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The United Nations Security Council’s agenda on ‘Women, Peace and Security’: bureaucratic pathologies and unrealised potential

Klot, Jennifer (2015) The United Nations Security Council’s agenda on ‘Women, Peace and Security’: bureaucratic pathologies and unrealised potential. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Considered the single greatest achievement in ‘engendering’ global security policy, UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (SCR 1325) is celebrated as a triumph of women’s peace movements and transnational feminist organizing. My central claim is that SCR 1325 has both over performed and under delivered. The remarkable achievements it catalysed in establishing new international standards have not been fully appreciated, explored, or understood, while its successful utilisation by women rights and peace activists in the context of 'informal peace building' has not fundamentally challenged the workings of the Security Council itself, as feminists had hoped. This has resulted in an overestimation of SCR 1325’s symbolic and practical importance, and an underestimation of the broader institutional and geopolitical factors that shaped SCR 1325’s genesis and continue to drive Security Council decision-making in relation to women and gender issues. I suggest that SCR 1325’s perceived failures have less to do with its oft-criticized textual content than with the institutions, actors, strategies, and processes that have been most central to its implementation. Historically, the geopolitics of UN decision-making on gender issues demonstrate an extreme form of bureaucratic pathology that has circumscribed opportunities for bringing gender issues onto the UN’s peace and security agenda. I introduce the concept of ‘relegation’ to explain why decision-making on women has been extrinsic to the UN mechanisms and entities that have the greatest potential for autonomous action. SCR 1325’s implementation failures also reflect the absence of a collaborative feminist epistemic community of research and praxis in the nascent field of feminist security studies. This has further limited the UN’s ability to internalise, institutionalise, and implement actions that advance, rather than undermine feminist peace building agendas.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2015 Jennifer F. Klot
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Supervisor: Seckinelgin, Hakan and Howell, Jude

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