrew Harnik / AP

    Donald Trump’s Asymmetric War on the Establishment

    The logic of policy by tweet

  • Michael Sohn / AP

    Making Sense of ISIS's Berlin Claim

    In the absence of other evidence, a social-media post could mean any number of things.

  • Umit Bektas / Reuters

    What Are Turkey and Russia Doing in Syria?

    Some background on the assassination of the Russian ambassador in Ankara

  • Abdalrhman Ismail / Reuters

    Aleppo Is Falling

    How Assad and Russia achieved a major victory at a devastating cost

  • Darren Ornitz / Reuters

    Is It Too Late to Save the Two-State Solution?

    Secretary of State John Kerry thinks there’s still time—but the process is moving in the wrong direction.

  • Lawrence Jackson / White House / Handout via ...

    Five Years in a Cuban Prison

    Alan Gross reflects on Fidel Castro’s legacy.

  • Reuters

    How Did Fidel Castro Hold On to Cuba for So Long?

    The combination of geography, charisma, and authoritarianism that helped the revolutionary outlast 10 American presidents

  • The Myth of the 'Female' Foreign Policy, Cont'd

    Sweden's foreign minister, Margot Wallstrom Claudio Bresciani / Reuters

    The Atlantic recently did a special project on women in leadership, for which I contributed a modest reflection on women in foreign policy. There aren’t a lot of female leaders on the global stage, but they’re increasing in number, and I wanted to know how, or whether, they do things differently than the men we’re used to having run things. In researching this question, I was struck especially by the approach of Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, who on taking office two years ago articulated a “feminist foreign policy.” (Note that this is not exactly the same as a “woman’s foreign policy”—a man could very well have a feminist foreign policy, and a woman could very well not.) I wrote that beyond promoting gender equality, the implications of such an approach are “not entirely clear.” But the Swedish Foreign Ministry disagrees; here’s a response from Wallstrom:

    Sweden’s feminist foreign policy has gained significant international attention, most recently in the renowned publication The Atlantic. For us this proves that Sweden contributes to shaping world politics with smart power and diplomacy. Sadly, it also proves that the simple statement that women’s rights are human rights remains controversial.

    Kathy Gilsinan writes that a feminist foreign policy raises questions about female leadership and whether female leaders behave differently. Gilsinan’s framing is problematic, since it suggests leaders should be chosen based on suitability by gendered characteristics assumed to be held by all members of the same sex, not on voter preferences. Men have been in charge of politics for hundreds of years. There have been good leaders and bad leaders. Yet, when women are demanding power, their instrumental value as agents of peace or prosperity, rather than their rights to representation, is put in focus. At a time in history when women are gaining political power, such a discourse is troubling. Political representation is about rights. Not about gendered characteristics or suitability, but about exercising your democratic right to participate in decision-making that affects you and your society. Democracy cannot truly deliver for all of its citizens if half of the population remains underrepresented in the political arena and society denies the full enjoyment of their human rights.