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This is the second event of the Gender and Sexuality Lecture Series with a special focus on 'A Feminist EU in the World?'. During this event there will be a special focus on the special issue in Political Studies Review 18(3) edited by Hanna L. Muehlenhoff (UvA), Anna van der Vleuten (Radboud University Nijmegen) and Natalie Welfens (UvA). With amongst others Toni Haastrup.

Event details of Slipping Off or Turning the Tide?
Date 19 November 2020
Time 16:00 -17:00

The European Union has faced several crises in the past decades, including the latest COVID-19 crisis. At the same time, the EU has promised to mainstream gender in all external policies, and understands itself to be a normative power or even feminist foreign policy actor in international relations. Do the multiple crises the EU faces offer a window opportunity to step up commitments to gender equality, or do they let gender equality considerations slip off the policy agenda? How are the EU’s identifications of crisis and policy responses to crisis in different external policy fields gendered? The special issue the event introduces sheds light on these questions. It also invites further reflections on ‘crises’, internal or external, as crucial moments to scrutinise how gender equality figures in the EU’s identity formation.

This virtual event will introduce the Special Issue more generally and two key contributions more specifically. Gülay Çağlar (together with Friederike Beier) investigates how the EU’s key gender policy documents in external relations depoliticise gender equality through rendering it technocratic and quantitative through its operationalisation. Anna van der Vleuten (together with Anouka van Eerdewijk) challenges the notion that the EU is a credible promotor of gender equality in its relations with the African Union as the latter promotes more comprehensive gender equality norms. The debate will provide space to engage with the contributions of the Special Issue and to develop future research avenues to push scholarly debates on the topic of the EU’s external gender equality policies further.

Read the Special Issue here


Toni Haastrup will act as a discussant. She is Senior Lecturer in International Politics at the University of Stirling.  She is interested in the Global Governance of Security primarily through the workings of regional security institutions such as African and European Union. She has published on the relationship between the two institutions, including her monograph ‘Charting Transformation through Security: Contemporary-EU Africa Relations’ (Palgrave, 2013), and in several international journals including Journal of European Integration, JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, South African Journal of International Affairs among many others.

Gülay Çağlar is Professor for Gender and Diversity at the Otto-Suhr-Institute of Political Science at Freie Universität Berlin. Çağlar is Principal Investigator (PI) in the Cluster of Excellence “Contestations of the Liberal Script (SCRIPTS)”, where she is member of the Research Unit “Borders”. Her research interests include transnational feminisms and international governance, non-western epistemologies, Feminist Political Economy and Critical Food Studies.  

Anna van der Vleuten is Professor of Contesting Europeanisation at the Institute for Management Research, Radboud University, Nijmegen. Her research interests include the intersection of comparative regionalism, EU and gender studies. Her current projects focus on gender in EU external relations with African and Latin American regional organizations, and contestations of transgender rights and categories of sex.

Register here

About the series

This series brings together practitioners and scholars from different disciplines engaging both in conceptual and theoretical debates around feminist and intersectional theory, as well as discussing concrete policy debates linked to the role of gender, sexuality and intersectionality. The events will focus on topics including: projections of (racialized) femininities and masculinities in European identity, discourses and practices; gender and populism in Europe; gender and race in migration policy; gender equality in the EU, and the theory and practice of feminist foreign policy in the European context.

In Focus: A Feminist EU in the World

This ‘In Focus’  subseries zooms in on the European Union’s ambitions to become a feminist or gender actor in the world. The world faces increasing levels of poverty and inequality, rising militarism, protracted conflicts, and a pressing climate crisis. Women are affected disproportionately by these harms, while their involvement in decision-making processes to overcome these problems is marginalized at best. In fact, recent years have seen a massive encroachment on the rights of women, and marginalized groups, as well as backlash against feminist, human rights and climate justice activism. Feminist activists, scholars and policy-makers have long argued that there can be no peace and that these challenges cannot and should not be tackled without an intersectional feminist approach. In this series, we discuss such a feminist approach in relation to the EU’s external action.       

Series coordinators:

Pola Cebulak: Humanities Faculty, Department of European Studies and Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies

Hanna L. Muehlenhoff: Humanities Faculty, Department of European Studies and Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies

Lara Talsma: Law Faculty, Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL) and the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance (ACELG)