Changing Discourses, Changing Practices: Gender Mainstreaming and Security
until further notice
SourceComparative European Politics, 10, 5, (2012), pp. 528-563
Article / Letter to editor
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Comparative European Politics
SubjectOther research; NON-RU research; Onderzoek overig; Onderzoek niet-RU
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, entitled ‘Women, Peace and Security’, asks UN member states to mainstream gender in all peacekeeping missions. Although the governments of Great Britain, Sweden and Germany have been quite involved at the UN and in the EU in promoting SCR 1325, this article illustrates that they have implemented the resolution in rather different ways on the national level. The study adds to two existing strands of literature. First, it builds on growing research and debates relating to gender mainstreaming, in which security policy thus far has received little attention. Second, it engages in the literature on norms. Taking SCR 1325 as an expression of the gender-mainstreaming norm at international level, we argue that different interpretations of the norm are possible on a domestic level. Because the norm itself is vague, various actors understand and apply it in dissimilar ways. The evidence gleaned from the three cases demonstrates that, depending on how the norm is interpreted, implementation ranges from changing existing policies or decision-making processes to reaffirming the status quo. The varying interpretations make it difficult to determine precisely what constitutes a breach of the norm. They suggest that simply looking at policies or laws is insufficient to determine norm adoption. Instead, we also need to examine how the norm has been understood.
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