Doctoral Disseration Research: Stabilizing Gender in a Post-War Context: Possibilities for Peace in Northern Uganda

Project: Research project

Project Details






Lorraine Dowler

Nicole J Laliberte

Pennsylvania State Univ University Park

Stabilizing Gender in a Post-War Context: Possibilities for peace in northern Uganda

This study investigates the ways in which post-war stabilization may perpetuate or even create new forms of gendered violence and inequality, even when explicitly attentive to issues of gender. Attempts to stabilize are attempts to normalize particular social relations and an analysis of these processes can be used to assess the priorities of those vying for power in the post-war context. In particular, an analysis of attempts to stabilize gender relations can be used to examine how gender identities are used to place some people in positions of power over others. Taking advantage of the transitional moment of resettlement in northern Uganda, this study examines the negotiation of power in processes of stabilization in the post-war landscape, the way gender is used within these negotiations, and the effect of these gendered processes of stabilization on people's lives.

This study asks how gender is constructed by the state, local organizations, and international agencies in Uganda to affirm their visions of stability. How do these visions vary by place, and how do their discursive and material manifestations affect people's lives? Finally, what role does the stabilization of specific social relations have on local strategies for realizing peace and equality? This research will apply feminist theory and critical development theory to the particularities of post-war landscapes in order to understand the shifts in authority, agency and violence that are associated with stabilization and reconstruction. This research will be conducted in collaboration with the National Association of Women's Organizations in Uganda (NAWOU). By using a qualitative methodology while working with NAWOU member organizations in Gulu, Pader and Kitgum districts, the study will be able to collect data on a highly transient population that has little trust in researchers. With the guidance of NAWOU, the findings of this study will be disseminated directly to local feminist organizations to contribute to their ongoing efforts for peace and equality in the region as well as national and international actors that are trying to create gender sensitive programming in the post-war landscape of northern Uganda.

This project contributes to feminist scholarship in multiple disciplines by investigating the theoretical disconnect between the investigation of the experiences of both men and women during a period of conflict and the experiences of those very same men and women in a post-war society as it undergoes the process of development. This project nests itself in the intersection of these two very important theoretical frameworks with the aim of not simply offering a better understanding of gender relations but a better understanding of how those gender relations are integral to sustainable peace. Furthermore, by using feminist geographic theory that critically engages with the concepts of place and scale, this research will connect global, national and local discourses with the on-the-ground material experiences of individuals to explore possibilities for peace. This project is jointly supported by the NSF Geography and Spatial Sciences Program and the NSF Africa, Near East, and South Asia Program (ANESA) of the Office of International Science and Engineering.

Effective start/end date6/15/1011/30/11


  • National Science Foundation: $11,765.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.