A Seat at the Table—Is it Enough? Gender, Multiparty Negotiations, and Institutional Design in South Africa and Northern Ireland

Citation:

Waylen, Georgina. 2014. “A Seat at the Table—Is It Enough? Gender, Multiparty Negotiations, and Institutional Design in South Africa and Northern Ireland.” Politics & Gender 10 (04): 495–523. doi:10.1017/S1743923X14000397.

Author: Georgina Waylen

Abstract:

Women actors and gender concerns have often been absent from the negotiated settlements that bring an end to violent conflicts and create new political institutions. And although scholars and activists argue that both women actors and gender concerns should be incorporated, there is less consensus about how this can happen effectively. Taking up Jane Mansbridge's (2014, 11) recent call for political scientists to analyze “negotiations to agreement” and the institutions that facilitate negotiations, this paper argues that analyzing not only the involvement of women and gender actors and their outcomes, but also the form and structure of the negotiations themselves, will give us a greater understanding of how these processes are gendered. Through a comparative analysis of two negotiated settlements—in South Africa and Northern Ireland—this paper examines how institutional design processes were gendered and the impact that gender actors (understood here as actors organizing around gender interests) had on these “new” institutions/structures. In each case, women, organized as women, attempted to influence from the inside the creation of new institutional frameworks intended to end long-standing conflicts.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Peace Processes, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, Europe, Western Europe Countries: Ireland, South Africa

Year: 2014

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