MEGAN H. MACKENZIE

Professor of Gender and War. University of Sydney.


GOVT3986 – Gender, Security, and Human Rights

This unit offers a gender perspective on human rights, with a focus on gender and insecure international contexts. The unit covers themes related to the challenges of pursuing human rights, violations of human rights, and the role of civil society groups in advocating human rights. Attention will be given to the gendered nature of human rights and to specific issues that impact men and women differently when it comes to human rights protection and promotion. See here for the 2018 reading list.

GOVT4114 – Feminist Solutions to Ending War

In an era of Trump bragging about the size of his nuclear arsenal, global women’s marches, sexual abuse scandals within Oxfam and UN peacekeeping missions, US mass shootings and Australia’s decision to become a ‘major arms exporter,’ it seems that a feminist and gender perspective on war and political violence is more relevant than ever. The two goals of this seminar are to study war and political violence from feminist perspectives AND to examine what solutions these perspectives offer for ending or reducing war and political violence. The unit will cover topics including drones, military suicide, Black Lives Matter, nuclear weapons, and war photography. Whilst engaging with these important topics, students will gain a deep foundation in several theoretical traditions, including feminist, gender, queer, decolonial, black feminism, womanism, and Indigenous feminisms. A ‘deep’ foundation means engaging with primary theoretical texts…like, really engaging. In addition, students taking this seminar will gain an in-depth knowledge of key international relations and political studies concepts, including militarism, militarization, securitization, decolonization, de-militarization, and human security. Key questions that will be considered include: do women experience, and participate in, war differently to men?; what kinds of gendered conflicts exist post-war?; how might a feminist understanding of security and securitization change defence, foreign policy, and national security priorities?; are there actually solutions out there for ending or reducing war? As with all honors units, the reading load will be rigorous, but rewarding. Expectations are high, and the assessments will be unique and challenging. You can view the 2018 unit outline here.

GOVT6304 – Development and World Politics

This unit will examine critical perspectives on international development. It will explore key questions concerning development, including: Have efforts to ‘reduce poverty’ been effective? What are the various meanings associated with development concepts like ‘building capacity’ and ’empowerment’? Is there any consensus about what development is and how to ‘do’ it? The unit will include an analysis of how much has been learned about development over the last fifty years. Finally, the unit will consider what role might individuals take.

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