Gender, International Relations theory, and Northern Ireland
in Theories of International Relations and Northern Ireland
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Scholars have increasingly focused on the role of gender in international relations and in particular the role of gender in conflict and peacebuilding. Chapter six explores the important role gender plays in the context of the Northern Ireland peace process. IR scholars have increasingly recognized that women experience insecurity differently from men and participate in conflict resolution and peacebuilding differently as well. This chapter links the latest research on gender and security with developments in Northern Ireland, contending that the peace process has privileged the masculine, marginalizing the role of women. The chapter’s findings highlight the historic small role women played as elected representatives in Northern Ireland. When women attempted to assert themselves as actors forming the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition (NIWC) in 1996, their failure to become part of the formal political process meant that a decade later the organization dissolved, a victim of the continuing male dominated structures that shape post-Agreement Northern Ireland.

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