IICRR’s research fellow and PhD student new publications

Two of the IICRR’s research fellows and PhD students, Dr Shirley Graham and Chiara Loda have forthcoming publications in the current issue of Irish Studies in International Affairs. Please find the abstracts for their articles below.


shirley-smilingA Gender Paradox: Discourses on Women in UN Peacekeeping

Shirley Graham, Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction Research Fellow ([email protected])

Discourses borne out of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 (2000) and UNSCR 2422 (2015) arguethat the current global security environment requires more women peacekeepers to support the specific needs of women and girls caught up in conflict. The emphasis is on increasing numbers of women peacekeepers in visible and interactive tasks with civilians, as well as in senior decision-making roles. In the UN discourse women peacekeepers are positioned as role models who can inspire local women to become formally involved in post-conflict reconstruction. However, numbers of women peacekeepers remain low at three percent globally. National militaries, such as the Irish Defence Forces (DF), are encouraging women to join their ranks by using targeted recruitment campaigns. Yet still the numbers remain fairly static between five and six per cent of personnel. This article discusses some of the gender discourses active amongst officers in the DF prior to the adoption of Ireland’s National Action Plan (NAP) on UNSCR 1325. The participant accounts reveal how the dominant discourse on gender ‘equal but different’ can inhibit women’s inclusion in peacekeeping missions. While women’s difference is deemed a positive in the UN discourse on UNSCR 1325, this difference can be perceived as problematic for women soldiers and the militaries in which they serve. This article unpacks this paradox of women’s difference and discusses what is being done in the UN and the DF to increase women’s participation in peacekeeping missions. It argues that discourses that position women ‘as a problem’ will need to shift before the numbers of women will increase in peacekeeping missions.



img_1986_propicAzerbaijan, foreign policy and public diplomacy

Chiara Loda, Marie Curie ITN “Pot-Soviet Tensions” ESR Fellow/Doctoral Researcher ([email protected])

The very term “Society of Free Nations” implies an outside-inside dimension, which is often interpreted in terms of degree of vicinity to the Western world. The post-Cold War history demonstrates that this positioning is dynamic rather than static. Outsiders can influence this process by engaging in proactive actions such as public diplomacy. However, implementing a strategy does not guarantee success. In the past years, Azerbaijan has conducted a well-funded Public Diplomacy strategy. Grand events and a “cosmopolitan state narrative” were its primary tools. However, for most international media and organizations the popularity of Azerbaijan remains limited. This article argues that this unsatisfactory result lies in the inconsistency between external self-projection and actual conduct of the state affairs.  In addition to providing a comprehensive assessment of the Azerbaijani case, this article argues that it is necessary to study public diplomacy not only in terms of strategy but also in terms of targeted audience and credibility.

Chiara has also an other new publication: Loda, Chiara. 2016. “The European Union as a normative power: the case of Armenia”, East European Politics.

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