Karie Cross Riddle Explores New Approach to Women, Peace, and Security in Recent Publication
Karie Cross Riddle, assistant professor of political science, recently published “‘Critical feminist justpeace’: a grounded theory approach to Women, Peace and Security” in the International Feminist Journal of Politics. In the article, Riddle asserts a complementary approach to the United Nation’s Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. Her approach––“critical feminist justpeace”––addresses local conflict and local peace initiatives in areas unreached by the UN’s agenda.
“Historically, maintaining international peace and security looked like male heads of state and male heads of insurgent groups coming into a room and talking,” Riddle shares. “They would completely forget about women and things related to women’s lives. The Women, Peace and Security agenda started in 2000 to address that problem.”
However, Riddle recognized that, while the WPS agenda has done a lot of good, many women are already doing peacebuilding work in response to local-level, sub-state armed conflicts, such as in Manipur, India. Riddle wanted to find a way to support their work while making sure it’s both gender-conscious and intersectional.
In this article, Riddle takes the idea of “conflict transformation,” created by scholar John Paul Ledarch, and uses information gained from women peacebuilders in Manipur, India, to create a new approach called “critical feminist justpeace.” The goal of “justpeace” comes from Ledarach’s goal for conflict transformation, defined as an increase in justice, violence reduction, and the restoration of broken relationships.
“Critical and feminist praxis revises Lederach’s definition of justpeace to become an intersectional orientation toward conflict transformation that reduces structural power hierarchies and direct forms of violence, increases equitable justice outcomes across public and private life, and includes historically marginalized participants,” Riddle writes. “Critical feminist justpeace promotes goals and processes that can guide local feminist peacebuilding and transnational support for local work within ongoing violence, picking up where the WPS agenda cannot reach.”
Riddle is currently working on a book manuscript called Critical Feminist Justpeace, which will explore the concept and approach in more detail.
To read the full article, visit the International Feminist Journal of Politics website.