Global Racial Hierarchies and the Limits of Localization via National Action Plans

Jamie Hagen, Toni Haastrup

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

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Recent explorations in International Relations (IR) have critiqued the explicit consideration of race within the discipline and in its practice despite its enduring presence as an ordering principle (Shillam, 2016). The starting point of these studies is that while “race and racism have been often side-lined to the margins of contemporary IR, such issues were in fact integrate to the birth of the discipline” (Anievas, Machanda and Shillam, 2015, p. 2). It is within this contemporary scholarship of race and racism that we locate our reflections about the practices of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. This contribution reflects on how whiteness and white privilege are refracted in the narratives and practices WPS agenda through a focus on National Action Plans (NAPs). We consider who WPS is about and who it is for on the international stage. A central part of this investigation is interrogating whether NAPs are truly able to localize the international project of WPS or whether because of global racial hierarchies, they actually simply reinforce the status quo to then allow for the perpetuation of countries in a peaceful though militarized Global North to place countries in the insecure Global South in a position of always failing at WPS. We also examine the imagery used by different countries within their NAPs and its implications for WPS messaging by countries in the Global North.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Directions in Women, Peace and Security
EditorsSoumita Basu, Paul Kirby, Laura J. Shepherd
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherBristol University Press
ISBN (Electronic)978- 1- 5292- 0778- 1
ISBN (Print)978- 1- 5292- 0774- 3
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2020


  • race
  • gender
  • security
  • peacebuilding
  • global south


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