Tools & lenses
Gender & Transformative Approaches to Peace
Postgraduate Module | Convenor: Sonia Garzon Ramirez
Academic year 2022–2023
Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University
This module introduces students to transformative approaches to peace with a special emphasis on how gender perspectives within the field of IR have shaped this debate. In particular, we will explore how transitions to peace have been influenced by the recognition of conflict as an inherent/constitutive element of contemporary human societies and by the efforts of feminist and gender approaches to address structural inequalities not only of gender but also of race, ethnicity, and class.
The module builds on the premise that achieving more than just formal states of peace and ensuring the non-recurrence of violence is not possible without using gender lenses and addressing the root causes of violence. Thus, this course examines what gender perspectives might look like in peace projects and democratic transitions and considers factors that might enable transformative peace. We will critically analyse what has been achieved by the inclusion of gender perspectives and their implementation in practice and how the deferral of gender justice in reconciliation projects has undermined the possibilities of peace being transformative.
On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
- Identify what conditions would enable a peace project to bring about transformative peace
- Discuss about the main contributions of feminist and gender scholars to the advancement of transformative approaches to peace
- Illustrate how the inclusion of analysis of gender, race/ethnicity, class, locations or other power differentials in peacebuilding might enhance the possibilities of a peace project to address the causes of violence
- Demonstrate, through their participation in the seminars and writing assignments (reflective journal and essay), creativity and ability to develop critical analysis involving concepts or ideas presented in the readings and providing adequate data to support their arguments and claims
- Evaluate the achievements or shortcomings of the Gender, Peace and Security agenda in peacebuilding in general or with reference to case-specific reconciliation processes.
Topic 1: Introduction to the Module
Situating Gender in Peacebuilding & Conflict Transformation
Theme 1: Situating Gender in Peacebuilding & Conflict Transformation
Topic 2: The Gender of Reconciliation
Theme 2.1: From Conflict Resolution to Conflict Transformation
Theme 2.2: Gender and Transformative Reparations
Topic 3: Gender and Transformative Peace
Theme 3.1: Women, Gender & Transformative Approaches on Peace and Conflict Transition
Theme 3.2: What does Gender Perspective in Peacebuilding Mean?
Topic 4: Resistance and Common Sense in Transitions to Peace
Theme 4.1: Readings of Resistance in Transitions to Peace
Theme 4.2: The Problem of Time in Conflict Transformation
Topic 5: The Gender of International Law and Peace Agreements
Theme 5: The Gender of International Law and Peace Agreements
Topic 6: Transformative Peace and Its Enablers
Theme 6.1: Queering Gender Identity in Conflict Transitions
Theme 6.2: Agonism and Narrative Approaches
Theme 6.3: Feminist Organising for Ending War
Can peacebuilding institutions contribute to the establishment of sustainable peace while they elude or exclude people and population groups who resist the signature of a peace accord or seek to subvert its implementation? Words like deviance, incivility or abnormality might come to the mind of people seeking to understand how to deal with those who resist to engage in a peacebuilding process or who actively undermine efforts to establish peacebuilding settlements. However, studies have shown that not all those who resist a peace process actually seek to destroy it but rather try to shape the terms of the agreement.
These dilemmas touch upon the difficulties of using impermeable categories and binary divisions in dealing with massive human rights violations during conflict and democratic transitions. Similar concerns were raised by feminist legal scholar Kimberly Crenshaw when she introduced in the 1980s the notion of intersectionality.