University of Gothenburg
Ann Towns at IP seminar
Ann Towns presents her paper "Gender and the Cultural History of Global Diplomacy 1750-2020 – Writing Macro History" at the International Politics Seminar (IP).

Seminars, conferences & workshops

The GenDip program organizes specialized seminars with researchers and conferences/workshops on the theme of gender and diplomacy.

Speaking series and guest seminars

Guest lecturer

Cynthia Holden Enloe is a feminist writer, theorist, and professor. She is best known for her work on gender and militarism and for her contributions to the field of feminist international relations. She has also had major impact on the field of feminist political geography, in particular feminist geopolitics.

On March 7, 2022, Cynthia was a guest at the department's IP seminar co-arranged with GenDip. She lectured on "Gender and Militarism in Light of Russia's Invasion of Ukraine". Watch the recording of her lecture to the right. 

Video ((36:27))
Seminar with Cynthia Enloe ”Gender and Militarism in Light of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine”

Past activities

The third international GenDip workshop with the title "Gender in Diplomacy: New Theoretical Directions?" took place June 16-18, 2022 in Gothenburg. 

The scholarship on gender and diplomacy has grown impressively in the past five years. Like its two previous iterations, this third workshop examined gender in diplomatic relations among states, centering on the work of career diplomats in both bilateral and multilateral settings.

Gender in Diplomacy: New Challenges. 2nd international GenDip workshop, October 8-9 2020

Location: Zoom

GenDip Conveners: Professor Ann Towns and Associate Professor Katarzyna Jezierska

Diplomacy as an institution seems to be in constant motion, and yet in some respects, it is simultaneously an institution that is slow to change. With decolonization, a range of new states from across the world established independent Ministries for Foreign Affairs and began sending their diplomats to foreign capitals and international organizations, developments which in some respect fundamentally changed the social make-up of these diplomatic corps. Yet the maleness and elite character of diplomacy largely remained. Only over the last few decades has the diplomatic profession really opened up to these social groups, thus no longer being the reserve of elite men. While the number of women in diplomacy is growing rapidly, diplomacy lags behind other state institutions in terms of the share of women, however. Diplomacy furthermore remains masculinized in a range of ways, including the heteronormative core of bilateral representation. And yet diplomacy is complex, consisting of a heterogeneous set of practices and sites across the globe, and how and to what extent diplomatic norms and practices are masculinized and/or feminized varies across time and space.

This workshop focuses on gender in diplomatic relations among states, primarily centering on the work of career diplomats but also including other agents performing diplomatic functions on behalf of the state.

We imagine papers that ask a range of different questions about continuity and change across the globe in how gender operates in diplomacy, covering anything from short time frames to the long durée. What gender dimensions of diplomacy have stayed the same over time, as reified practices, and how? How does gender intersect with other differentiating dynamics (e.g. class, race, religion or sexuality) in diplomatic norms, relations and practices? In addition to the huge impact of the recent “practice turn” on diplomatic studies, what are other theoretically innovative strategies to analyze gender in diplomacy? What might queer theory bring to the study of gender in diplomacy? What might the centering of non-Western agency imply for the study of gender in diplomacy?

We welcome papers from scholars interested in exploring these transformations, from any discipline. The inclusion of non-Western loci are particularly welcome. Theoretically, methodologically and/or empirically innovative contributions to the study of gender and diplomacy are all encouraged.

To our knowledge, this is the first attempt ever to bring together scholars from around the world who examine gender in contemporary diplomacy, with a focus on interactions among Foreign Service officials and Ministries of Foreign Affairs. The aim is to establish a research network and create the foundation for a collaborative research agenda on gender and diplomacy.

Anyone with interest in this topic is welcome to attend. Paper presentations are by invitation only.

Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg
Sprängkullsgatan 19
Room: “Stora Skansen,” third floor


Biltekin, Nevra PhD, History, Stockholm University, Sweden

Carlson-Rainer, Elise Assistant Professor, International Relations, American Public University, USA

Chehab, Sara Assistant Professor, Emirates Diplomatic Academy, United Arab Emirates

Daenuwy, Astari M. PhD Candidate, Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, Australian National University

D’Amico, Francine Professor, International Relations, Syracuse University

Erlandsson, Susanna Postdoctoral Fellow, History, Uppsala University, Sweden

Flowers, Petrice Associate Professor, Political Science, University of Hawaii, USA

Harris Rimmer, Susan Associate Professor, Griffith Law School, Griffith University, Australia

Jezierska, Katarzyna Associate Professor, Political Science, University West, Sweden

Mace, Harry J. PhD Candidate, History, University of Cambridge, UK

Moss, Sigrun Marie Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway

Niklasson, Birgitta Associate Professor, Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Singh Rathore, Khushi PhD Research Scholar, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India

Stephenson, Elise PhD Candidate, Political Science, Griffith University, Australia

Süleymanoğlu-Kürüm, Rahime PhD, Sociology, Istanbul Gedik University, Turkey

Towns, Ann Professor, Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Wright, Hannah PhD Researcher, London School of Economic

Gender, Diplomacy and Peace 

At 13:00-17:00
Room: Dragonen, Sprängkullsgatan 19, Gothenburg

Whereas both diplomacy and peace processes used to be virtually all male terrains with little concern for gender issues, diplomatic interactions have recently seen a large influx of women and much more focus on gender justice. In 2018, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege for their work to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict. We invite you to an afternoon of talks and discussion of these groundbreaking developments.

• What is a feminist foreign policy, and does it work?
• What difference does the entry of women into diplomacy make?
• How do international efforts address sexualized violence in conflict?

Ambassador Ann Bernes from the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs will speak about the experiences of pursuing a feminist foreign policy, and leading researchers on gender, diplomacy and peace from the GenDip Program at the University of Gothenburg, the Center for Gender Research of the University of Oslo and the Centre on Gender, Peace and Security of PRIO (Peace Research Institute in Oslo) will present their latest research findings. Among these researchers, professor Inger Skjelsbæk is a deputy member of the Nobel Committee that selects the annual Nobel Peace Prize.