The Politics of Absent Men or Political Masculinities Without the Polis

  • Jeff HearnEmail author


This chapter interrogates political masculinities as agents for change through the prism of absence, without the polis. Following an initial discussion of political masculinities in relation to, first, mainstream politics, and, then, feminism, possible changes in political masculinities formed through absence, and their implications for profeminist men’s politics, are interrogated. Three main forms of absence are examined: absences by transnational/global processes, beyond the nation; technological absences, of virtuality and disembodiment in cyberspace; and bodily absences, as, for example, with ageing. These changes, and moreover their interconnections, are seen as creating new gender power structures, but also offering some signs of hope, with greater transnational connections, collaborations and indeed new subversive political masculinities.


Absence Age Bodies Feminism Globalization Masculinities Men Polis Political Transnational Virtualization 



This chapter is a development of the keynote at the Political Masculinities as Agents of Change Conference, Anglia Polytechnic University, Cambridge, UK, December 2016. I am grateful to Russell Luyt and Kathleen Starck, as conference organizers, Stephen Burrell and Maria Sagmeister (2017) for providing generous commentaries on my presentation, and the editors and anonymous reviewers for multiple helpful comments on earlier drafts.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gender StudiesÖrebro UniversityÖrebroSweden
  2. 2.Hanken School of EconomicsHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.University of HuddersfieldHuddersfieldUK

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