J. Ann Tickner is a feministinternational relations (IR) theorist. She is a distinguished scholar in residence at the School of International Services, American University, Washington DC, which she recently joined after fifteen years as a Professor of International Relations at at the University of Southern California. Her books include Gendering World Politics: Issues and Approaches in the Post-Cold War Era (Columbia University Press, 2001), Gender in International Relations: Feminist Perspectives on Achieving International Security (Columbia University Press, 1992), and "Self-Reliance Versus Power Politics: American and Indian Experiences in Building Nation-States" (Columbia University Press, 1987). One of her most famous journal articles, was the piece "You Just Don't Understand" ("International Studies Quarterly" (1997) 41, 611-632) which critiqued mainstream international relations theorists for the omission of gender from their theory and practice. Whilst mainstream scholars argued that feminists should develop scientific, falsifiable theories, Tickner argued against this assertion, claiming that it misunderstood one of the premises of feminist IR. Most feminist IR theory takes a strongly deconstructivist approach to knowledge arguing that theories reflect the gendered social positioning of their authors - they therefore questioned positivist ('scientific') methods for obscuring the gendered politics of knowledge construction.Tickner favors a social, 'bottom-up' method of analyses that makes the role of women in IR visible, as opposed to the usual scientific methodologies that are 'top-down' and focus on traditionally masculinist subjects including men, money and war.
J Ann Tickner was president of the International Studies Association (ISA), serving from 2006-2007. Whilst she was not the first female president of the ISA, she was the first feminist IR theorist to head the ISA.