The Belfast

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Constructive Engagements

Queen's University, Belfast

On 6-7 November 2015, Dr. Allison McCulloch (Brandon University) and Dr. Siobhan Byrne (University of Alberta) organized a two-day workshop titled “Power-Sharing Pacts and the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda: Constructive Engagements” at the Centre for the Study of Ethnic Conflict, Queen’s University Belfast. The workshop explored the extent to which power-sharing theories and practices can address new challenges emanating from the women, peace and security agenda, as embodied in UN Security Council Resolution 1325. With 2015 marking the 15-year anniversary of UNSCR 1325, the workshop addressed a number of timely questions, including: To what extent can power-sharing theories and practices accommodate the women, peace and security agenda? What impact has women, peace, and security activism and advocacy had on the negotiation and implementation of power-sharing pacts in war-torn societies? For societies emerging from conflict, how does power-sharing and the women, peace and security agenda intersect with transitional justice processes?


Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and supplemented by the Ethnopolitics PSA, the workshop brought together scholars, postgraduate students and policy practitioners, with participants from Northern Ireland, Ireland, Scotland, USA, Canada, and Cyprus. Fionnuala Ni Aolain gave the keynote address while Christine Bell, Siobhan Byrne, Maria-Adriana Deiana, Olga Demetriou, Maria Hadjipavlou, Caroline Hartzell, Bernadette Hayes, Allison McCulloch and John Nagle gave paper presentations, as did several outstanding postgraduate students.  The workshop also included a policy roundtable with politicians and community organizers from Northern Ireland. The panels evoked lively conversation on the constructive potential and enduring challenges of integrating the women, peace and security agenda with ethnopolitical power-sharing. Byrne and McCulloch plan to assemble an edited collection based on the conference proceedings.



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The Workshop


6-7 November 2015
Old Staff Common Room



10-10.20 Opening remarks (Timofey Agarin, Allison McCulloch, Siobhan Byrne)

10.20-11.20 Keynote Address by Fionnuala Ní Aoláin (Minnesota/ Ulster)
The Missing Piece:  The Limits and Possibilities of the WPS Agenda in Addressing Women’s Participation in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings

11.30-12.45 Panel 1: Gendering Peace Processes and Institutional Design
Chair: Michael Potter (QUB)
Discussant: Catherine O’Rourke (Ulster)

Caroline A. Hartzell (Gettysburg): Power Sharing and Women’s Political Rights Following Civil War

Siobhan Byrne (Alberta) and Allison McCulloch (Brandon): Gender, Peace, and Power-Sharing in Political Transitions

Christine Bell (Edinburgh): Unsettled Bargains? Power-Sharing and the Inclusion of Women in Peace Negotiations

12.45-14.00 LUNCH

14.00-15.25 Panel 2: Case Study: Northern Ireland
Chair: Ulrike Vieten (QUB)
Discussant: Carmel Roulston (Ulster)

Bernadette Hayes (Aberdeen): Religious Differences in Electoral Turnout among Women in Northern Ireland

Michelle Rouse (Ulster): When Peace becomes a War of Attrition - The Gendered Implementation of the 1998 Good Friday/Belfast Agreement

Robert U Nagel (Kent): The Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition and the Good Friday Agreement - Why a Seat at the Table is not Enough

15.25-15.40 COFFEE BREAK

15.40-17.00 Panel 3: Case Studies: Cyprus and Bosnia-Herzegovina
Chair: Siofra Frost (QUB)
Discussant: Laura Wise (Edinburgh)

Maria Hadjipavlou (Cyprus): The UNSC Resolution 1325 and Cypriot women’s Activism: Achievements and Challenges

Olga Demetriou (PRIO Cyprus): Forging the Federal Citizen in Cyprus and why their Gender matters

Maria-Adriana Deiana (QUB): An (In)convenient Fiction?  Gender and the Promises of Peace: Insights from Post-Dayton Bosnia-Herzegovina

19.00 CONFERENCE DINNER, Kathmandu Kitchen, 11 Botanic Ave


9.45   COFFEE

10.00-11.30 Policy Roundtable Women, Community and Politics in Northern Ireland: Opportunities and challenges of using UNSCR 1325 to increase women’s leadership.
Chair: Melanie Hoewer (UCD)
Participants: Paul Bradley (DUP), Catherine Cooke (Foyle Women’s Information Network
), Bronagh Hinds (IBIS), Anna Lo (Alliance Party) Caitríona Ruane (Sinn Féin)
* This event is organized in conjunction with UCD Institute for British Irish Studies (IBIS).

11.40-13.00 Panel 4: Women, Peace and Security: Beyond Rhetoric
Chair: Ada-Charlotte Regelmann (Maynooth)
Discussant: Leigh Spanner (Alberta)

Corey Barr (HREA): The Commodification of Intervention: The Example of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

Lindsey Reid (UNC Chapel Hill): Generating a Quality Peace: Negotiated Settlements and Women’s Rights in the Aftermath of War

Kyleanne Hunter (Denver): De-Gendered Inclusiveness: The Role of Rhetorical Coercion in Building a Women-Inclusive National Agenda

13.00-14.30 LUNCH

14.30-16.00 Panel 5: Power-Sharing and Identity Hierarchies
Chair: Timofey Agarin (QUB)
Discussant: Cera Murtagh (Edinburgh)

John Nagle (Aberdeen): What are the Consequences of Consociationalism for Sexual Minorities? An Analysis of Liberal and Corporate Consociationalism and Sexual Minorities in Northern Ireland and Lebanon

Ronan Kennedy (University College Dublin), Claire Pierson (University of Ulster), Jennifer Thomson (Queen Mary): Challenging Identity Hierarchies: Gender and Consociational Power-Sharing

16.00-17.00 Closing Remarks and Roundtable  (Byrne, McCulloch)