This article examines gender equality in humanitarian diplomacy. To date, there has been no discussion of gender in relation to humanitarian diplomacy, which stands in contrast to an existing body of literature on gender and diplomacy. Gender is often discussed in relation to the recipients of humanitarian initiatives, but less is known about how gender impacts aid providers. This article argues that alike diplomacy as a masculine field with homosocial tendencies, these characteristics are also found in humanitarian diplomacy. Based on interviews with staff of the United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (ocha), this exploratory case study of the UN’s gendered humanitarian diplomacy finds the following: In contrast to the UN’s mission of promoting gender equality, the current practices place men as the norm and women as the exception in the organization’s humanitarian diplomacy.
Recent evidence suggests that a small number of anglophone legislatures in Southern Africa are enhancing their engagement in the expenditure side of the annual budget process, particularly in the formulation phase. But why change, when these legislatures could simply stay the same? This study tests four possible explanations for this surprising trend, applying unique data collected in 2016/2017, complemented by publicly available, cross-national, historical records. The preliminary results indicate that leading political, legal, and technical explanations are unable to fully account for the changes that are underway. Instead, evidence suggests that a process of international socialisation, potentially precipitated by US-based legislative assistance programmes at a critical time, may have planted the seeds that pushed these developments along. This study encourages further exploration of the ways in which a quintessentially national institution is shaped internationally, and contributes to our understanding of why legislatures in similar developmental contexts might evolve.
In countries with high levels of corruption, ruling elites rarely have an interest in meaningful anticorruption reforms. Thus, within state structures, the opposition is often key in controlling the government. At the same time, no state body has wider jurisdiction than parliament. Therefore, empowering the opposition to inquire into corruption (and other) scandals is a key factor in an integrity system. The German system of strong opposition rights in collecting evidence through parliamentary inquiry committees has been a unique selling point by global comparison until 2014, when it was emulated by Austria. An analysis of the 63 inquiry committees of the Bundestag since 1949 shows that a significant share concerned corruption cases. Had it not been for parliamentary inquiries, most of these cases would have remained without any follow-up by a state institution. In stark contrast to this finding, international anticorruption guidance more or less entirely ignores inquiry committees.
After much anticipation, the International Workshop of Scholars and Parliamentarians took place in Villa La Angostura, Argentina, from 7–8 April 2022. This report will first outline the general framework of the workshop’s organisation and implementation. It then describes the main areas of scientific debate, with a particular focus on the digital transformation of parliamentary institutions. Finally, the report outlines the main outcomes that, notably, seek to enhance parliamentarism through the development of an international culture of dialogue.
In this paper I complicate the boundaries of fieldwork by grappling with my academic and personal investment in the histories of conflict in Northern Ireland. Counter to rationalist assumptions that envision fieldwork as an accumulative acquiring of knowingness, it is often through affective mechanisms that we begin to sense the constellations of longings, emotions and lived experiences that endure through conflict. Aesthetic narratives such as novels are a powerful medium that can activate such sensibility. Thinking with feminist and other critical ir interventions, I reflect on sensing the unbearable lightness of the Troubles through a reading of the novel Milkman by Anna Burns. I propose reading as a fieldwork practice that, by dabbling with affect and disrupting neat boundaries between the field, the data and the analysis, can disclose alternative ways of knowing, allowing us to (momentarily) become more fluent in the everyday affective grammar of/in conflict.