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Comparative Gender and Foreign Policy Analysis

Pro-gender norms are increasingly salient on the contemporary global agenda where gender mainstreaming now constitutes an important objective for many international institutions, states and organisations How are we to explain this rise of pro-gender norms and feminist strategies in foreign policy? In what ways is this development resisted and contested by state and international actors? This is the research puzzle, which constitutes the overarching rationale for this project.

The project opens up a whole new area of research by conducting a comparative study of gender and foreign policy analysis. It seeks to systematically and cross-nationally study and assess the extent to which pro-gender norms and feminist goals are present, adopted and practiced (if not fully realised) in foreign policy; and to identify general trends and specific patterns of foreign policy change as a gender perspective is brought to bear on key issues and women’s status and rights are furthered in global politics. As such, one key concern of this project is to trace continuity and change in foreign policies and to critically probe how far pro-gender norms have become embedded in foreign policy domains.

To explain the rise of pro-gender norms in foreign policy, the project seeks to identify general patterns, yield hypotheses, and track variations among and between eight empirical cases: Australia, Canada, Colombia, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, and USA.