SOAS University of London

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

Women in Diplomacy: Bertha Lutz Prize Lecture with Professor Sylvia Bashevkin

Professor Sylvia Bashevkin (University of Toronto), Dr Jennifer Cassidy (Oxford), Marissa Conway (Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy), Chair: Afiyah Alim (SOAS)

Date: 14 October 2019Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 14 October 2019Time: 9:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: KLT, SOAS

Type of Event: Lecture

Women as Foreign Policy Leaders: Evaluating U.S. National Security and Feminist Politics since 1980

2019 Bertha Lutz Prize winner Professor Sylvia Bashevkin asks what do we know about women’s participation in political executive roles? How useful are theories concerning gender and leadership to research on contemporary foreign policy elites? Which types of methodological approaches seem best suited to the study of national security and feminist politics among political executives? What conclusions can we draw from the available data? This presentation addresses each question in turn, drawing on the cases of four senior foreign policy decision-makers appointed by US presidents since 1980: Jeane Kirkpatrick, Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Oxford University's Jennifer Cassidy and Marissa Conway from the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy will act as respondents.

To attend the event please register here.

Sylvia Bashevkin is a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. Her primary research focus is gender and politics, notably women’s impact as public leaders. ​ She is the author most recently of Women as Foreign Policy Leaders, a comparative study of four American decision-makers since the Reagan years, published in fall 2018 in the Oxford University Press series called Studies in Gender and International Relations. Her edited volume on women premiers in the Canadian provinces and territories was published in spring 2019 by UBC Press. ​ For her work as a champion of women’s voices in research and academic leadership, Sylvia Bashevkin was named in 2005 to Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award by the Women’s Executive Network. She has served as president of the Canadian Political Science Association, president of the women and politics research section of the American Political Science Association and principal of University College, the founding college of the University of Toronto.

Jennifer A. Cassidy is a Departmental Lecturer in Global Governance and Diplomacy at the University of Oxford Her gained PhD from the University of Oxford which centred on the evolving topic of Digital Diplomacy. In 2017, Jennifer produced the first edited volume on Gender and Diplomacy: Theory and Practice (Routledge). The volume provides a detailed discussion of the role of women in diplomacy and crafts for its readers a global narrative of understanding relating to their current and historical role within it. Jennifer has also served as a diplomatic attaché to Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Headquarters (United Nations and Head Quarters) and the European External Action Service to the Kingdom of Cambodia. Jennifer regularly provides political commentary to the international media on Brexit, issues of digital diplomacy, and the role of gender in the political and diplomatic sphere.

Marissa Conway is the Co-Founder of the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy, a current doctoral candidate earning her PhD in Politics at the University of Bristol, and this year was named on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Marissa is also a Gender Champion in Nuclear Policy and is currently participating as a Bilingual for the 100 Questions Initiative out of The Governance Lab at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Originally from Silicon Valley in California, Marissa moved to London in 2015 for her MA in Gender Studies at SOAS, University of London. Previous to this she worked with Freedom House, a safe house for survivors of human trafficking, Living Water, a clean water charity, and consulted as a branding and graphic design creative for organisations like ATLAS Women, Triarc, the Centre for Intersectional Justice, and embassies across Europe. She holds a BA in Political Science and a BA in Music from Chapman University in Orange County, California. Marissa frequently writes and speaks about feminist nuclear policy, feminist foreign policy, and US and UK foreign policy and has been recently published by the University of Oxford, Chatham House, Ploughshares, and the Turkish Policy Quarterly.

The event will be chaired by Afiyah Alim. Afiyah works in External Engagement and Public Affairs at SOAS University of London. She completed her BA in Development Studies and Economics from SOAS and holds an MSc in Transport and City Planning from the Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL. Her research focused on issues of female travel and the role of the state in improving access to public spaces for women.

About the Bertha Lutz Prize

To honour Dr. Bertha Lutz, leading Pan America feminist and instrumental figure in securing the inclusion of Article 8 in the UN Charter, the Centre for International Studies & Diplomacy and The Diplomatic Studies Section (DPLST) of the International Studies Association (ISA) founded the Bertha Lutz Prize for research on women in diplomacy.

CISD awarded the inaugural Bertha Lutz Prize for Women in Diplomacy to Profesor Ann Towers of the University of Gothenburg during the 2018 International Studies Association (ISA) conference in San Francisco in April 2018.

You can read more about the prize here.

Organiser: CISD

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