Gender, Security and Development
Credits: 4 ECTS
Pathway core courses
Mainstream debates about the relationship between gender, security and development have generally focused on how disproportionally both insecurity and poverty affect women. From this, a wealth of research has also been undertaken addressing how women can play a very positive role in development, security and peace-making, even if women are not always included in the political and decision-making processes that concern such issues. However, consistently portraying women in these roles has in itself reproduced an image of women as victims and passive rather than as actors. This links with how little is known about the role women play as war-makers and drivers of insecurities. The course addresses these issues from a critical reading of mainstream, critical and feminist approaches. It studies the gendered nature of security and development not only from the view of their causes and consequences but also from the view of how the representations and assumptions about women, men, masculinity and femininity interplay in the unequal distribution of insecurity and poverty between men and women. For that purpose, the course will focus on a series of issues and case studies where these questions intersect, including conflicts and military interventions, the war on terror, poverty and development policies.
All students will be required to actively participate in class, to deliver one seminar presentation as part of a group and write an essay at the end of the course. Unlike a typical university course, in which students can fall behind in the readings, a short and intense course like this depends entirely on its members attending every class and on having adequately prepared beforehand by completing the required reading. The process simply fails if its members do not make, and keep, a serious and active commitment to it. With these descriptions in mind, you should be aware that this module requires you to do all the core readings, attend all of the seminar meetings, and participate actively in all of our discussions.
Mode of Assessment:
- Participation: 30%
- Seminar presentation: 30%
- Essay: 40%
1. Attendance and Participation (30%): While attendance is mandatory, the bulk of this mark will be based on your participation. Participation will be assessed, based on the following indicators:
- Evidence of having done the set readings: This can include having reading notes visible, raising questions about the readings, quoting the readings when making an observation or a comment, challenging the views of the readings, and comparing different readings. Students will be required to present an overview of one of the core readings (main argument, main points, strengths and weaknesses) once in the course.
- Active participation: this entails engaging in the discussions in class, responding to questions posed by the professor and other students. It also entails asking questions about the material or any other matters about the course that need clarification.
- Active listening: the student takes notes during seminars and class exercises, and when watching films, or when others are talking.
- Collegiality, respect, politeness and teamwork apply at all times: diversity of ideas and challenge will be actively promoted in a polite and respectful environment. Those that talk more will also be mindful to let others speak too. Those that speak less will take some responsibility to speak and contribute to class.
2. Group presentation (30%): Students will be required to do one 15-minute presentation, as part of a group of 3-4 people. This presentation will address one of the seminar questions set for that day (see the breakdown of seminars in this syllabus), drawing on the core readings and practical examples or a case study. The group will also lead a discussion after the presentation. The presentation aims to work on public speaking skills, including the handling of a q&a afterwards, and diligence in conveying a convincing argument orally. Referencing conventions apply at all times so please make sure all sources are properly acknowledged in your presentations and slides. More guidelines will be provided on virtual campus.
- Due: the day of the seminar.
3. Essay (40%): Students will also be required to write a 3000 word-essay (10% up/down MAX/MIN) addressing one question from a list that will be provided the first day of class. Essays will put forward an argument, addressing the question directly, engaging with the seminar’s core readings in an analytical and critical manner. Extra research will be required to back up the main points of the essay and any facts, examples or cases the essay discusses. This research can draw from the supplementary readings suggested for that topic. More guidelines will be provided on virtual campus.