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Research Interests

Gender; Women’s Rights; Security, peace and reconciliation


Dr. Shirley Graham is a Research Fellow affiliated with the Irish Institute for Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction. She defended her PhD thesis on ‘Equal but Different: Gender Discourses in the Social Relations of Irish Peacekeepers & Possibilities for Transformation’ in June 2013 (external examiner Prof. Annica Kronsell, Lund University, Sweden). Her research explores the gendering processes within militaries that position women and men in particular roles informally and which support or inhibit women’s access to peacekeeping missions.  It makes an important contribution to feminist theory and practice through its new empirical data on Irish peacekeepers and the development of critical alternative discourses on gender. Shirley was a Government of Ireland Scholar (IRCHSS) and completed her PhD at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

Shirley taught undergraduates on the Egalitarian World Initiative programme in the School of Social Justice, University College Dublin (2008-9) and undertook her Masters Degree in the School of Law and Government, Dublin City University (2003-4).  She has extensive experience as a practitioner including the co-ordination of the Hanna’s House All-Ireland Feminist Peace Project (2008-2012); the facilitation of a civil society consultation on Ireland’s first National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 (2010-2011); and advising the Board of the Glencree Centre for Peace & Reconciliation on its Women’s Peace & Reconciliation Leadership Programme (2014).

Contact Details

Recent Publications:

  • Graham, S., (2015) Women Peacekeepers: Gender Discourses on “Equal but Different” Amongst Irish Peacekeepers, in ‘Gender & Peacebuilding: All Hands Required’, Eds. Flaherty, M.P., T. Matyok, J. Senehi, S. Byrne, H. Tuso, Lexington Books, New York,

Policy & Conference Papers

  • Roundtable Report, Department of Foreign Affairs Conference on Ireland’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace & Security, Dublin, October 2014.
  • Equal but Different: Gender Discourses in the Social Relations of Irish Peacekeepers. PSAI Annual Conference, Galway, October 2014.
  • Submission to DFAT on Ireland’s Second National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325, Women, Peace & Security, August 2014.
  • National Women’s Council of Ireland Report on Pre-deployment questionnaires to Irish Troops on gender and UNSCR 1325, February 2014.
  • Women Peacekeepers & Gender Discourses in the Irish Defence Forces. Department of Foreign Affairs Conference on UNSCR 1325 & the Participation and Representation of Women: the successes, gaps and challenges, November 2013.
  • Feminist Visions of Peace, Justice & Transformation. Hanna’s House Ezine Series editor, 2012.
  • Women Count for Peace, Consultation Report for Ireland’s National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325, January 2011.
  • Uniquely Useful: Women and Stereotypes in Peacekeeping missions. Limerick University, Women’s Memory Work: Gendered Dilemmas of Social Transformation, August 2010.
  • Equal but Different: Women in the Irish Defence Forces. International Studies Association Conference, San Francisco, March 2009.
  • Gender and International Peacekeeping: Narratives, voices and meaning. International Studies Association Conference, Chicago, March 2008.
  • Gender and International Peacekeeping in the Irish Defence Forces. Trinity College Dublin Post-Graduate Seminar, March 2007.
  • Gender and International Peacekeeping: A Journey towards a Methodology. University College Dublin Post-Graduate Seminar, January 2007.
  • Women Peacekeepers: Pioneers of Change or Agents of the Patriarchy? Royal Irish Academy Post-Graduate Seminar, November 2006.
  • Women Soldiers: Revolutionaries or Cogs in the Military Machine? University College Dublin Seminar ‘From Rhetoric to Reality’, October 2006.