Institutionalising Women, Peace and Security in the Pacific Islands: Gendering the ‘architecture of entitlements’?


George, Nicole. 2016. “Institutionalising Women, Peace and Security in the Pacific Islands: Gendering the ‘Architecture of Entitlements’?” International Political Science Review 37 (3): 375-89. 

Author: Nicole George


Efforts to adopt provisions of the United Nations Women, Peace and Security agenda in local policy contexts are often hailed enthusiastically by gender advocates as a transformative development. But closer scrutiny of these localisation efforts may reveal something different. This article draws on theories of feminist institutionalism to examine the formal and informal institutional interplays which have shaped the Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security that was formalised by the Pacific Islands Forum in 2012. My analysis shows that although the Regional Action Plan is a significant development in rhetorical terms for the Pacific region, and may lay the foundation for future policy progress on gender and security, its focus is also constrained. This becomes particularly evident when the Regional Action Plan’s emphasis on women’s peacebuilding is compared with the plan’s relative silence on the growing regional challenge of gender and environmental insecurity. To explain these developments I show how the plan sits in interesting, and unresolved, tension with existing institutional norms and practices which gender the ‘architecture of entitlements’ governing how Pacific Island women can legitimately enter debate on regional security.

Keywords: women, peace and security, gender politics, Pacific Islands, peacebuilding, environmental security

Topics: Environment, Gender, Women, Peace and Security, Peacebuilding, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Security Sector Reform Regions: Oceania

Year: 2016

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