Learning to Speak a “Masculine” Language: Rationalization of Gender Equality in the United Nations Peacekeeping Bureaucracy


Baumgärtner, Ulrike. 2010. “Learning to Speak a ‘Masculine’ Language: Rationalization of Gender Equality in the United Nations Peacekeeping Bureaucracy.” Paper presented at the ISA Annual Convention, New Orleans, LA, Febuary 17-20.

Author: Ulrike Baumgärtner


This paper is part of an ongoing dissertation project and traces back the process of norm adaptation of gender equality in the military dominated context of UN-peacekeeping (Mazurana 2002, pp.42f.; Patel and Tripodi 2007, pp.588f.; Whitworth 2004). To this end, I proceed in four steps. First, I describe the structural changes towards gender equality in the still military dominated environment. The elaborations on how gender-related structural changes have been integrated in the UN-peacekeeping bureaucracy mark the starting point for analysis. Secondly, I sketch out theoretical approaches on norm compliance and strategic framing in order to find explanations for the observed changes in the international bureaucracy. The following empirical analysis is led by the hypotheses that are derived from the theoretical literature. The first focuses on the way of framing a new normative idea; the second stresses the role of particular norm entrepreneurs. Yet, before changes in framing gender equality can be identified it is necessary to describe how the concept has been understood in its original social context. And in order to evaluate if the new framing resonates with the relevant audience it is necessary to reveal the prevalent norm that leads UN-peacekeeping activities. To this end, the empirical part of this paper has two parts. The discourse analysis concentrates on selected core UN-documents for each aspect described above.

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Political Participation, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2010

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