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Profile picture of Linda Eitrem Holmgren. Photo.

Linda Eitrem Holmgren

Administrative Coordinator | Research Assistant MECW | Web Editor CMES | PhD | Researcher

Profile picture of Linda Eitrem Holmgren. Photo.

“Where There Is Dialogue, There Is Hope” : Nation, Gender and Transversal Dialogue in Belfast, Northern Ireland


  • Linda Eitrem Holmgren

Summary, in English

This paper is a study of women in Belfast in two working-class ethno-national communities: Falls (Catholic/Nationalist/Republican) and Shankill (Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist). Theories of gendered nationalism and transversalism are used to analyze the material from a qualitative interview study. The study focuses on intersections of gender and nation: women’s identity as biological, cultural and national mothers; and the political consequences of this gendered national identity. The purpose is to understand how a peace-building transversal dialogue is encouraged and discouraged by the way women make sense of these intersections of gender and nation. This study concludes that women’s subordinate position in the public sphere is a direct consequence of being symbolically constructed, within nationalism, as mothers belonging to the private sphere. Women are in both communities considered to be mothers and caretakers first and foremost. Not only does this lead to inequality for women, it also reinforces the conflict that exists between the two communities. Transversal dialogue, through rooting and shifting, is studied as a method to undermine this by building peace and improving gender equality. The study indicates that this requires a flexibility and willingness to root and shift; sharing compatible goals and values; and recognizing and respecting differences of fellow participants.


  • Department of Political Science

Publishing year





Working Paper Series Contested Aministrations



Document type

Working paper


Lund University; Roskilde University


  • Political Science


  • nation
  • gender
  • transversal dialogue
  • Northern Ireland
  • peace-building