Skip to content
printicon
Main menu hidden.

Between liberal norms and authoritarian governance: women’s organizations as peacebuilders in illiberal post-war states

Research project This project explores how women’s organizations in three post-war states in Asia are negotiating their position between international peacebuilding agendas, which position them as key partners, and authoritarian state governance which constrain their agency.

This project explores how women’s organizations in three post-war states in Asia are negotiating their position between international peacebuilding agendas, which position them as key partners, and authoritarian state governance which constrain their agency. As authoritarianism is the most common regime type in post-war societies, the knowledge generated have far-reaching implications for peacebuilding research, policy and practice, and generate insights into the changing conditions for civil society in a global political era where illiberalism is on the rise.

Head of project

Elisabeth Olivius
Associate professor
E-mail
Email

Project overview

Project period:

2022-01-01 2025-12-31

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Political Science

Research area

Peace and conflict studies

External funding

Swedish Research Council

Project description

In international peacebuilding policy, women’s organizations are represented as especially important civil society partners in the pursuit of peace. However, while existing literature focuses its critique on frictional encounters between local women’s organizations and international liberal peacebuilding, it has largely overlooked that the majority of post-war settings are authoritarian states. This project explores how women’s organizations negotiate their position between international peacebuilding agendas and authoritarian state governance, and how this shapes their peacebuilding practices.

This is studied through institutional ethnography, focusing on the everyday experiences of women peace activists in three post-war states in Asia, using qualitative interviews, participant observation, and document reviews. . Bringing together scholarship on feminist peacebuilding and illiberal peacebuilding enables a sophisticated analysis of how women’s organizations experience and respond to frictional encounters, and how their role as peacebuilders is conditioned by the combined impact of international peacebuilding norms and practices, and domestic authoritarian governance.

As authoritarianism is the most common regime type in post-war societies, the knowledge generated will have far-reaching implications for peacebuilding research, policy and practice, and generate insights into the changing conditions for civil society in a global political era where illiberalism is on the rise.

External funding