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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Politics

Postgraduate Course: Gender, Feminist Foreign Policy and Diplomacy (PGSP11614)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course provides an opportunity to critically interrogate the adoption of feminist and pro-gender foreign policies and diplomatic practices by a growing number of states and organisations, sparking both political debate and scholarly engagement. It offers a platform for the conduct of advanced in-depth reflection and analysis of this development through a range of conceptual and theoretical debates. Undergirding the course is the broad question of what it means to conduct feminist and/or pro-gender foreign policy and diplomacy. How do they differ from orthodox foreign policy and diplomatic approaches? How should they be conceptualized and analysed
Course description Academic description:
The course offers a pedagogical platform for the conduct of advanced in-depth reflection and analysis of the turn towards feminist and pro-gender-informed foreign policy and diplomatic practice in global politics through a range of conceptual and theoretical debates, in particular those emerging from feminist and gender-informed IR scholarship, as well as security studies. Students will be introduced to a number of key concepts enabling critical analysis, including the meaning of gender, feminism, ethical and feminist foreign policy, diplomacy, mediation etc. Combining conceptual and theoretical approaches and debates with case-based enquiry, the course will enable students to unpack and highlight the substance and directions of feminist and pro-gender foreign policies and diplomatic practices, by probing questions in regards to their defining features and normative contents. Moreover, students will be encouraged to identify, and evaluate, the success stories of FFPs and gender-just diplomacy as well as the challenges that might be detrimental to their success. This includes comparing and contrasting variations across country and policy areas, and, discussing the ways in which political leaders and diplomats seek to manage and govern their feminist agendas in global politics, with student-led presentations and guided learning enabling such analysis.

Outline content:
What follows is a tentative list of central themes on the course. The contents of this outline may vary from year to year, reflecting developments in the scholarly field and in global politics.

The following is a indicative list of key themes that will be covered.

- What is gender, what is feminism and what is feminist foreign policy? Conceptualising, examining and understanding the turn towards FFP.

- What areas of external relations are part of pro-gender and feminist foreign policies? Examples may include the UN women, peace and security agenda, reproductive health, trade, climate justice and development. Case-based presentations (student-led) Cases may include any of the above.

- Diplomacy and Feminist peace diplomacy practice and theory. What defines contemporary diplomacy, how does it relate to nation branding, how does gender-sensitive and feminist diplomacy differ from orthodox diplomatic practices?

- Feminist digital diplomacy. How does social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram enable states and other actors to project their feminist policy goals beyond borders? Cases will centre on a range of actors diplomatic employment of digital technology to manage their pro-gender agendas.

- Feminist-informed peace diplomacy and peace mediation. What defines this practice, does the inclusion of women in mediation processes change the outcomes of peace negotiations?

Student learning experience:
The course will be taught in a weekly two-hour block. The first part of the course will be dedicated to feminist and pro-gender foreign policy while the latter part will centre on feminist and pro-gender diplomacy. The two-hour block will be based on a combination of mini-lectures, small group exercises and large group discussions and debates. All students will be asked to give a presentation and at least three sessions will centre around group presentations on a range of contemporary topics. The last substantive session of the course will be dedicated to a simulation exercise on UN-based feminist and gender-based diplomacy and mediation. All teaching sessions are based on active learning and a dedication to an interactive pedagogical approach, ensuring active participation, peer learning and open and constructive dialogue between the students.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an advanced critical understanding of the principal theories and concepts related to gender and feminist foreign policy
  2. Engage critically with the scholarly work of scholars of gender and feminist foreign policies.
  3. Critically analyze the contents of pro-gender and feminist foreign policy and diplomacy, including their successes, shortcomings and ethical dilemmas
  4. Work collaboratively with their peers to present relevant knowledge in formal and informal settings.
Reading List
Achilleos-Sarll, C. (2018) ¿Reconceptualising Foreign Policy as Gendered, Sexualised and Racialised: Towards a Postcolonial Feminist Foreign Policy (Analysis)¿ Journal of International Women¿s Studies, 19(4):34-49.
Aggestam, K. & Towns, A. (2018) Gendering Diplomacy and International Negotiation, Basingstoke: Palgrave
Aggestam, K. & True, J. (2021) ¿Political leadership and gendered multilevel games in foreign policy¿ International Affairs, 97(2): 385-404.
Aggestam, A. Bergman Rosamond, A. & Kronsell, A. (2019) ¿Theorising feminist foreign policy¿ International Relations 33(1): 23-39.
Bergman Rosamond, A. & Hedling, E. (2022) ¿The digital storytelling of feminist foreign policy: Sweden¿s state feminism in digital diplomacy¿, European Journal of Politics and Gender, 5(3):303-321.
Haastrup, Toni. (2020) ¿Gendering South Africa¿s Foreign Policy: Towards a Feminist Approach?¿ Foreign Policy Analysis, 16(2): 199-216
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Critical thinking and analysis through the application of complex theoretical and conceptual literatures to concrete cases of pro-gender and feminist foreign policy and diplomacy.
- Research skills through the preparation and execution of an individual 3000-words essay.
- Working collaboratively with other students through small group tasks, student-led group presentations as well as participation in a simulation exercise on diplomacy.
- Self-reflection through active learning and engagement, in particular reflect on the character of the learning process and how it fits the learning objectives of the wider programme of study.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Annika Bergman Rosamond
Course secretaryMs Emilia Czatkowska
Tel: (0131 6)51 3244
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