Past Events & News

Information on events that occurred within the past year is available under Events & News: Recent Events.

Past Events & News

Friday, December 15, 2017

The economic challenges of post-war contexts are particularly acute and intensely gendered.  Unfortunately, mainstream economic development prescriptions often only lead to the deepening of gendered inequalities.  What's the alternative?  This workshop's unique gathering of feminist security scholars and feminist political economists explored ways in which feminist alternatives to neoclassical economic models offer the potential for generating equitable and sustainable solutions in post-war economies.  Read the press release and full report here.

The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford
Friday, November 17, 2017 to Saturday, November 18, 2017

On Friday, November 17, Consortium Director Carol Cohn spoke on the panel "Gender and Nuclear Security" at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy's Third Annual on Gender and International Affairs, "Money, Power and Influence: The Gendered Dimensions of Geopolitics." Dr. Cohn's comments included highlighting that the symbolic gendering of nuclear weapons strategy preempts asking certain questions and pointing out that the language on nuclear weapons and nuclear war is abstracted and masculinized in that it normalizes talking about millions of casualities and immense human suffering without batting an eye.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Building 24, Room 121
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
This talk starts with a question: How is it that a form of weapon often described as militarily “unusable” can translate into political power? It explores the nature of deterrence theory, the symbolic value of nuclear weapons, and ways that weapons whose effects are literally beyond our capacity to apprehend come to be governed by practices that are prosaic and mundane. In the process, it addresses President Trump’s approach to thinking about nuclear weapons and explores whether it is as much a deviation from the norm as it appears.
Carol Cohn's research has addressed a wide range of security issues, including the discourses used to think about nuclear weapons. Her publications on this topic include: "Slick'ems, Glick'ems, Christmas Trees, and Cookie Cutters: Nuclear Language and How We Learned to Pat the Bomb," “Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals," and "Wars, Wimps, and Women: Talking Gender and Thinking War.”

Monday, July 17, 2017 to Tuesday, July 18, 2017
This two-day, invitation-only workshop, organized in collaboration with Claire Duncanson and with support from the Official Development Assistance research allocation by Scottish Funding Council to the University of Edinburgh, will be a starting point for discussion and collaboration amongst a range of feminist researchers whose paths otherwise rarely cross: it will bring feminist political economists who focus on alternatives to neoclassical economic models of growth into dialog with feminist researchers who focus on the challenges of building gender-equitable, sustainable peace.
Read more about the workshop and participants, here.

Building: Géopolis Floor: 2 Room: 2121
Friday, June 9, 2017
5th European Conference on Politics and Gender
The University of Lausanne hosted the 2017 European Conference on Politics and Gender from 8-10th June 2017.​
Panel: Gender, Peacebuilding and Post Conflict Economic Development
This panel develops recent feminist scholarship which argues that attempts to progress women’s security in post-conflict contexts require more attention to the economic pillar of peacebuilding. Peace operations, peace agreements, constitutional reforms, and the new institutions which are constructed in transitions to peace, as well as conflict itself, all offer ‘windows of opportunity’ for the transformation of gender regimes. Much scholarly attention has been paid to the gains in women’s political representation, legislative advances on, for example, tackling gender based violence, and cultural attitudes towards women. Less attention has been paid to change, if any, in the economic frameworks and governance structures which might similarly signal and/or facilitate progress for women and gender equality. This panel aims to contribute to addressing that gap.
Paper: Gender, Public Finance and Peacebuilding
Presenter: Carol Cohn, University of Massachusetts
Abstract: In the aftermath of a peace settlement, the management of public finance constitutes a critical (if often overlooked) factor in advancing more equitable, just and sustainable peace. The manner in which states raise revenue and manage expenditures determines what is prioritized and funded in peacebuilding. Given this, there is now a small but growing literature on the centrality of public finance to a durable post-conflict reconstruction of the economy, polity and society (Boyce 1996, 2002, 2007 and Addison 2003, 2005, 2015). However, the literature is largely silent on a critical issue - the ways in which public finance management post-conflict shape and are shaped by structural gender inequality. As a result, public finance policies during peacebuilding are implemented in ways that ignore issues of exclusion, equity and sustainability. The purpose of my paper would be to bring feminist gender analysis into the discussion of post-conflict recovery, public finance and peacebuilding, and to demonstrate the ways in which a gendered analysis of public finance can open up fruitful ways of thinking about peacebuilding that will strengthen the broader women, peace and security agenda.

Auditorium Jacques-Freymond Rue de Lausanne, 132 Geneva
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Panel: Research Frontiers in Gender and Sustainable Peace
How does peace become sustainable and what role do gender relations play in the creation of sustainable peace? The question pre-occupies both academics and policy-makers. Scholarly research has postulated that there is a correlation between gender equality and the likelihood that countries solve conflicts violently. Conversely, in the policy world, there is an ongoing push for convergence between post-war humanitarian and development approaches with an eye towards fostering the structural changes necessary to make peace sustainable.
The proposed study day will provide an opportunity for interested stakeholders in the international Geneva policy network to engage with recent scholarship in the field of gender and peacebuilding. It seeks to accomplish two purposes, i.e.
  • To introduce recent findings from feminist research on gender and peacebuilding, and provide an opportunity to discuss such research from a policy perspective;
  • To develop the policy implications of this research and the outlines of feminist roadmap towards sustainable peace.
Keynote Address
Carol Cohn (University of Massachusetts, Boston; Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights)
Beyond the “Women, Peace and Security” Agenda: Why We Need a Feminist Roadmap for Sustainable Peace​

Pocantico Center, Tarrytown, NY
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 to Thursday, May 25, 2017


Consortium Director Carol Cohn participated in the Ploughshares Fund's event "Women Talk Security, Nukes and Democracy" from May 24-25, 2017. The convening was part of Ploughshare Fund's Women's Initiative, "bringing together a network of women from both inside and outside the nuclear security field to build a new and inclusive national security and foreign policy platform. This platform will be rooted in a shared belief that security policies must be inclusive, incorporate perspectives not traditionally associated with national security, and recognize that individuals and local communities, not simply nation-states, are also key constituencies affected by these policies. Our goal is that all people in the network will learn from each other, and bring a common-sense security platform back into their work whether it be as an activist or in the policy community." (Ploughshares 2017 Annual Report)


United Nations Office at Geneva Palais des Nations, 1211 Genève Room XIX
Thursday, April 27, 2017
From 26-28 April 2017, over 150 leading women's rights and peace activists from around the world gathered at the United Nations office in Geneva for "Reclaiming the United Nations as a Peace Organization: Ensuring Women’s Meaningful Participation for Peace and Strengthening Multilateralism," a conference convened by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Consortium Director Carol Cohn spoke on the panel "Feminist Perspectives on Sustainable Peace."
Panel: Feminist Perspectives on Sustainable Peace
Advancing feminist peace requires both acting differently and thinking differently about peace, security, economic and social justice. Sustaining peace is not possible without meaningful participation and inclusion of root cause analysis from a feminist lens. The connection between political and economic processes are highly gendered in nature and impact participation in governance, decision making and the economy. Building meaningful participation and feminist analysis into these processes is critical for preventing, addressing and rebuilding from conflict, and sustaining peace. What solutions can feminist perspectives provide to challenge the status quo? 
Moderator: Elisabeth Prügl, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
Nela Porobić Isaković, Women Organizing for Change, WILPF Initiative, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Rosa Emilia Salamanca, Director of CIASE, Colombia
Carol Cohn, Founding Director, Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights
Khanim Latif, Director of Asuda, Iraq 

Harvard Law School
Thursday, April 6, 2017

Public Lecture: “Nuclear Chimeras: Britain’s Slow Death as a Nuclear Power."

Location: Harvard Law School, Austin Hall 111.
Keynote Speaker: Jonathon Porritt (Forum for the Future)
Porritt is a British environmentalist and writer, author most recently of The World We Made (Phaidon 2015). He has been a longstanding campaigner against nuclear power.
With Commentary from panelists:
Carol Cohn (University of Massachusetts, Boston)
Allison Macfarlane (George Washington University)
Jayita Sarkar (MIT)
Daniel Schrag (Harvard University Center for the Environment)

Wiston House, Wilton Park, Steyning, West Sussex UK
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Gender Dynamics in Peace and Conflict
To what extent has women’s involvement in radicalisation and armed groups changed gender manifestations in conflict? How are African women’s organisations working to both drive and resolve violence? To what extent have women and women’s organisations been included in formal peace processes, or designated as negotiators? What measures can be taken to ensure that all stakeholders, especially women, share the peacebuilding process and take equal ownership?
Chair: Carol Cohn
Director, Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights, University of Massachusetts Boston
Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah (via video recording)
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations And Cooperation, Government of the Republic of Namibia, Windhoek
Awino Okech
Lecturer, Centre for Gender Studies, School of African Studies (SOAS), London
Comfort Lamptey
Regional Adviser on Governance, Peace and Security, Regional Office for West and Central Africa, UN Women, Dakar


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