Peace Processes: Business as Usual?

  • Emma Bjertén-Günther


Despite international frameworks such as the WPS agenda that promotes women’s inclusion and full participation, the structure of peace processes and the power dynamics they reflect continues to drive women’s de facto exclusion from them. While there is literature problematising women’s exclusion from formal peace processes, little knowledge exists on the more hidden and informal processes that drive these gendered exclusions. This article builds on the IR literature by also drawing insights from business and management literature—a sector which has advanced more rapidly than other sectors in acknowledging and breaking down the barriers to women’s advancement.

Based on interviews with people active in peace processes, this article indicates that male “homosociality” is expressed in how competence is defined and in access to informal meetings, which play a role in reproducing men’s overrepresentation in peace processes.



The author would like to thank Yeonju Jung, research assistant at SIPRI, for her assistance with the background research as well as for providing wise comments on the article. The author would also like to thank Dr. Amiera Sawas, Researcher at SIPRI, and Dr. Manuela Scheuermann, Member of Faculty and Researcher, University of Würzburg, for comments that greatly improved this paper as well as the anonymous interviewees for sharing their experiences. Any errors are my own and are no reflection on these helpful contributions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emma Bjertén-Günther
    • 1
  1. 1.New York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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