Amsterdam Research Centre for Gender and Sexuality

The ‘Women, Peace and Security’ Agenda in Service of Countering Violent Extremism: Prevention at the Limits of Security

Lecture by Professor Laura J. Shepherd (University of Sydney)

04June2018 15:00 - 17:00


The lecture is co-organised by the Conflict, Security, & Peacebuilding Speaker Series and the Amsterdam Research Centre for Gender and Sexuality.

The most recent resolution in the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) architecture is UNSCR 2242, passed in October 2015; it represents some interesting new directions for WPS practices. One of these is the possibility of alignment with the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) agenda at the UN and beyond. Three paragraphs of the resolution are devoted to explaining how the WPS and CVE agendas could align better. In the light of this development, various communities of scholars and practitioners have raised concerns about the instrumentalisation of both women and the WPS agenda in service of CVE. These debates also intersect with questions about whether there has already been a diminution of violence prevention as a core ‘pillar’ of the agenda, and whether the integration of WPS and CVE further narrows the scope of the kind of violence we are allowed to talk about preventing. In this paper I examine the articulation of prevention in the context of UN counter-terrorism efforts and the WPS agenda, in order to understand how the alignment of WPS and CVE agendas became possible. I then explore the discourse of CVE intervention programmes in Australia, to explore the likely impact of alignment between CVE and the WPS agenda in this context. My hope is that this investigation will serve as a useful case from which to draw tentative insight about this new policy development on the Women, Peace and Security agenda and on violence prevention initiatives more broadly.

Laura J. Shepherd is an ARC Future Fellow and Professor of International Relations at The University of Sydney, Australia, and Visiting Senior Fellow at the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security in London, UK. Laura’s primary research focuses on the United Nations Security Council’s ‘Women, Peace and Security’ agenda and she has written extensively on the formulation of UNSCR1325 and subsequent Women, Peace and Security resolutions. She is author/editor of several books, including, most recently, Gender, UN Peacebuilding and the Politics of Space (Oxford University Press, 2017), and her research has been published in such journals as European Journal of International Relations, International Feminist Journal of Politics, and International Affairs.

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

Room: A2.11

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