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Women, Peace, and Security: Mapping the (Re)Production of a Policy Ecosystem

Paul Kirby & Laura J Shepherd | Published on March 31, 2021

The Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda is a global peace and security architecture conventionally understood as emerging from a suite of UN Security Council resolutions and accompanying member state action plans over the last twenty years. The agenda serves as a major international gender equality initiative in its own right and as a prominent example of the broadening of security practices in global politics. In this paper, we present the first truly systematic analysis of the agenda, drawing on a novel dataset of 213 WPS policy documents from across the UN system, national government initiatives, and regional and international organizations published between 2000 and 2018. We argue that the degree of variation in the WPS agenda is frequently underestimated in conventional models of norm diffusion and policy transfer, and instead propose an account of the agenda as a dynamic ecosystem shaped by reproduction and contestation. Our empirical mapping runs …

Image credit: UN Women (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)