Gender and the EU's Support for Security Sector Reform in Fragile Contexts


Ansorg, Nadine, and Toni Haastrup. 2018. "Gender and the EU's Support for Security Sector Reform in Fragile Contexts." Journal of Common Market Studies 56 (5): 1127-43.

Authors: Nadine Ansorg, Toni Haastrup


How does the European Union (EU) include ‘gender’ within its support to security sector reform (SSR) programmes? The EU has committed to include gender perspectives by implementing the Women, Peace and Security agenda (WPS) within its foreign security practices. While researchers and practitioners recognise the importance of integrating gender issues into SSR operational effectiveness, there is limited knowledge about how this functions within the EU’s security architecture. This article uses Feminist Institutionalism (FI) to understand the process of gender mainstreaming within the EU’s support to SSR programmes. It does this by using two crucial theory-testing cases of SSR programmes – Ukraine and Afghanistan. It finds that the EU’s ability to promote gender inclusive approaches to SSR is limited by the structure of the EU’s own assumptions and capabilities, and institutional constraints in third countries. At the same time, the cases underscore the importance of individuals as agents of change. 

Keywords: EU, security sector reform, gender, feminist institutionalism, security

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Security, Security Sector Reform, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Asia, South Asia, Europe, Eastern Europe Countries: Afghanistan, Ukraine

Year: 2018

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