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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Welcome to the

Transforming The Way We Think

The Institute of Advanced Study is a prestigious, ideas-based Institute with global reach. We bring together world-leading researchers from all disciplines to work with Durham colleagues on collaborative projects of major intellectual, scientific, political and practical significance. At least twenty visiting IAS Fellows join us in Durham each year to work with Durham scholars to spark new investigations, set tomorrow's agenda and participate in a varied programme of activities.

Each year, the IAS supports four ambitious interdisciplinary projects tackling major research questions. Leading researchers from around the globe join Durham colleagues in collaborative teams to develop ground-breaking ideas, explore interdisciplinary synergies and develop new programmes of research.

The Institute also serves as a top-level forum, enabling key-decision makers and experts to discuss pressing policy problems in an intellectually stimulating and unrestricted manner. We put on a wide range of public lectures and other events. There are also opportunities for postgraduates and other early career researchers to get involved.

The IAS aims to build research capacity, realise potential, and meet the challenges of a changing world. There are many ways to participate in the life and work of the institute. We warmly welcome your involvement.

IAS Fellows' Seminar - Collaboration between institutional actors and women civil society representatives in peace processes: the potential of Regional Women Mediator Networks in engaging with different actors

25th November 2019, 13:00 to 14:00, Seminar Room, Institute of Advanced Study, Irene Fellin (Istituto Affari Internazionali)


Women’s participation in conflict resolution and peacebuilding processes remains one of the major challenges of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. In many of the recent peace processes, women’s inclusion as mediators or as negotiation parties has been very limited, and when it occurred it didn't automatically lead to more gender-sensitive processes or agreements. Women are more often taking the lead as peace activists in order to promote equal opportunities and women’s rights outside the formal process.

There is a gap between the having more women represented in peace processes as political actors, and the expectation that this automatically leads to a gender-sensitive peace process. In fact, the narrative that associates women with gender issues creates a tension between civil society actors and women’s governmental representatives.

How to find a way to engage with both institutional actors and civil society representatives at the same time? What are the tools for promoting women's participation in peace processes and to recognise their potential contribution across the entire spectrum of issues that are put on the table of negotiation?

The seminar paper aims to address that gap by deepening the reflection on the dynamics and the potential of Regional Women Mediator Networks in today’s peace processes. As part of a broader research project of Mediation for the Twenty First Century, Irene Fellin aims to understand how the new Women Mediator Networks can become a platform for advancing the possibilities for peace stakeholders to engages with different actors, being governmental or civil society representatives and to have a cross – cutting approach towards gender issues.

The findings of the research will serve as background paper for future actions of the Global Alliance of Regional Women Mediator Networks, and feed into the development of a road map of the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network, which will include strategic advocacy and communication campaign, capacity building initiatives and collaborative advisory support to the peace processes in the Mediterranean region.

Places are limited and so any academic colleagues or students interested in attending a seminar should register online in advance to reserve a place. Places will be confirmed within 48 hours of receipt (subject to availability). Alternatively please contact the Institute in advance to reserve a place.

Contact for more information about this event.

IAS Contribution to the evaluation of interdisciplinary research in the REF

For a number of years the IAS has been closely involved in the development of methods of evaluating interdisciplinary research, working collaboratively with UK funding bodies/the REF. Its Executive Director, Professor Veronica Strang, is a member of the UKRI Interdisciplinary Advisory Panel, which is guiding this aspect of the REF process, and a regular speaker at the Annual REF Forum and related events. Her report Evaluating Interdisciplinary Research: a practical guide (Strang and McLeish 2015), written in consultation with a range of funding bodies, has been taken up widely, nationally and internationally. With the REF submission date coming up soon, colleagues who are considering interdisciplinary outputs for submission, or who will be involved in evaluating such research for REF sub-panels, may find this publication helpful.