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WP1: The Creation of New Institutions: Post Conflict settlements as Institutional Displacement at the National Level

This project examined the creation of new institutions (institutional displacement) at a time of rupture. A horizontal comparison looked at how national level post conflict institution building in the constitutional/legal arena is gendered and how gender concerns can be incorporated into settlements, helping to ensure their equity and sustainability.

The research assessed how far critical actors can get gender concerns included by: exploring how far existing norms, rules and practices, both formal and informal, constrain actors, and by examining the broader institutional context and processes in which post conflict settlements are negotiated and designed.

Together with a quantitative overview of post conflict settlements, the research has analysed three cases, South Africa, Bosnia, and Northern Ireland, each with varied levels of involvement by women actors and different gender outcomes. A comparative analysis has explored the circumstances that facilitate women’s involvement and determine different outcomes. The cases share characteristics e.g. they were high profile settlements reached at a similar time. But in Northern Ireland and South Africa, women actors were involved in the negotiations with some positive outcomes in gender terms. Bosnia had no women's involvement in the negotiations and gender issues did not figure in the institutional settlements.

The project has compared the context, the conflict and peace processes and the constitutional outcomes in all cases, and analysed the negotiations and the institutional processes where women actors, organized as women, had an impact on outcomes. The quantitative part has built on innovative work undertaken by the Institute of Transitional Justice, University of Ulster. Primarily qualitative methods were used to gather primary and secondary data for the three in-depth case studies (secondary literature, documentary sources and interviews in the UK and other case study countries).

Duration 24 months September 2012-2014

Key people

Principal Investigator:

  • Georgina Waylen

Research Associate:

  • Laura McLeod

Key publications