Why UN Peacebuilding Discourse Matters

Laura J. Shepherd

in Gender, UN Peacebuilding, and the Politics of Space

Published in print October 2017 | ISBN: 9780199982721
Published online September 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780190699444 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Gender and International Relations

Why UN Peacebuilding Discourse Matters

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Chapter 6 reflects on the dominant configurations of civil society, women, gender, and peacebuilding in UN peacebuilding discourse and why the author thinks these arguments are significant. It is notable that the foundational resolution that brought forth the UN PBC specifically identifies “women’s organizations”—and only women’s organizations—as a part of “civil society” with which the Commission is encouraged to consult, as noted earlier. This articulation, as discussed earlier, not only feminizes civil society organizations but also reproduces the association between women and civil society. Further, the discursive construction of civil society as a feminized subject in peacebuilding discourse relies on assumptions about women’s capacity to engage meaningfully in peacebuilding-related activities by virtue of their femininity and the concomitant assumption of pacifism and peacebuilding potential. Both of these constructions are problematic in the ways in which they make sense of women’s lived experiences in conflict and post-conflict situations.

Keywords: gender; peacebuilding; space; local; civil society; economy; politics; post-conflict

Chapter.  5128 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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