My research adopts an interdisciplinary approach to studying how gender relations shape the everyday of international politics. I examine how gender is enmeshed in fundamental international practices like diplomacy and mediation, and how international institutions have responded to gender equality reforms.
The Women, Peace and Security Agenda in United Nations Mediation
My book project examines the United Nations’ struggles to implement gender equality reforms in its conflict mediation work. I use interpretive methods to analyse evidence drawn from thirty-seven interviews with UN mediation practitioners in New York and Nairobi, UN guidance documentation and grey literature, and participant observation of internal UN trainings on gender and mediation. I find that contestation over UN mediation – whether it is a diplomatic art of managing relationships or a technical science of conflict management – affects the implementation of gender reforms in different ways. Narratives and practices associated with the view of mediation as an art exclude women by creating informal, male-only spaces. Meanwhile, technical approaches to mediation depoliticise the role of gender relations in conflict, reducing the perceived importance of including gender issues in negotiations.
Gendering the Practice Turn in Diplomacy
My second project, Gendering the Practice Turn in Diplomacy, examines gender in diplomatic practices. Diplomatic studies has recently turned toward examining the everyday practice of diplomacy. At the same time, research on gender and diplomacy has emerged, illustrating how diplomacy often marginalises women. However, these areas of research remain largely distinct. This project brings them together and proposes an integrated research agenda on gender and diplomatic practices. Such an agenda can help us understand the persistence of male overrepresentation in diplomacy, or the role the private sphere plays in mediating interstate relations.
Other Working Papers
- ‘Mediators, Mandates, and the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda’ (with Laurie Nathan)