GPIS Dissertation Defense 5/10

Old Dominion University

College of Arts and Letters

The Graduate Program in International Studies


Doctoral Dissertation Defense




The United Nations (UN) has incorporated a strong gender perspective to its peacekeeping operations (PKO) based on a renewed focus on women`s rights and participation in peace processes.  These efforts are part of a complex organizational learning process in which women`s central role in peace processes and the increasing efforts to respond to conflict related sexual violence have become a central component of the organization`s strategy to build a lasting peace. The underlying logic is that it is only after an equitable society is founded and when the other half of the population`s voice has been included in the political life of the state that peace can genuinely be accomplished.

Nonetheless, UN`s impact on the ground is difficult to measure and still limited. While these policies have been unanimously endorsed by member states and embedded in the organization`s resolutions and peace operations mandates, it reflects a particular view in regard to the status of women that is in contrast with their status within the majority of member states.  This dissertation argues that UN`s renewed focus on gender to build a lasting peace has limited results due to member states` inability or unwillingness to adopt gender approaches themselves, aligned to other factors such as the persistence of patriarch-based and weak institutions in intervened societies, volatile security environments and lack of resources.

In order to assess this argument, UN`s organizational learning process will be evaluated through the analysis of how gender-sensitive practices were incorporated to peace processes at headquarters, member states and mission levels. For this purpose, an analysis of UN`s normative framework (resolutions, guidelines, training modules, etc) and states compliance will be carried out along with an evaluation of the advances for the implementation of these renewed practices in two case studies: United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) and the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).


Dissertation Chair:  Dr. Regina Karp


Dissertation Committee:  Dr. Kurt T. Gaubatz

                                         Dr. Peter Schulman



Batten Arts and Letters Building

Room 7009

May 10th, 2013 at 10 am

* Renata Defense Flyer.docx  (15.8 KB)

Posted By: Margo Stambleck
Date: Wed Apr 17 09:51:13 EDT 2013