Research Interests

Gender and conflict; conflict-related sexual violence; social transformations in war; women’s mobilization; UNSCR 1325 and Women, Peace and Security framework; women’s rights; global (gender) norms


My dissertation has the title Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict: Threat, Mobilization and Gender Norms. Its aims are two-fold. First, I shed light on the intersection of victimization and agency, showing that sexual violence is a previously overlooked driver of women’s civil society mobilization during conflict. Interviews with representatives of women’s organizations and victims’ associations in Colombia show that mobilized women tend to hold complex understandings of the causes and aims of conflict-related sexual violence, while seeing them firmly anchored in patriarchal structures in society. These perceptions diverge markedly from the globally dominant and over-simplified “weapon of war” understanding of sexual violence in conflict.

Second, I explore what a growing international focus on sexual violence as a central gender issue in conflict means for the implementation of women’s protection and participation norms entrenched in United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 and the Women, Peace and Security framework. My findings here suggest that international actors perceive gender to be more salient in conflicts with prevalent sexual violence, thus evoking a “gendered” response. The result is an uneven implementation of international gender norms across different types of conflict, with the implication that the many other ways in which civil wars are commonly and demonstrably gendered are sidelined.

My research combines cross-national statistical analysis, qualitative fieldwork in Colombia, and survey experiments and falls at the intersection of political science, sociology and gender studies.


Peer-reviewed journal articles

Responding to Sexual Violence: Women’s Mobilization in War. 2018. Journal of Peace Research.

Authoritarian Institutions and Women’s Rights (with Daniela Donno). 2018. Comparative Political Studies.

The Gender Mainstreaming Gap: Security Council Resolution 1325 and UN Peacekeeping Mandates. 2017. International Peacekeeping, 24:1, p. 132-158.

Book chapters

The Empowerment of Women in Diplomacy. With Ann Towns and Birgitta Niklasson. 2017. In Measuring Women’s Political Empowerment across the Globe: Strategies, Challenges and Future Research, eds. Amy Alexander, Catherine Bolzendahl and Farida Jalalzai. Palgrave, p. 187-205.

I am part of the GenDip research program at the University of Gothenburg.

Other publications

“The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize is a tribute to activists against sexual violence in conflict”. December 2018. Political Violence @ a Glance. 

“Fighting sexual violence in war: Context matters”. December 2018. US Army War College War Room.

“Sometimes autocrats strengthen their power by expanding women’s rights. Here’s how that works.” (with Daniela Donno). November 2018. Washington Post: The Monkey Cage.

Under Review

Gendered Conflict, Gendered Outcomes: The Politicization of Sexual Violence and Quota Adoption (with Mattias Agerberg). Revise & Resubmit.

Work in Progress

Sexual Violence and Gendered Protection: The Salience of Traditional Gender Norms (with Mattias Agerberg)

Understanding Conflict-Related Sexual Violence: Bringing Patriarchy Back In