Personal profile

Research Focus

My research interests sit at the intersection of feminist international relations, critical peace and conflict studies, and border studies. In a broad sense, I mobilise feminist and other critical perspectives in International Studies to examine the interrelated issues of war, peace, and security. My research has developed along these interrelated areas of inquiry:

The Everyday, Affect and Aesthetics in War, Peace and Security 

A current strand in my research merges feminist interventions in conflict/security studies with developments in critical IR and border studies that centre on aesthetics and creative methods. Essentially, I am interested in exploring the role of arts, aesthetics and creative methods in facilitating attunement to and critical engagement with legacies of violence, conflict, and “post-conflict” failures, as well as aspirations for life and peace otherwise. 

My contribution to this field employs an interdisciplinary approach to further our understanding of “everyday” experiences of war, peace and security as embodied, affective and mediated through aesthetic narratives.

I am currently developing a new project on dancing and electronic music as productive entryways to explore the complexities of outliving conflict and political violence, examining entanglements between dance and club cultures, militarism and global politics.  

In my previous work, I have explored the relationship between conflict narratives, “everyday peace” and cinema by proposing the Sarajevo Film Festival as an alternative site of border-crossings and conflict transformation (published in Geopolitics). I have co-authored an article with Shine Choi (Massey) that draws together feminist postcolonial IR, postsocialist studies and affect theories to think critically about war through a reading of films from Bosnia and Korea (published in Trans-Humanities). I have written on the role of affect and critical reflexivity in war research with my colleague with Giulia Carabelli (QUB) (published in the Journal of Narrative Politics).More recently, I have written about the potential of aesthetic knowledge, informed by decolonial scholarship and queer theory, to complicate narratives of EU peace and security by focusing on cinema from/about Bosnia and the Post-Yugoslav region (published in Critical Studies on Security)

Feminism, Intersectionality and Conflict Mediation

I am the co-PI of the project Talk4peace, funded through the North-South Research Programme. The project examines transformative approaches in mediation through the lens of intersectionality. The project involved intensive research with international and local practitioners in a variety of organisations (e.g. Mediation Northern Ireland, Tides Mediation; Search for Common Ground, Inclusive Peace, Berghof Foundation, Women Mediators Across the Commonwealth, European Peacebuilding Liaison Office).

We also explore the use of creative methods based on the arts and culture as opportunities for more inclusive dialogue in peacebuilding and conflict transformation. One of the project's outputs is a podcast series where we discuss a variety of creative projects in theatre, literature, visual and other arts with practitioners, artists and researchers.

The Politics of Gender and Feminist Activism in Conflict and Peacebuilding 

In my earlier work I have examined gender dynamics of conflict and “post-conflict” transformation with a specific focus on feminist and women’s activism in contexts shaped by conflict, international intervention and/or peacebuilding. Contributions of mine to this field include a research monograph, published by Palgrave MacMillan, that critically examines the promises of gender-inclusive citizenship in the Bosnian peace process from the perspectives of diversely positioned women and feminists. I have also written articles on women’s citizenship and feminist activism in post-Good Friday Agreement Northern Ireland. Other publications examine the unintended consequences of consociationalism and power-sharing institutions as popular, yet gendered, approaches to conflict resolution. These publications contribute to ongoing feminist research on peacebuilding, activism and citizenship, as well as to ongoing research on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda as a global norm for the articulation of gender concerns in peace and security

EU Border Politics and Security 

Another strand in my research focuses on EU approaches to border politics, security and peacebuilding. My contribution to this field has examined the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda (and its challenges) in the evolving context of the Common Security and Defence Policy- as part of a project funded by the Irish Research Council and led by Dr Ken McDonagh (DCU). Drawing on interviews with EU personnel involved in peacekeeping and peacebuilding missions, we have traced the translation of WPS commitments in everyday security and peacebuilding practices, highlighting small opportunities for change as well as ongoing resistance to take gender seriously. 

As a research fellow in the consortium EUborderscapes, I have conducted research on the promises and limitations of EU cross-border cooperation as an approach to conflict transformation. In 2019. I co-edited a Special Issue of Geopolitics titled “Cross-Border Cooperation as Conflict Transformation: Promises and Limitations in EU Peacebuilding”, which collects findings from our research group (with Milena Komarova  and Cathal MCall, QUB).

Particulars

I am a Senior Lecturer in International Relations in the School of History, Anthropology, Politics and Philosophy where I teach gender in global politics, feminist research methodologies, international relations, conflict mediation and transformation.  

I am the founding co-director of the Centre for Gender in Politics at Queen’s University.

I am a co-editor of the  Journal of War and Culture Studies.

I served as a section editor for the Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Peace and Conflict Studies. 

I served  as a co-chair of the Specialist Group on Gender & Politics of the Political Studies Association of Ireland and as co-convener of the South East Europe Working Group of the British International Studies Assocation 

Teaching

Undergraduate and postgraduate teaching 

I contribute to teaching across our pathways in Politics and International Relations.

I convene modules on gender and global politics at undergraduate and postgraduate level. I am the convenor of our new undergraduate module Peace and Conflict Studies. I also lead workshops on feminist research methodologies for our postgraduate students. 

I am currently the programme co-Convenor and Advisor of Studies for our postgraduate programme in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice.

PhD supervision 

I am happy to supervise students in the general areas of Feminist Security Studies and Feminist Peace Research, Critical Peace and Conflict studies, International Relations and Border Politics. 

More specifically I can supervise projects that examine the politics of war, peace and security with a focus on gender and feminist activism; the everyday, emotions and affect; and the role of art, aesthetics and creative methods. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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