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Volvo opens its first car factory in the US outside of Charleston in South Carolina. The Swedish ambassador Karin Olofsdotter (right) surprises by criticizing US policy at the Volvo inauguration. Here with Håkan Samuelsson (left), CEO of Volvo Car Group.
Photo: Anette Nantell/TT Nyhetsbyrån
Breadcrumb

Gender in bilateral diplomacy

Research project
Active research
Project period
2014 - ongoing
Project owner
Department of Political Science

Financier
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and the Swedish Research Council

Short description

In the past two decades, an increasing number of women have entered bilateral diplomacy. Women now make up 25-40% of the ambassadors of a range of countries, and they constitute an even larger share of the lower-level diplomats. Until recently, however, Foreign Service remained a patriarchal stronghold, indeed one of the most male-dominated spheres of the state and one into which women have had a difficult time entering. The recent entry of large numbers of women constitutes a rather dramatic change in the sexual make-up of the members of the diplomatic community. The aim of this project is to analyze whether and how gender norms, networks and practices operate in bilateral diplomacy as carried out by ambassadors and career diplomats.

Publications

2018. Aggestam, Karin and Ann Towns. “The Gender Turn in Diplomacy: A New Research Agenda” International Feminist Journal of Politics.

2017. Aggestam, Karin and Ann Towns, eds. Gendering Diplomacy and International Negotiations. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

2017. Towns, Ann and Birgitta Niklasson. Gender, International Status, and Ambassador Appointments Foreign Policy Analysis 13, 521-540.

2017. Aggestam, Karin and Ann Towns. “Diplomacy – A Gendered Institution”. In Pauline Kerr and Geoffrey Wiseman (eds) Diplomacy in a Globalizing World, second edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

2017. Towns, Ann, Anne-Kathrin Kreft and Birgitta Niklasson. “The Empowerment of Women in Diplomacy” in Amy Alexander, Catherine Bolzendahl and Farida Jalalzai (eds) Measuring Women’s Political Empowerment Across the Globe: Strategies, Challenges and Future Research. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

2017. Aggestam, Karin and Ann Towns. “Introduction” in Karin Aggestam and Ann Towns, eds. Gendering Diplomacy and International Negotiations. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

2017. Aggestam, Karin and Ann Towns. “Conclusions” in Karin Aggestam and Ann Towns, eds. Gendering Diplomacy and International Negotiations. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

2017. Niklasson, Birgitta and Ann Towns. “Gender, status, and ambassador appointments to militarized and violent countries” in Jennifer Cassidy, ed. Gender and Diplomacy. New York: Routledge, pp 100-119.