Article

A Country of their Own: Women and Peacebuilding

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Abstract

Research on women and post-conflict reconstruction tends to focus primarily on women as victims and passive targets for aid rather than conceptualizing peacebuilding as a process where greater participation by women may help increase the prospects for success. Here, I argue that women's social status is a dimension of social capital that is largely independent of general economic development. Societies and communities where women enjoy a relatively higher status have greater prospects for successful peacebuilding, as cooperation by the local population with peacebuilding policies and activities increases. Thus, in the presence of a UN-led peacebuilding operation, women's status has a direct and independent impact on post-conflict reconstruction. The theoretical claims are empirically assessed by looking at variation in levels of cooperation and conflict during the UN peacebuilding missions within the countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia.

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... In peacebuilding, women are often considered victims and passive targets for aid, rather than contributors to the process. Peacebuilding efforts often emanate from a centralised authority, and aim to ensure that efforts at peacebuilding are made to take care of governance at the grassroots level in such a manner that central authority is not negatively affected (Gizelis 2011;Dorussen and Gizelis 2010). Awinador-Kanyirige (2014) argues that institutionalising women's role in peacebuilding involves minding the gaps in peacebuilding efforts. ...
... Women and children are usually not among those who take up arms to fight, yet they suffer more than men from the consequences of violent conflicts (Carlman, Strand, and Zillén 2012). Gizelis (2011) identifies two main roles that womenfolk play in conflict and peacebuilding. First, Gizelis argues that the societal or socio-political positions of women may be related to the non-existence of violence within a state or between states. ...
... Reflecting on this observation helps us conceptualise social capital into bridging and bonding social capital (see Brabant 2010;Gizelis 2011;Kilroy and Basini 2018). The terms bonding and bridging were introduced by Gittell and Vidal (1998). ...
Article
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This study examines market women’s participation in peacebuilding in the Ekumfi-Narkwa community in the Central Region of Ghana. In peacebuilding, women are often considered victims and passive targets for aid, rather than contributors to the process. Many studies and peacebuilders have neglected the critical role played by women in the informal sector in peacebuilding, especially at the local level. This study examines how local women help build everyday peace in their community through informal means. Twenty women and four men were purposively selected and interviewed. The results show that women in the informal sector draw on bonding and bridging social capital to improve peacebuilding processes in their community. Although the women studied were not well organised and did not have much formal education, they were able to contribute to peace in their community by creating and using informal social networks/bonds. We argue that women’s societal positions are aspects of social capital that make women agents of “everyday peace” who mobilise to aid informal peacebuilding efforts in the community. However, their efforts are not being recognised and supported in organising peacebuilding activities, especially during conflict.
... While originating as a rights issue, the question of participation has thereafter meandered more strongly into an argument of an increased participation of women that might contribute to the sustainability of a peace process. This argument related to the "effectiveness," i.e., the functional argument, of women's participation in peacemaking also speaks to the empirical finding that inequality is related to risks of armed conflict (Caprioli 2000 and is related to the results of peacebuilding (Gizelis , 2011. ...
... The policy implication is that by allowing women the opportunities to express a voice in the peacemaking process and eliciting broader domestic participation, UN-led operations can draw on additional forms of Introduction to Resolution 1325 11 social networks that often are quite distinct from social and political elites. In this sense, policies that address the concerns and needs of women can provide a good foundation for successful peacekeeping (Gizelis 2011). Women's social status and capacity to organize reflects the existence of multiple horizontal social networks and clubs. ...
... In societies where women have relatively higher status, women have more opportunities to express a voice in peacemaking and elicit broader domestic participation in externally led peacekeeping operations. This higher level of participation in turn implies that UN peacekeeping operations can reach broader segments of the population and have better prospects for success (Gizelis 2011). Gizelis and Pierre (2013) highlight the need for further research on the underlying structural conditions that develop during the postconflict reconstruction process and how these conditions affect gender mainstreaming and gender equality policies. ...
Book
This volume explores the implementation of key gender policies in international peace and security, following the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 1325 in October 2000, the first thematic resolution on Women, Peace and Security. How should we understand women's participation in peace processes and in peace operations? And what forms of gendered security dynamics are present in armed conflict and international interventions? These questions represent central themes of protection and participation that the international community has to address in order to implement UNSCR 1325. Thus far, the implementation has often employed varying approaches related to gender mainstreaming, a third theme of the resolution. Yet, there is a dearth of systematic data which until recently has restricted the ability of researchers to evaluate the progress in implementation and impact of UNSCR 1325. By engaging with both empirics and critical theory, the authors of this edited volume make important contributions to the gender, peace and security agenda. They identify some of the problems of implementing UNSC 1325 and offer a sobering assessment of progress of implementation and insights into how to advance our understanding through systematic research. Many of the chapters are focused on operational aspects of UNSCR 1325, but all also engage with the theoretical underpinnings of UNSCR 1325 to bring forth central debates on more fundamental challenges to the development of knowledge in the fields of gender, peace and security. This book will be of much interest to students of gender studies, peace and conflict studies, security studies and IR in general. © 2015 selection and editorial matter, Theodora-Ismene Gizelis and Louise Olsson. All rights reserved.
... The relative absence of research on the impact of gender on foreign aid allocation is noteworthy, given recent calls for "gendering" foreign policy analysis (Aggestam and True 2020;Smith 2020). Of course, such work will need to build on the extensive literature that describes the benefits of women's participation in political decision making (Adler 1996;Bush 2011;Gizelis 2011;Hunt 2007;Jalalzai 2004;Jalalzai and Krook 2010;Jensen 2008;Patnaik 2014;Pearson d'Estree and Babbitt 1998;Rehn and Sirleaf 2002;Swiss, Fallon, and Burgos 2012;Tobach 2008;Weikart et al. 2006). Especially relevant to the study of foreign aid is scholarship that has demonstrated a link between women's presence in public life and durable peace, reduced corruption, and improved governance in the societies they lead (Barnes and Beaulieu 2019;Demeritt, Nichols, and Kelly 2014;Dollar, Fisman, and Gatti 2001;Esarey and Chirillo 2013;Regan and Paskeviciute 2003;Shair-Rosenfield and Wood 2017;Stockemer 2011;Stockemer and Byrne 2011;Sung 2003;Tripp 2015). ...
... Some scholars argue that women bring innately different qualities to their performance as political leaders, whereas others attribute gender differences to social and cultural influences. The first group, frequently characterized as holding a gender essentialist view, tends to view women's leadership as more pacific and conciliatory, less corrupt, and more inclined to support policies that reduce economic inequality and provide greater access to schooling and health care (Gizelis 2011;Hamilton 2000;Helms 2003;Hunt and Cristina Posa 2001;Patnaik 2014;Powley 2005;Rehn and Sirleaf 2002). ...
Article
Do donor states reward recipient states for signaling a commitment to expanding the role of women in political decision making? Previous studies show that women are associated with positive outcomes for peace duration and governance. We theorize that donor states reward recipient states that make a commitment to women’s empowerment in political decision making and test our hypotheses using data on the distribution of US foreign aid to recipient states. We find that recipient states that adopt legislative quotas and include more women in their parliaments receive more aid, although a female head of government is not associated with more aid.
... We address this gap by analysing peacebuilding as a process of social transformation (Lederach 1997; Mac Ginty 2014) that can be observed both before and beyond official peace processes or conventional peacebuilding measures. In this process of social transformation, women play a significant, but often unrecognized, role through grassroots initiatives seeking to facilitate dialogue and transform conflict narratives (Banerjee 2008;Gizelis 2011;Donahoe 2017). We contribute to advancing literature on women and peacebuilding by introducing the concept women-to-women diplomacy to identify and analyse women's peacebuilding practices built on shared experiences, the promotion of women's agency, and a commitment to gender equality as a key aspect of peace (Cárdenas 2019a). ...
... The seminal work of Cynthia Cockburn (2007Cockburn ( , 2014 analyses the experience of women's organizations and networks in a range of contexts, for example, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Israel-Palestine, and demonstrates how women's peace activism create spaces for peaceful transformation of relationships and conflict narratives. Numerous studies of women's peacebuilding practices in cases such as Rwanda, Turkey, and Northern Ireland point to similar dynamics (Gizelis 2011;Donahoe 2017;Berry 2018, Kamenou 2020Dinçer 2020). Notably, this literature shows that women's bottom-up peacebuilding is practiced not only in the aftermath of war, but also in the midst of it, as well as in contexts of frozen conflict (Cárdenas 2019a). ...
Article
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Conventional assumptions locating peacebuilding temporally after violence have largely prevented exploration of how peacebuilding is practiced amidst conditions of ongoing violence. This article addresses this gap by analysing how Myanmar women’s activists have devised strategies in pursuit of peace, amidst ongoing armed conflict, from the 1990s and onwards. The findings demonstrate that women’s inter-ethnic cooperation contributed to transform conflict divides long before the initiation of formal national peace negotiations in 2011. Further, theorizing these peacebuilding practices, the article provides new insights into the dynamics of women’s peace activism of relevance beyond the case of Myanmar.
... Women's empowerment also plays a role contributing to stability within conflict-affected states. Research has found that the status of women in society can be an important determinant of successful international efforts to build peace within conflict-affected societies [82,83]. ...
... While more research is needed into how gender roles contribute to peacebuilding, researchers hypothesize that societies with a higher status for women are characterized by greater social capacity and a larger network of informal institutions. Women's networks can bridge or transcend ethnic and clan divisions, which helps contribute to greater social resilience against conflict [82,83]. Notably, initiatives by women to address health and social concerns in communities can be instrumental to bridge divisions, and build local communities' support for peacebuilding process. ...
Article
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The post-conflict or post-crisis period provides the opportunity for wide-ranging public sector reforms: donors fund rebuilding and reform efforts, social norms are in a state of flux, and the political climate may be conducive to change. This reform period presents favourable circumstances for the promotion of gender equity in multiple social arenas, including the health system. As part of a larger research project that explores whether and how gender equity considerations are taken into account in the reconstruction and reform of health systems in conflict-affected and post conflict countries, we undertook a narrative literature review based on the questions “How gender sensitive is the reconstruction and reform of health systems in post conflict countries, and what factors need to be taken into consideration to build a gender equitable health system?” We used the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) six building blocks as a framework for our analysis; these six building blocks are: 1) health service delivery/provision, 2) human resources, 3) health information systems, 4) health system financing, 5) medical products and technologies, and 6) leadership and governance.
... While originating as a rights issue, the question of participation has thereafter meandered more strongly into an argument of an increased participation of women that might contribute to the sustainability of a peace process. This argument related to the "effectiveness," that is, a functional argument, of women's participation in peacemaking also speaks to the empirical finding that inequality is related to risks of armed conflict (Caprioli 2000(Caprioli , 2005Melander 2005aMelander , 2005b and is related to the results of peacebuilding (Gizelis 2009(Gizelis , 2011. ...
... The issue of changing power dynamics and increasing women's meaningful access to decision making and leadership has been comparatively side-lined. Within peacebuilding and gender, issues of SGBV, security, justice, political participation, development, economic growth, health and education have been addressed (see for example Jennings 2014;Fawole 2008;Dolgopol 2006;Ellerby 2013;Gizelis 2011;Bastick and Valasek 2008). However, less attention has been paid to the gender dimensions of peacebuilding related to natural resource management including land and water. ...
Chapter
Gender is a topic that every large development and peacebuilding organisation mainstreams in its programming. However, often “gender” implies a focus on women. We argue that this is not enough to utilise the full potential of a meaningful and effective integration of gender in specific projects, particularly in the peacebuilding and the water sector. The aim of this chapter is therefore to develop a first gender-relational approach to water and peacebuilding that will help researchers, practitioners and policy makers to better understand and integrate the multiple dimensions of gender. To achieve this aim, we first explore the main trends in and connections between gender on the one side and peacebuilding and the water sector on the other side, before we identify key gaps and crosscutting themes. Against this background, we develop a gender-relational approach based on questions to guide the integration of gender into water and peacebuilding. Our main method is a comprehensive review of the relevant academic literature and reports by key donors, and international development and peacebuilding organisations. Further, we draw on examples from Kenya and Nepal to conclude that a gender-relational approach to water and peacebuilding needs to go beyond a focus on “just women”. There is a need to incorporate heterosexual women and men, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons (LGBTI), explore the relations within and between these groups and include other identity markers in the analysis in order to generate a nuanced understanding of complex situations, and to develop effective programming in peacebuilding and the water sector.
... Women's confidence in participating in peace-building activities may also be affected by how their roles are acknowledged by others, including their families and other community members (Gizelis, 2011). While several women undertook peace-building activities at some level in all case-study communities, there was substantial variation in how women and men accounted for the importance and impact of these activities. ...
Article
The UN Security Council Resolution 1325 has made strong provisions to include women in peace-building interventions and actions. This is, however, rarely observed in practice beyond local-level activities. This article discusses new qualitative evidence on the opportunities and barriers to women's participation in peace-building processes, based on a comparative analysis of case studies conducted in Afghanistan, Liberia, Nepal and Sierra Leone. The findings show that women's engagement in peace-building activities, beyond their immediate social relations, is restricted by institutional, economic, cultural and social obstacles. These barriers prevent the realization of gender equality objectives in peace-building initiatives. Moreover, local understandings of peace typically place family relations at the centre of how women engage with peace-building processes, and how other community members perceive women's roles in peace building.
... For this reason, scholars have gone to great lengths to prove the proactive role that women can play in peace building (Anderlini 2007;Buvinic et al. 2013;Gizelis and Pierre 2013;McKay 1998;O'Reilly 2015;Pankhurst 2012). For example, Gizelis looked at the response to peace-building efforts and women's educational attainment ratio, finding that in states where women enjoy a higher social status pre-conflict, the probability of cooperation in post-conflict peace-building missions increases (Gizelis 2009(Gizelis , 2011. She concludes that "women's status can be important in increasing the local population's cooperation . . . in peacebuilding missions" (Gizelis 2011, 537). ...
Article
In her various roles as First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State, and Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton has long maintained that the subjugation of women poses a national security threat to the United States. Clinton’s proposition has come to be termed the “Hillary Doctrine.” Yet does this principle receive support from the empirical record? In this paper, we offer a test of the Hillary Doctrine by analyzing if more anti-American terrorism emanates from countries that restrict women’s rights than from countries that are not gender restrictive. Using a time series, cross-national analysis of 156 countries from the period 1981 to 2005, our negative binomial models offer strong support for the Hillary Doctrine and suggest that the promotion of women’s rights may well enhance the national security of the United States with respect to terrorism. These results are robust to a wide range of changes to the empirical research design.
... International engagement in post-conflict SSR studies often focus on the United Nations, World Bank, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and individual donors (see, for example, Ball 2006; MacGinty and Richmond 2013; Paris and Sisk 2009). Scholarship on gender and peacebuilding tends to focus on women's empowerment in the SSR process or the diffusion of global gender equality norms to regions (Charlesworth 2008;Gizelis 2011;Krook and True, 2012), without explicitly taking into account EU missions, and gender inclusivity within the institutional practices of the EU. ...
Article
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How does the European Union (EU) include ‘gender’ within its support to security sector reform (SSR) programmes? The EU has committed to include gender perspectives by implementing the Women, Peace and Security agenda (WPS) within its foreign security practices. While researchers and practitioners recognise the importance of integrating gender issues into SSR operational effectiveness, there is limited knowledge about how this functions within the EU's security architecture. This article uses Feminist Institutionalism (FI) to understand the process of gender mainstreaming within the EU's support to SSR programmes. It does this by using two crucial theory‐testing cases of SSR programmes – Ukraine and Afghanistan. It finds that the EU's ability to promote gender inclusive approaches to SSR is limited by the structure of the EU's own assumptions and capabilities, and institutional constraints in third countries. At the same time, the cases underscore the importance of individuals as agents of change.
... Outside Monrovia, Nimba county is the most populated county, with a strong UN and international NGO presence. Women have a relatively high education ratio compared to men and a culture of traditional social organization (Gizelis, 2011). River Cess is the polar opposite, a very isolated area with a dispersed population and low capacity to organize. ...
Article
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Civil society organizations and grassroots groups are often unable to play an active role in post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding. A possible explanation for the observed challenges in peacebuilding is the gap or decoupling between international expectations and norms from practical action, local norms and capacities. External actors are often overly instrumental and operate according to a general template that fails to start from what the local capacities might actually be. This often leads to the decoupling of general values from practical action, which helps account for the observed barriers of engaging local civil and community organizations in reconstruction. We examine the different types of decoupling and the challenges these present. We evaluate our general theoretical argument using evidence based on the experiences of Liberian women’s civil society organizations. Given the compliance of the Liberian government with international norms, we should expect external actors to have an easier task in incorporating civil society and women’s organizations in the post-conflict reconstruction process; yet, the record appears to be the opposite. While we present the ‘tragic’ aspect of this relationship between international norms and local practice, we also suggest opportunities for ‘hybrid’ alternatives.
... For instance, recent studies suggest that improvements in societal gender equality or "women's rights" reduces the level of violence employed during interstate conflicts (Caprioli 2000;Mlambo-Ngcuka 2018), decreases the likelihood that a state experiences a violent internal conflict (Caprioli 2005;Melander 2005a), reduces the likelihood that a state experiences terrorism (Harris and Milton 2016), and reduces the severity and frequency of physical integrity violations perpetrated by the state (Melander 2005b). Greater respect for women's rights has also been linked to an increase in the likelihood that peacekeeping operations are more successful at ensuring long-term stability (Gizelis 2009(Gizelis , 2011. ...
Article
Full-text available
This research project uses econometric methods and comparative, cross-national data to see whether violations of human rights increase the likelihood of the onset or escalation of violent protest, terrorism and/or civil war. The findings show that these types of violent internal conflict will occur and escalate if governments: (1) torture, politically imprison, kill, or “disappear” people, (2) do not allow women to participate fully in the political system, including allowing them to hold high level national political office, and (3) do not allow women to participate fully in the economic life of the nation by ensuring equal pay for equal work, by encouraging their entry to the highest paid occupations, and by protecting them from sexual harassment at their workplaces. These types of violations of human rights and the existence of large horizontal inequalities in societies independently produce an increased risk of the onset and escalation of many forms of violent internal conflict. The results also provide some evidence for the argument that there is a trade-off between liberty and security.
... The issue of changing power dynamics and increasing women's meaningful access to decision making and leadership has been comparatively side-lined. Within peacebuilding and gender, issues of SGBV, security, justice, political participation, development, economic growth, health and education have been addressed (see for example Jennings 2014;Fawole 2008;Dolgopol 2006;Ellerby 2013;Gizelis 2011;Bastick and Valasek 2008). However, less attention has been paid to the gender dimensions of peacebuilding related to natural resource management including land and water. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
The delivery of basic services such as water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) remains a challenge in contexts affected by protracted conflicts. Access to these services is mediated by the identities of providers and beneficiaries, as well as their perspectives of what are the most pressing needs. As such, they are entangled in complex formal and informal rules and power relations from the household all the way to the national level. In recognition of such complexities, the humanitarian sector has increasingly integrated a gender lens to its work. Numerous studies have highlighted the ways, advantages, and difficulties linked to mainstreaming gender in humanitarian programming. What has been less investigated, however, is how gender sensitive programming relates to the core principles of impartiality and ‘do no harm’ in humanitarian action. Through a case study of WASH programming in the Central African Republic, this chapter aims to better understand how to reconcile people’s equal access and control of water and sanitation in conflict or post-conflict contexts. We argue that gender sensitive programming cannot be a secondary thought but must be a critical element of an effective and impartial humanitarian intervention. The case study also contributes to the existing literature by focusing on the WASH sector, while most discussions on gender mainstreaming in humanitarian interventions have been confined to protection, thus missing important dimensions of empowerment at societal level through the provision of basic services such as water and sanitation.
... The essays in Donna Pankhurst's edited volume (2008; see also Tajali 2013) stressed the gendered elements of postconflict reconstruction, reconciliation, and democratization. Theodora-Ismene Gizelis (2009Gizelis ( , 2011) made a similar point using more systematic analyses, finding that societies with higher levels of gender empowerment enjoy greater postconflict peace-building success. Miriam Anderson and Liam Swiss (2014) found that societies adopt legislative gender quotas faster after civil wars ending with peace accords than after civil wars ending without peace accords and that they do so especially quickly if the peace accords include specific women's rights provisions. ...
Article
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Up until about 2000, most of the work on gender and international relations (IR) was nonpositivist in nature. Since 2000, there has been a burst of positivist gender/IR scholarship, much of it quantitative. This work has addressed several important areas in IR, including terrorism, interstate war, human rights, civil war, violence against civilians, public opinion, international norms, globalization, and others. Much of this work has developed new data, advanced theory, and employed rigorous empirical methods. This article surveys this positivist scholarship. It discusses how positivist and nonpositivist gender/IR work complement each other. This article makes recommendations about directions for future scholarship on gender and IR.
... The role that civil society organizations can play in peacebuilding, especially in divided societies, is well documented, highlighting for instance the diversity of civil society contributions (van Tongeren, Brenk, Hellema, & Verhoeven, 2005), the interplay between national and local peacebuilding (Mitchell & Hancock, 2012), or the importance of local actors for fostering peacebuilding's legitimacy (Hancock & Mitchell, 2018). Similarly, the importance of peace initiatives led by women, and/or taking a gender perspective into account, has long been recognized too (see for instance Anderlini, 2007;Flaherty, Byrne, Tusi, & Matyók, 2015;Gizelis, 2011;Porter, 2007;Väyrynen, 2010). This literature has mostly focused on women's potential role during the transitional and postconflict phases, putting for instance the stress on their contribution to reconciliation processes. ...
Article
Based on interviews conducted in Burundi with representatives of women's groups, and in light of existing knowledge on conflict prevention and peacebuilding in divided societies, the article critically examines national and international efforts to prevent a re‐emergence of the conflict. It argues that conflict prevention initiatives led by women's groups, though often overlooked and sidelined, could provide important insights for improving operational conflict prevention models. Through their multilevel, low‐key, inclusive, and versatile activities, Burundian women's organizations challenge and complement conventional operational conflict prevention practices that are often ill‐suited to the needs of intrastate conflicts.
... Ever since Mary Caprioli's groundbreaking article tested key elements of feminist theory on gender and war, subsequent empirical research has found support for a relationship between gender inequality and an increased risk of armed conflict (Caprioli 2000(Caprioli , 2005Caprioli and Boyer 2001;Regan and Paskeviciute 2003;Melander 2005aMelander , 2005bBjarnegård and Melander 2011;Demeritt et al. 2014;Bjarnegård et al. 2017;Schafteenar 2017;Wood and Ramirez 2018;Dahlum and Wig 2020). Interestingly, research has additionally indicated that higher degrees of gender equality can potentially serve to improve a society's capacity to resist renewed violence (Gizelis 2009(Gizelis , 2011. Relatedly, other research suggests the importance of considering different forms of war termination and the legacies of war on broader post-war developments (Kang and Meernik 2005;Doyle and Sambanis 2006). ...
Article
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Does the manner in which a civil war is terminated affect women’s political rights developments? In this article, we develop an analytical framework showing how the context of war termination type affects both the opportunity and willingness of warring parties and their openness towards the influence of international actors, thereby affecting the possibility of translating social ruptures and pressure from women’s groups into post-war improvements in women’s political rights. Studying 205 civil war terminations in 69 countries since 1989, we find support for our claim that a conflict terminated through the negotiation and implementation of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement significantly improved women’s political rights in the post-war period when compared to other types of conflict termination. This finding holds after controlling for the women’s rights provisions negotiated in the agreement. Our results carry substantial policy relevance by underlining the significance of women’s inclusion in peace processes.
... While there is a plethora of research focusing on women in peace processes (Anderlini 2007;Goldstein 2001;Gizelis 2011;Hudson 2005;Meintjes, Pillay, and Turshen 2001;Olonisakin et al. 2011;Olsson andTryggestad 2001, Pankhurst 2008;Porter 2007;Snyder and Stobbe 2011;Whitworth 2004), these studies do not centrally focus on actual agreements and their construction. There is a wealth of research on the importance of including women in peace processes (Hudson 2009;Hunt 2002; Ni Aolain, Haynes, and Cahn 2011) and a new "Peacewomen" portal in which to share information and analysis of these issues. ...
Article
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As peacebuilding discourses increasingly stress the importance of including women, to what degree have security-related practices taken heed? It has been over 10 years since the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security, yet it remains a “confused and confusing” tool for scholars and practitioners in assessing women's inclusion in peacebuilding. This article adds to our understanding on women and peacebuilding by engaging 1325 as an operationalizable concept and then applying it to peace agreements to understand how women's security is addressed as part of formal peace processes. Given previous difficulties in operationalizing 1325’s mandate, this article engages it as a three-level concept useful for studying the ways in which women are “brought into” security, called (en)gendered security. Using this concept of (en)gendered security, I assess intrastate peace agreements between 1991 and 2010 to elucidate where and how women are included in peace processes. This article illustrates the potential of a systematized and practical approach to security embodied in 1325 and a preliminary discussion of what accounts for better approaches to (en)gendered security during peacebuilding.
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Beginning with the odd finding that “peace research is just the study of war,” this article explores “positive peace” as an important yet neglected notion in public administration. It does this by examining the ideas of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Jane Addams, a pioneer in public administration and peace theory. More than 100 years ago, Addams refined an expansive notion of peace that incorporated social justice and social equity. Addams’s feminist, pragmatist ideas of peace, which we call peaceweaving, emerged from her critique of municipal government and her experience as a settlement worker in Chicago. Her ideas are placed in historical context, and applied to an essential problem facing contemporary peace operations, which is how to prepare troops and other state agents for the seemingly contradictory demands that come along with today’s security problems, both intra- and internationally.
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ABSTRACT In the current high-profile conflict within Colombia, women account for the majority of civilian victims. It has been argued that the inclusion of women in peace-building processes may help increase the scope and sustainability of the subsequently achieved peace. However, most women victims of conflict (WVCs) achieve public visibility simply because of their suffering, not because of their potential as sources, initiators and agents of peace. In contrast, this article argues that WVCs represent a hitherto uncharted piece of the peace-building puzzle. In particular, this study explores the ways in which some WVCs are overcoming their own victimhood and emerging as leaders in peace-building, despite the significant personal risks associated with the on-going violence: who better to help heal and empower victims and reconcile society than those who have suffered trauma themselves— and risen above it? The article draws its primary evidence from extensive personal interviews, ethnographic work and data on women victims in Colombia. Against all odds, these unsung WVC leaders have proven to be powerful agents of change: capable of healing, empowering and even reconciling broader society. This article is published as part of a thematic collection on multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives on gender studies.
Article
Research on gender and peacekeeping has been revolving around two strands of questions. First, what form of peace does peacekeeping contribute to establishing? And second what are the gender dimensions of how peacekeeping is implemented? Subthemes underlying these questions are concerned with whether women's participation and gender aspects of security should be integral parts of the post-war society and the effectiveness of current gender mainstreaming and balancing policies. In this commentary we argue that there has been considerable progress in the field of gender and peacekeeping. Feminist research has raised questions about the understanding and conceptualisation of peace and security, while empirical research systematically explores the gender dimensions of peacekeeping. Yet, in order for research on gender and peacekeeping to progress, it needs to address issues such as theory underdevelopment, lack of data and continued exclusion from mainstream research. The commentary highlights as an area of particular concern the failure of existing research to find common ground and outlines opportunities of building bridges between empirical and feminist researchers.
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In March 1957, Ghana became the first Black African country to gain its independence from a colonial power. To commemorate this momentous event, Life magazine featured a picture of Ghanaian judges grandly attired in powdered wigs and black robes on its cover. Democracy in Africa, in those days, seemed to be simply a matter of the new nations adopting Western models and forms of democracy.
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Public health emergencies like major epidemics in countries with already poor health infrastructure have the potential to set back efforts to reduce maternal deaths globally. The 2014 Ebola crisis in Liberia is claimed to have caused major disruptions to a health system not fully recovered after the country’s civil war, and is an important and relevant case for studying the resilience of health systems during crises. We use data on the utilization of maternal health care services from two representative surveys, one conducted before the outbreak of Ebola, the 2013 Liberian DHS, and another, smaller survey conducted in Monrovia in December 2014, during the height of the epidemic. We focus exclusively on data for women aged 18–49 residing in urban Monrovia, restricting our samples to 1,073 and 763 respondents from the two surveys respectively. We employ a mixed methods approach, combining a multinomial logit model with in-depth semi-structured interviews. Our regression analyses indicate that deliveries in public facilities declined whereas they increased for private facilities. Furthermore, overall facility delivery rates remained stable through the Ebola epidemic: the proportion of home births did not increase. Drawing on insights from extensive qualitative interviews with medical personnel and focus groups with community members conducted in Monrovia in August–September 2015 we attribute these survey findings to a supply side “substitution effect” whereby private clinics provided an important cushion to the shock leading to lower supply of government services. Furthermore, our interviews suggest that government health care workers continued to work in private facilities in their local communities when public facilities were closed. Our findings indicate that resources to shore up healthcare institutions should be directed toward interventions that support private facilities and health personnel working privately in communities during times of crisis so that these facilities are safe alternatives for women during crisis.
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Civilian confidence in domestic institutions, particularly in the security sector, is important for stability and state consolidation in post-conflict countries, where third-party peacekeepers have helped maintain peace and security after a conflict. While other scholars have suggested that a strong security sector is necessary for mitigating the credible commitment problem, this article provides two alternative criteria for assessing security sector reforms’ effect on confidence in the security sector: restraint and inclusiveness. Female ratio balancing in the security sector meets these two criteria, suggesting that it has the potential to help enhance confidence in the security sector and thereby create the right conditions for the peacekeeping transition. The argument is tested using original surveys conducted in post-conflict, ex-combatant communities in Liberia. The expectations received empirical support. The findings indicate that restraining and inclusive reforms could improve trust in the state’s security sector. They also demonstrate the importance of considering gender in theories related to post-conflict peace building and international relations more broadly.
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This research explores strategies led by women´s grassroots organisations and discusses how they can offer opportunities for peacebuilding in frozen conflict settings such as Georgia and the breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. These conflicts are related to separatist aspirations which are based, on the surface, on ethnic differences. However, the precedent of inter-ethnic dialogue shows that there is not an inherent ‘us-against-them’ narrative separating Georgia from Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Therefore, it is possible to create alternative arenas for dialogue and mutual understanding among the parties. To this end, this study adopts a broad approach to peacebuilding as a process of social transformation of hostile attitudes and exclusive narratives. I argue that women-to-women diplomacy is a peacebuilding strategy with the potential to address the roots of polarisation by humanising the other and identifying common ground for cooperation and inter- ethnic dialogue. The empirical research based on the experiences of women’s organisations in Georgia illustrates the contribution of women-to-women diplomacy to peacebuilding as an alternative platform for coalition building based on the common goal of achieving equal rights.
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Fundamental rights have long been violated in Myanmar as the endurance of suffering, especially among ethnic minorities and rural women, has continued due to the lack of good governance and rule of law. Failures of enforcement in the security and judicial sectors have also contributed to the deprivation of women’s rights. Divisions in society widened, becoming more complex, while tensions among ethnic groups have increased as new opportunities and challenges emerged. Against this backdrop, a multitude of women who share the same pain, are standing in solidarity to protect their rights and build grassroots peace, irrespective of ethnic and religious differences. This chapter highlights the potential of women’s civil society organisations (WCSOs) in resolving these differences and creating grassroots peace in Myanmar. It discusses an alternative strategy to advocate for a gender perspective in the ongoing peace process and promote their rights by working together across ethnic and religious boundaries.
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The UN. has intensified efforts to recruit female peacekeepers for peacekeeping missions. From 2006 to 2014, the number of female military personnel in UN peacekeeping missions nearly tripled. The theory driving female recruitment is that female peacekeepers employ distinctive skills that make units more effective along a variety of dimensions. Yet skeptics argue that deeper studies are needed. This paper explores the theoretical mechanisms through which female military personnel are thought to increase the effectiveness of peacekeeping units. Using new data, we document variation in female participation across missions over time, and we explore the impact of female ratio balancing on various conflict outcomes, including the level of female representation in post-conflict political institutions, the prevalence of sexual violence in armed conflict, and the durability of peace. We find evidence that a greater proportion of female personnel is systematically associated with greater implementation of women’s rights provisions and a greater willingness to report rape, and we find no evidence of negative consequences for the risk of conflict recurrence. We conclude that the inclusion of more female peacekeepers in UN peacekeeping does not reduce the ability to realize mission goals.
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A growing body of quantitative research points to a robust relationship between gender inequality and armed conflict. In order to progress our understanding of this relationship, we make two contributions. First, we identify three potential explanations as to why gender inequality can be associated with conflict—gender inequality norms, societal capacity, and gendered socioeconomic development—and suggest an empirical strategy to gauge the explanatory leverage of each explanation. Second, we offer a more nuanced treatment of the dependent variable at the subnational level, moving beyond a dichotomized view of armed conflict to accounting for both its level and type. We test our hypotheses using district-level data on gender inequality and conflicts in India, covering the 1989–2014 period. Our findings show that the three explanations do not produce the same outcomes in the data. We argue that this speaks to the need to adjudicate between different forms of mechanisms that can connect gender inequality to conflict. Our results show support for women's status being important for understanding a society's capacity to handle conflict nonviolently. On the negative side, gendered socioeconomic developments resulting in a male surplus create conditions conducive for armed conflict, particularly in urban areas. A more surprising finding is that the gender inequality norm, in and of itself, does not appear to have a strong effect on the risk of armed conflict. This does not mean that we can disregard the explanation, but it underlines that there can be inherent problems with this commonly used argument.
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This chapter focuses on women in peace mediation. It explores empirically three set of questions: (1) Where are women mediating and in what type of conflict; (2) what are their organisational basis and rank as mediator; and (3) to what extent are the negotiations leading to agreements, which include gender provisions? The chapter presents a unique dataset, which identifies 36 women acting as mediators in the last two decades in 24 different conflicts around the world. The general trajectories show that women participate in very small numbers as mediators; yet their frequency has increased over time. Nordic, American and African mediators tend to be overrepresented in comparison to other regions. The chapter ends with a discussion on future avenues for research on gender and mediation.
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Human rights and conflict resolution have been traditionally perceived as two separate fields, with contradictory principles and conflicting approaches toward achieving peace. This essay aims to understand these two fields in a more integrative way, showing how a human rights perspective can enrich the theory and practice of conflict resolution. It clarifies the main characteristics of a human rights approach to conflict resolution and identifies a set of human rights standards guiding its implementation: a normative legal framework; structural conditions for peace; participation and inclusion; and accountability and redress. The essay also briefly applies a human rights approach to the Colombian peace process and to the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. The conclusion addresses one of the main criticisms of this approach and its principal challenges.
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This article examines Karen women’s political participation in the Karen National Union (KNU) and in KNU-controlled towns and villages during three phases of the protracted Karen conflict in Burma/Myanmar – the guerrilla activity phase, the civil war phase and the ceasefire phase. It argues that two interrelated institutions – a participatory governance system and a politically autonomous women’s group – affect Karen women’s levels of political participation in their communities. The logic is that as the Karen conflict de-escalated from the civil war phase to the guerrilla activity phase, the KNU’s leadership, in response to deteriorating security conditions and outside pressure, was forced to accept greater civilian participation in governance that opened up the political space for Karen women to become politically active. This de-escalation process also meant that the KNU had fewer resources and lacked the institutional capacity to control the activities of the KNU-affiliated women’s group – the Karen Women’s Organisation. When the conflict de-escalated again after the KNU signed a ceasefire accord with the Burmese government in 2012, the terms of the ceasefire agreement in combination with an influx of non-governmental organisations created new avenues in which Karen women could participate in politics.
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Extending the transition in interventions from “law and order” approaches to the health model, nonviolence is the logical continuation and perhaps the most effective principle yet. Far from being utopian, nonviolent methods are powerful and successful in ending violence, but one of the greatest barriers is that the prevailing paradigm of violence not only promotes violence but makes nonviolence difficult to “see.” History abounds with examples, tracing back to prehistory and humanity's first civilizations, with notable examples over the last century occurring in India, the US, and the former Soviet Union. However, nonviolence is not only more difficult to detect but also harder to cultivate. Drawing upon the various spiritual traditions, nonviolence may develop within the depths of the person but manifest in communal campaigns and in groups. Nonviolence, as the opposite of violence, increases when violence diminishes along with established beliefs. Unlike violence, which is rigid, characteristics of nonviolence include creativity, diversity, and flexibility in applications. Examples of nonviolence include noncooperation, nonviolent intervention, constructive programming, and voluntary association. Far from being passive or ineffective, nonviolence gives us the lesson that peace is possible, not just by stemming destructive forces, but through fostering constructive ones.
This article reviews the literature on gender, conflict, and peace. In traditional security studies there was not much room for gender or gender equality, while feminist theorists have claimed most of the research on war and peace. The empirical research on gender, conflict, and peace is a relatively new sub-field that brings together diverse traditions from sociology, feminist theory, international relations, and economic development. The common ground of all researchers included in this short review is the effort to systematically understand the role of gender in shaping outcomes of conflict and peace. Despite the increasing number of articles and new datasets, I identify four areas that scholars must address for the research agenda to further grow, deepen, and develop as part of the mainstream study of peace and conflict: women’s status and quality of peace, women’s participation, sexual violence, and gender mainstreaming to promote gender equality in development and peace.
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Policy makers and scholars have shown increased interest in gendered approaches to peacemaking, even as evidence of women’s impact on peace processes has remained unclear. In this paper, we explore the influence of gender diversity among decision-making elites on the outcome of ongoing civil conflicts. Specifically, we argue that increased female representation within the national legislature increases the likelihood that a conflict terminates in a negotiated settlement. However, the impact of legislative female representation on conflict termination is conditioned by the power of the legislature vis-à-vis the executive, suggesting that gender diversity exerts a greater impact in states with more authoritative legislatures. We evaluate our hypotheses using data on the manner of conflict termination and the proportion of women in national legislatures between 1945 and 2009. Our results show support for the central argument, suggesting that increasing female representation within legislative bodies increases the likelihood of war termination via negotiated settlement.
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Since the inception of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) in 2000, feminist academia has been closely interested in the developing women, peace, and security (WPS) agenda in international affairs. The majority of this work has emerged from within feminist international relations (Mcleod 2015; Shepherd 2008) and feminist legal studies. Less attention has been paid to the WPS agenda by feminist political science. As a result, less consideration has been given to political institutions within the WPS framework. This paper argues that the design and implementation of postconflict political institutions is an important component of the WPS agenda and one which deserves greater attention. It demonstrates that using certain tenets of feminist political science, and feminist institutionalism in particular, can offer key insights into greater understanding of the importance of political institutions within postconflict societies. The article illustrates how political institutions have been underconsidered within academic work on the WPS agenda. It then argues that political institutions are an important part of the puzzle when it comes to implementing the WPS agenda. It shows how feminist institutional theory can help to provide key insights into the nature of postconflict institutions.
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This study analyzes how Kurdish women experience the violence and other consequences of the armed conflict raging between the PKK and the Turkish state. Interviews conducted in Istanbul, Ankara, and Diyarbakir suggest that Kurdish women experience the conflict both as members of an oppressed minority and as women. The study first focuses on identifying sources of conflict related stress that are specific to women, such as the need to be silent to protect their families, and then analyzes the strategies that Kurdish women use to deal with this stress as women, including networking and education.
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The United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) in Namibia was successful both in terms of implementing its mandate as set forth in Security Council Resolution 435, and in terms of creating the institutional and political conditions for ongoing political stability in Namibia. It is often argued that successful peace implementation is possible only with the consent of the warring parties, and with strong Security Council interests. This article argues that while these two elements were important, the ability of UNTAG to adapt to the needs of the post-war environment in Namibia was the critical factor sealing the stable Namibian peace. Evidence for the argument is derived primarily from personal interviews with many of the major actors, as well as unpublished UN reports.
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In this article, I examine to what extent gender equality is associated with lower levels of intrastate armed conflict. I use three measures of gender equality: (1) a dichotomous indicator of whether the highest leader of a state is a woman; (2) the percentage of women in parliament; and (3) the female-to-male higher education attainment ratio. I argue that the first two measures in particular capture the extent to which women hold positions that allow them to influence matters of war and peace within a state. I further argue that all three measures, but especially the last two, capture how women are valued relative to men in a society, that is, the relative degree of subordination of women. Whereas female state leadership has no statistically significant effect, more equal societies, measured either in terms of female representation in parliament or the ratio of female-to-male higher education attainment, are associated with lower levels of intrastate armed conflict. The pacifying impact of gender equality is not only statistically significant in the presence of a comprehensive set of controls but also is strong in substantive terms.
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It is not the intent of this study to resolve the grand theoretical debates about development. The purpose instead is more narrowly to revisit, with the help of substantial empirical data, the critical relationship between economic and social development. The character of that relationship is of great importance to the broader debates, and the relationship is both closer than often acknowledged and more complicated than generally recognized. The study will show the importance of distinguishing two aspects of social development: Improvement of individual life condition and restructuring in social organization. The nature of the relationships between economic advance and these two aspects of social development contrast sharply.
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This study suggests that there is a narrower scope to expand inequality with the increase in forest sources of income to total income relative to non-forest income irrespective of the type of villages and types of FPCs. The addition of forest income in the JFM households after JFM reduces measured income inequality by about twelve percent, all else equal. But no such perceptible decrease has been found after JFM situation for non-JFM households. Categorically, forest income plays the dominant role in reducing measured income inequality for poor households who are relatively asset poor and that also live below poverty line. But this study also lends credence to the fact that the non-involvement in the JFM programme by the non-JFM households might bring about a major environmental shirking, because illegal timber income constitutes the major part of all sources of income for non-JFM households even after JFM situation.
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An influential conventional wisdom holds that civil wars proliferated rapidly with the end of the Cold War and that the root cause of many or most of these has been ethnic nationalism. We show that the current prevalence of internal war is mainly the result of a steady accumulation of protracted conflicts since the 50s and 60s rather than a sudden change associated with a new, post-Cold War international system. We also find that after controlling for per capita income, more ethnically or religiously diverse countries have been no more likely to experience significant civil violence in this period. We argue for understanding civil war in this period in terms of insurgency or rural guerrilla warfare, a particular form of military practice that can be harnessed to diverse political agendas, including but not limited to ethnic nationalism. The factors that explain which countries have been at risk for civil war are not their ethnic or religious characteristics but rather the conditions that favor insurgency. These include poverty, which marks financially and bureaucratically weak states and also favors rebel recruitment, political instability, rough terrain, and large populations.
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This article uses the ten year anniversary of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, marked by the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in August 2002, to explore ways in which women have, or have not, become more involved in environmental decision making and whether prerequisites for this involvement (for example equitable education, health care and economic status) are being met. It opens by explaining why women have been identified as a coherent group which should be the focus of attention, by focusing on their relatively poor (compared to men) economic and social status and their disproportionately high involvement in tasks which are unpaid or otherwise undervalued. Women's involvement in Agenda 21 and the resulting document which specifically refers to the need to improve women's health, education, economic position and involvement in decision making is reviewed before considering how far progress has been made in these areas. The article concludes that, while some improvements appear to have been made, these are by no means uniform across space and time and that persistent inequalities continue to exist, and indeed have emerged in some of the new concerns identified by the UN.
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Coherent democracies and harshly authoritarian states have few civil wars, and intermediate regimes are the most conflict-prone. Domestic violence also seems to be associated with political change, whether toward greater democracy or greater autocracy. Is the greater violence of intermediate regimes equivalent to the finding that states in political transition experience more violence? If both level of democracy and political change are relevant, to what extent is civil violence related to each? Based on an analysis of the period 1816-1992, we conclude that intermediate regimes are most prone to civil war, even when they have had time to stabilize from a regime change. In the long run, since intermediate regimes are less stable than autocracies, which in turn are less stable than democracies, durable democracy is the most probable end-point of the democratization process. The democratic civil peace is not only more just than the autocratic peace but also more stable.
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We investigate the causes of civil war, using a new data set of wars during 1960-99. Rebellion may be explained by atypically severe grievances, such as high inequality, a lack of political rights, or ethnic and religious divisions in society. Alternatively, it might be explained by atypical opportunities for building a rebel organization. While it is difficult to find proxies for grievances and opportunities, we find that political and social variables that are most obviously related to grievances have little explanatory power. By contrast, economic variables, which could proxy some grievances but are perhaps more obviously related to the viability of rebellion, provide considerably more explanatory power.
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The following is an edited text of the Cyril Foster* lecture delivered by Marrack Goulding at the Examination Schools, Oxford University, on 4 March 1993. The text represents Marrack Goulding's views only, and in no way commits the United Nations or its Secretary-General. Mr Goulding ceased to be Under-Secretary- General for Peace-keeping Operations on 1 March 1993 before taking over the post of Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. The lecture was a personal valedictory statement.
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International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia); SC Res. 955, UN SCOR, 49th Sess., supra note 1, at 15, reprinted in 33 ILM 1602 (1994) (International Tribunal for Rwanda). 5 See, e.g., SC Res. 687, supra note 2, paras. 16–19 (compensation for victims of Persian Gulf conflict). 6 The Marshall, Caroline, and Mariana Islands, formerly mandated to Japan, were placed under the UN trustee-ship system in 1947 as a strategic trust territory, with the United States as administering authority. Since the end of the Cold War a decade ago, the United Nations has exercised authority in significant new ways to address various aspects of resolving conflicts and dealing with their consequences. These new approaches have included the use of force to end interstate and internal violence, 1 the resolution of boundary issues and other disputes that might prolong the conflict, 2 the elimination of threatening weapons capabilities, 3 the prosecution of violations of international humanitarian law, 4 and the compensation of victims of the conflict. 5 These actions have been taken either with the consent of the state or states involved, or pursuant to the authority of the Security Council under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, or both. In addition, the role of the United Nations has substantially expanded during this period with respect to the governance of societies affected by conflicts. This expansion has assumed particular significance during the past two years with respect to the UN involvement in the conflicts in Kosovo and East Timor. The following commentary outlines this development of law and practice concerning UN governance of postconflict societies and addresses some of the legal issues presented by it.
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This study quantitatively tests the relationship between state militarism and domestic gender equality. International relations literature on the impact and potential impact of women on foreign policy suggests that women are more peaceful in that they are less likely than men to support the use of international violence. Other research indicates that a domestic environment of inequality results in state militarism on the international level. Both lines of inquiry suggest that a domestic environment of equality between women and men would lead toward greater state pacifism, and four hypotheses are developed to test this relationship. The Militarized Interstate Dispute dataset is used with hostility level as the dependent variable to measure the level of militarism employed by any given state to resolve international conflicts. Independent variables for gender equality include percent women in parliament, duration of female suffrage, percent women in the labor force, and fertility rate. Several control variables (alliances, contiguity, wealth, and democracy) are added to the multivariate logistic regressions, and all four hypotheses are confirmed. This study substantiates the theory that domestic gender equality has a pacifiying effect on state behavior on the international level.
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Previous studies have suggested that societies where women have higher social and economic status and greater political representation are less likely to become involved in conflict. In this article, the author argues that the prospects for successful post-conflict peacebuilding under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) are generally better in societies where women have greater levels of empowerment. Women's status in a society reflects the existence of multiple social networks and domestic capacity not captured by purely economic measures of development such as GDP per capita. In societies where women have relatively higher status, women have more opportunities to express a voice in the peacemaking process and to elicit broader domestic participation in externally led peacekeeping operations. This higher level of participation in turn implies that UN Peacekeeping operations can tap into great social capital and have better prospects for success. An empirical analysis of post-conflict cases with a high risk of conflict recurrence shows that UN peacekeeping operations have been significantly more effective in societies in which women have relatively higher status. By contrast, UN peacekeeping operations in countries where women have comparatively lower social status are much less likely to succeed.
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The concept of civil society has acquired an unprecedented worldwide popularity, especially in development programs. This article investigates the international effort to build civil society in Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to foster peace and democratization, this in response to disappointment with traditional economic, military, and political strategies. The results of this major investment of resources, however, have been unsatisfactory. The international community's lack of a coherent long-term strategy and the adoption of a conception of civil society that is often at odds with Bosnian context and history hinder the transition to genuine reconciliation among the three ethnic groups. Examining two major areas of intervention - facilitating the advocacy role of local civic groups and fostering citizens' participation - I show that the international community has failed to comprehend both the political and the social meaning of its involvement. Although the focus on civil society is meant to overcome the limits of external regulation and to emphasize indigenous and community-based contributions to peacebuilding, the international community's approach is to make local development dependent upon the international presence. The result is a failure to address the structural problems that affect the country and to hinder, rather than foster, the formation of an open and democratic civil society.
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Feminist theorists argue that more equal societies that are not based on gender hierarchies ought to be less plagued by collective violence. This study tests whether political gender equality is associated with lower levels of personal integrity rights abuse carried out by state agents, such as fewer political imprisonments, torture, killings, and disappearances. Two indicators of political gender equality are used: (1) a dummy indicating that the chief executive of a state is a woman; and (2) the percentage of women in parliament. The impact of political gender equality on personal integrity rights abuse is tested using multiple regression techniques and a dataset spanning most countries of the world during the period 1977–96. Female chief executives are rare, and their tenures are not significantly associated with the level of abuse. The percentage of women in parliament is associated with lower levels of personal integrity rights abuse. Results show both a direct effect of female representation in parliament and an effect in interaction with the level of institutional democracy. These results hold when controlling for the most important factors known or suspected to influence human rights behavior: democracy, leftist regime, military regime, British colonial experience, civil war, international war, wealth, population, ethnic heterogeneity, and regime transition and collapse.
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International Security 26.4 (2002) 5-38 International security and stability rest in large measure on the internal security of nations. Analysts have long examined factors such as arms transfers and ethnic violence in this regard, but the list now includes variables that were not traditionally viewed as related to national security. Unemployment rates, water tables and river flows, infant mortality, migration patterns, infectious disease epidemiology, and a whole host of other variables that tap into the general stability of a society are now understood to affect security. To understand the long-term security dynamics of a region, one must inquire into what Thomas Homer-Dixon and others have termed the "environmental security" of the nations therein. Our own research is surely located in that field of inquiry, yet we contemplate a variable that has been by and large neglected even by scholars of environmental security. One overlooked wellspring of insecurity, we argue, is exaggerated gender inequality. Security scholarship is theoretically and empirically impoverished to the extent that it fails to inquire into the relationship between violence against women and violence within and between societies. We believe that our research demonstrates that the long-term security trajectory of a region is affected by this relationship. Admittedly, there is probably no society in which women do not experience some gender inequality, meaning subordinate status or inferior treatment inpolitical, legal, social, or economic matters. Indeed, what would constitute aperfect society between men and women is a controversial topic with which we are not concerned here. However, exaggerated gender inequality is hard to miss: We define it to be present when, because of gender, one child isallowed to live while another is actively or passively killed. Offspring sex selection, almost universally used to favor male offspring, indicates that the life of a female in the society is not only not valued but actually despised. There can be no greater evidence of the extremely unequal and subordinate status of women in a society than the presence of prevalent offspring sex selection therein. If violence against women within a society bears any relationship to violence within and between societies, then it should be possible to see that relationship at work in societies where violence against women is exaggerated—that is, where offspring sex selection is prevalent. Specifically, internal instability is heightened in nations displaying exaggerated gender inequality, leading to an altered security calculus for the state. Possibilities of meaningful democracy and peaceful foreign policy are diminished as a result. We first quantify the scale on which sex ratios are being altered in Asia, then estimate the number of resulting surplus young adult males currently present in Asia's two largest states, China and India, as well as projected to the year 2020. Next, we discuss behavioral syndromes associated with surplus young adult male groups, and investigate the role of such groups in instability and violence within and between societies in several historical cases. Finally, we ask whether these same phenomena are beginning to be seen in China and India today, and raise broader issues of governance and foreign policy in high sex-ratio societies. The practice of offspring sex selection can be found in a large variety of historical cultures from all continents. In virtually all cases, the selection was in favor of male infants. Here we concentrate on the modern incidence of offspring sex selection and seek to quantify its scale. Two statistics set the stage for our discussion: the birth sex ratio and the overall sex ratio. Normal birth sex ratios range between 105 and 107 male births per 100 female births. This normal range holds across racial groups, though there may be some parental age-related or diet-related variations within such groups. The overall sex ratio (i.e., the sex ratio across all ages) tends toward 1:1 or less, reflecting a combination of increased female mortality from childbearing, but longer female life span. Ansley Coale suggests that the sex ratio for a stationary population (as determined by Western model life tables) is between 97.9 and 100.3 males per 100 females. (In the remainder of the article, the ratio...
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We know, most notably through Ted Gurr's research, that ethnic discrimination can lead to ethnopolitical rebellion–intrastate conflict. I seek to discover what impact, if any, gender inequality has on intrastate conflict. Although democratic peace scholars and others highlight the role of peaceful domestic behavior in predicting state behavior, many scholars have argued that a domestic environment of inequality and violence—structural and cultural violence—results in a greater likelihood of violence at the state and the international level. This project contributes to this line of inquiry and further tests the grievance theory of intrastate conflict by examining the norms of violence that facilitate a call to arms. And in many ways, I provide an alternative explanation for the significance of some of the typical economic measures—the greed theory—based on the link between discrimination, inequality, and violence. I test whether states characterized by higher levels of gender inequality are more likely to experience intrastate conflict. Ultimately, the basic link between gender inequality and intrastate conflict is confirmed—states characterized by gender inequality are more likely to experience intrastate conflict, 1960–2001.
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Examines the role that institutions, defined as the humanly devised constraints that shape human interaction, play in economic performance and how those institutions change and how a model of dynamic institutions explains the differential performance of economies through time. Institutions are separate from organizations, which are assemblages of people directed to strategically operating within institutional constraints. Institutions affect the economy by influencing, together with technology, transaction and production costs. They do this by reducing uncertainty in human interaction, albeit not always efficiently. Entrepreneurs accomplish incremental changes in institutions by perceiving opportunities to do better through altering the institutional framework of political and economic organizations. Importantly, the ability to perceive these opportunities depends on both the completeness of information and the mental constructs used to process that information. Thus, institutions and entrepreneurs stand in a symbiotic relationship where each gives feedback to the other. Neoclassical economics suggests that inefficient institutions ought to be rapidly replaced. This symbiotic relationship helps explain why this theoretical consequence is often not observed: while this relationship allows growth, it also allows inefficient institutions to persist. The author identifies changes in relative prices and prevailing ideas as the source of institutional alterations. Transaction costs, however, may keep relative price changes from being fully exploited. Transaction costs are influenced by institutions and institutional development is accordingly path-dependent. (CAR)
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Precise measurement is difficult but essential in the generation of high-quality data, and it is therefore remarkable that often so little attention is paid to intercoder reliability. It is commonly recognized that poor validity leads to systematic errors and biased inference. In contrast, low reliability is generally assumed to be a lesser concern, leading only to random errors and inefficiency. We evaluate the intercoder reliability of our recently collected data on governance events in UN peacekeeping and show how poor coding and low intercoder reliability can produce systematic errors and even biased inference. We also show how intercoder reliability checks are useful to improve data quality. Continuous testing for intercoder reliability ex post enables researchers to create better data and ultimately improves the quality of their analyses.
Article
Does the security of women influence the security and behavior of states? Existing evidence linking the situation of women to state-level variables such as economic prosperity and growth, health, and corruption is fairly conclusive. Questions remain, however, concerning the degree to which state security and state security-related behavior is linked to the security of women. The “women and peace” thesis draws upon evolutionary biology/psychology for ultimate causes of this linkage, and sociological theories of social diffusion and psychological theories of social learning for more proximate causal mechanisms. Together, a new data resource—the WomanStats Database—and conventional methodology find a robust, positive relationship between the physical security of women and three measures of state security and peacefulness. In addition, a comparison of this proposition to alternative explanations involving level of democracy, level of economic development, and civilizational identity shows that the physical security of women is a better predictor of state security and peacefulness. Although these results are preliminary, it is still possible to conclude that the security of women must not be overlooked in the study of state security, especially given that the research questions to be raised and the policy initiatives to be considered in the promotion of security will differ markedly if the security of women is seriously considered as a significant influence on state security.
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Resource mobilization theory has recently presented an alternative interpretation of social movements. The review traces the emergence and recent controversies generated by this new perspective. A multifactored model of social movement formation is advanced, emphasizing resources, organization, and political opportunities in addition to traditional discontent hypotheses. The McCarthy-Zald (1973) theory of entrepreneurial mobilization is critically assessed as an interpretation of the social movements of the 1960s-1970s, and the relevance of the Olson (1968) theory of collective action is specified. Group organization is argued to be the major determinant of mobilization potential and patterns. The debate between the Gerlach-Hine (1970) and entrepreneurial theories of social movement organization is traced in terms of historical changes in the social movement sector and the persistence of organizational diversity. A model of social movement politics is outlined, building on Gamson’s (1975) theory of strate...
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In the sixty years since the establishment of the United Nations on 24 October 1945, societies across the world have endeavoured to reshape themselves in accordance with the model of the modern state. Whereas the institutions of the modern state have proved appropriate for societies with historical experience of the production and administration of large surpluses, the adoption of state institutions presents an ongoing challenge for many other societies. Only a minority of states operate free from foreign aid, and weak states composed of stateless societies with minimal surplus generation capacity continue to face particular difficulties as they seek to adapt to the modern state system. Like other New Subsistence States, East Timor possesses grass-roots administrative capacities grounded in its village social structures. Short of the skills and resources necessary to support its formal justice system, East Timor has the option to formally integrate elements of its traditional mediation and conflict resolution capacities into the structure of the state.
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M. Steven Fish is an associate professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Democracy from Scratch: Opposition and Regime in the New Russian Revolution (1995) and a coauthor (with Richard Anderson, Stephen Hanson, and Philip Roeder) of Postcommunism and the Theory of Democracy (2001). He studies political regimes, regime change, state-society relations, political parties, and social movements. A recent project aims to offer a quantitative measure of the strength of legislatures in most of the world's major polities, and another seeks to assess regime change in Russia in comparative perspective.
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International peacebuilding can improve the prospects that a civil war will be resolved. Although peacebuilding strategies must be designed to address particular conflicts, broad parameters that fit most conflicts can be identified. Strategies should address the local roots of hostility; the local capacities for change; and the (net) specific degree of international commitment available to assist change. One can conceive of these as the three dimensions of a triangle, whose area is the "political space"—or effective capacity—for building peace. We test these propositions with an extensive data set of 124 post-World War Two civil wars and find that multilateral, United Nations peace operations make a positive difference. UN peacekeeping is positively correlated with democratization processes after civil war and multilateral enforcement operations are usually successful in ending the violence. Our study provides broad guidelines to design the appropriate peacebuilding strategy, given the mix of hostility, local capacities, and international capacities.
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This paper uses 1974 to 2001 panel data for 31 sub - Saharan African and 10 Arab countries and Arellano - Bond estimations to empirically assess the impact on growth of an important indicator associated with MDG 3; namely the ratio of 15 - 24 year - old literate females to males. Our findings indicate that gender inequalities in literacy have a statistically significant negative effect that is robust to changes in the specification. In addition, it seems that gender inequality has a stronger effect on growth in Arab countries. Interestingly, we find that the interaction between openness to trade and gender inequality has a positive impact. This result suggests that trade - induced growth may be accompanied by greater gender inequalities.
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To what extent has the Beijing +10 process led to the improvement of the lives of women? This paper addresses key issues involved in making such an assessment, in particular, the conceptualisation and measurement of gender equality. It starts with a consideration of three different perspectives concerning the conceptualisation of “improvement” as either economic development, human capabilities, or gender equality. This is followed by an analysis of the tensions between three different models of gender equality. The final section is a critical review of the operationalisation of these concepts and the collection of data necessary to assess progress on each of the 12 critical areas of concern of the UN Platform for Action. In particular, what are the best indicators? The paper engages with the development of international standards of gender equality with a focus on their application in the EU region.
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This article presents ACLED, an Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset. ACLED codes the actions of rebels, governments, and militias within unstable states, specifying the exact location and date of battle events, transfers of military control, headquarter establishment, civilian violence, and rioting. In the current version, the dataset covers 50 unstable countries from 1997 through 2010. ACLED's disaggregation of civil war and transnational violent events allow for research on local level factors and the dynamics of civil and communal conflict. Findings from subnational conflict research challenges conclusions from larger national-level studies. In a brief descriptive analysis, the authors find that, on average, conflict covers 15% of a state's territory, but almost half of a state can be directly affected by internal wars.
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A case study of the Mozambican conflict is used to illustrate the need to integrate a gender perspective which is historically grounded and which encompasses social relationships between women and men rather than the existing 'impact of conflict on women' approach. This is demonstrated first by examining ways in which postcolonial states have continued constructions of gender which assign women to the private/domestic sphere and then by establishing how security in Southern Africa has been mediated by gendered constraints, whether in peace or war. The specific character of the Mozambican conflict is summarised, as are its outcomes in terms of gender relations which have intensified women's vulnerability. This is then related to an examination of the nature of some of the major humanitarian responses to the Mozambican emergency, where there was a wide divergence between stated policies on gender and practice. It is argued that this 'gender gap' is being perpetuated in some aspects of the reconstruction phase, despite women's enormous contribution to the task of rebuilding Mozambican society.
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In large-N investigations, civil conflicts – like any significant political event – tend to be studied and understood at the country level. Popular explanations of why and where civil wars occur, however, refer to such factors as ethnic discrimination, wealth inequalities, access to contrabands, and peripheral havens. The intensity of such factors varies geographically within states. Therefore, any statistical study of civil war that uses country-level approximations of local phenomena is potentially flawed. In this paper, we disaggregate the country and let 100 × 100 km grid cells be the units of observation. Having developed geo-referenced conflict data from Uppsala/PRIO's conflict database, we use GIS to identify regions of peace and conflict and as a tool to generate sub-national measures of key explanatory variables. The results from an empirical analysis of African civil wars, 1970–2001, demonstrate spatial clustering of conflict that co-varies with the spatial distribution of several exogenous factors. Territorial conflict is more likely in sparsely populated regions near the state border, at a distance from the capital, and without significant rough terrain. Conflict over state governance is more likely in regions that are densely populated, near diamond fields, and near the capital city. These promising findings show the value of the innovative research design and offer nuanced explanations of the correlates of civil war.
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The empirical evidence from studies linking geographic factors like terrain and natural resources to civil war is generally weak and not robust to varying samples or coding procedures. We argue that these investigations suffer from a major weakness: although most civil wars are geographically limited to small parts of the host countries, the analyses rely almost exclusively on country-level data. We demonstrate how Geographical Information Systems (GIS) can be used to generate precise measures of space-varying factors at the scale of the conflict. A comparison of several relevant variables measured both at the scale of the country and the conflict demonstrates that country statistics are poor approximations of the conflict zones. An analysis of duration of civil war further shows that certain findings are indeed dependent upon the scale of measurement. We conclude by discussing how GIS and spatial analysis may be applied in future research to increase our understanding of location, duration, and risk of armed civil conflict.
Conference Paper
Video-based media spaces are designed to support casual interaction between intimate collaborators. Yet transmitting video is fraught with privacy concerns. Some researchers suggest that the video stream be filtered to mask out potentially sensitive ...
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The book is divided into two parts, reflecting stages in the gender planning process. Part 1, focusing on the conceptual rationale for gender planning in the Third World, examines feminist theories and WID/GAD debates in terms of their relevance for gender planning. The chapters cover: assumptions related to family structure and division of labour within the household; the concept of gender interests and their translation into planning terms as gender needs; and the interrelationship between different macroeconomic development models and policy approaches to Third World women. Part 2 looks at the gender planning process and the implementation of planning practice. It firstly characterises the emerging planning tradition of gender planning, and outlines its methodological tools, procedures and components. The next chapters focus on institutionalisation, operational procedures, and the role of training in gender awareness. The concluding chapter places gender planning in a wider political context, examining current Third World women's organisations and movements. -M.Amos
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Most research on women in war focuses on female losses. This article demonstrates that wars may also bring gains. The scope of political and economic roles that Liberian women perform today appears to be larger than before the war. Both individually and collectively, certain women have gainfully used openings the war provided them. The article discusses the historicity of Liberian gender roles, examining the social subgroups of politicians, businesswomen, women's organizations, employees, and school girls. Changes have also been fostered by the international peace-building and development business. Although the realization of female ambitions seems to be constrained by various institutional and economic factors, Liberia may harbour a unique potential for sustainable shifts in gender roles.
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This article examines the links between militarised violence and social capital (trans)formation. It first maps out emerging theoretical and policy debates on social capital and violent conflict and questions a number of the assumptions underpinning these debates. This is followed by an empirical analysis of several war-affected communities in Sri Lanka. The case studies illustrate that the links between militarised violence and social capital are complex, dynamic and context specific. It is argued that social capital cannot be understood in isolation from political and economic processes, and the belief that violent conflict inevitably erodes social capital is questioned. Finally, the implications for external agencies are highlighted. Rather than focusing on engineering social capital, external agencies need to focus on understanding better the preconditions for social capital formation and how they can contribute to the creation of an enabling environment. This requires as a starting-point a rigorous analysis of political and economic processes.
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war to be contingent on development: Poor democracies are unstable and hence should be less efficient as institutions for conflict resolution, democratic institutions may require more resources than autocratic ones to contain insurgencies, and increased development brings with it a pressure for constitutional changes in autocracies that may turn violent.
Into the lion’s den: The reception of UN peacekeeping efforts
  • Dorussen Han
  • Gizelis Theodora-Ismene