Gender, Peace and Security (2018/19)

Course Description: 

Despite decades of peace and security research, protracted conflicts remain a significant security issue in global politics. Feminist peace and security scholars have demonstrated the multiple and complex ways that gendered identities and norms are fundamental to the processes of war, militarism and peace. No aspect of conflict nor its resolution can be understood fully without the integration of gender as a category of analysis. This course explores contemporary debates on conflict and peace through the lens of critical feminist peace, security and IR literature. The unit begins by developing student understanding on feminist methodological and theoretical positions, which are then used to analyse debates and issues in the fields of peace and security. The course moves from war and militarism, through conflict dynamics, to peace processes, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and post-conflict transformation. Students also gain significant understanding on the mechanisms of global governance that inform the resolution of conflicts and in particular the key frameworks pertaining to gender, peace and security. 

Learning Outcomes: 

1. Understand and draw on feminist frameworks in security studies and IR.
2. Understand and apply feminist methodological and theoretical frameworks to the study and practice of conflict and its resolution.
3. Critically examine how gendered norms, identities and assumptions shape the process peace and security dynamics.
4. Ability to critically examine national and international policy in conflict management and security.


Participation & attendance = 20%
Research presentation = 30%
Research essay = 50%

Participation & attendance – 20%, ongoing
Active participation from all students is required. You are expected to attend every seminar and engage actively in the conversation, based on the weekly readings and your understanding/interpretation of them. Please come to each class prepared for informed discussion.

Research presentation – Week 11, 30%
Each student is required to present on the topic they will be pursuing for the final research essay. The presentation provides students the opportunity to clarify their thinking in relation to their research essay, and to receive feedback on approach/content from myself and their peers. Presentations are expected to be roughly 10 minutes in length, and 5 minutes will be allowed for questions and discussion after. You should: 1) provide a summary of your research question and any case study/ies; 2) outline your main contention and how you will make this case; 3) identify key sources and position your argument in relation to existing literature.

You are required to bring the title of your presentation/essay and a 100-200 word abstract, in hard copy, to the first seminar of week 9.

Research essay – April 6, 50%
Students are required to write a research essay on a topic of their choosing, related to course themes, not more than 4000 words (excluding reference and bibliography). The research essay is a chance for you to explore an issue important to you, drawing on the themes, concepts and theories covered in the course. You are required to develop the topic independently but of course you can discuss in consultation with me, and you will also have an opportunity to think through your topic in preparing your presentation (week 11), in the abstract you have developed prior (week 9), and a chance to discuss any final issues in the last seminar for the term (week 12). Your essay is expected to be fully researched and referenced and demonstration of significant independent research is required. Essays will be submitted on Moodle via Turnitin.