SPGS Hosts Successful Kopf Workshop

“How does Gender  Shape Violence and Coercion?”

Here at SPGS we are the fortunate recipient of a gift from Brian Kopf, former J.P. Morgan Chase Bank vice-president and a Political Science alumnus.  One use we make of the gift is to host workshops organized by members of the School's research working groups where we invite leading researchers from around the world to visit Tempe and share with our undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty, their ongoing work.

On October 16-17 our Conflict and Human Rights working group invited 10 researchers from the US and UK who presented their work on the impact of women on politics, especially coercion and violence.  Two ASU faculty also presented ongoing research, and another four researchers from around the country also visited to provide commentary along with ASU faculty and students.  You can see the list of papers and presenters here. 


“I enjoyed the conference's intimacy and openness: an interdisciplinary mixture of researchers, students, and experts coming together in one space to make gender a central point of conversation,” says Brandon Marks, a Political Science, BA major at ASU.  “To create space for discussions of gender and its relation to conflict, international relations, and politics overall is to sustain a critical and multifaceted dialogue.”

The topics explored ranged from attitudes toward female politicians in the US and the impact of feminist attitudes upon Americans' support for foreign military intervention to the extent to which rights violations ranging from rape as a war tactic to an absence of respect for women's rights impact cease fires, peace agreements, and post conflict societies. 

The two days of sessions generated animated, lively discussions and debate.  We also made sure to schedule time and space during the day and evenings where the visitors could interact with SPGS faculty and students, and one another, to pursue more in depth discussion spurred by the sessions, and explore additional opportunities for research and public engagement.

“I especially enjoyed interacting with the junior scholars at the Gender and Violence workshop. Not only are they asking important questions about phenomena like sexual violence, female rebel combatants, they’re also developing solid explanations for how legal institutions, social structures, and ideology give rise to them,” reflects Kelly Kadera, Associate Professor at the University of Iowa.  “Moreover, these savvy investigators show us how understanding the causal underpinnings of gender-violence linkages has tangible consequences for the success of peacekeeping, ending civil wars, and social trust.”