feminists@law, Vol 5, no 2 (2016)

The Protection of Civilians and Protection of Peacekeeping Mandates: Gender and Ethics in Collective Security

Gina Heathcote*

This is an audio recording of a lecture given at the Centre for Critical International Law and Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality, University of Kent, on 1 March 2016. The lecture considers how Security Council authority and legitimacy gain traction through the deployment and development of normative provisions. It focuses on the robust peacekeeping mandates in the Security Council resolutions on the Protection of Civilians and on Women, Peace and Security to demonstrate how the Security Council's thematic resolutions are increasingly used to justify new modes of force. This raises questions regarding the ethics of a feminist project focused on supporting the women, peace and security framework that is increasingly co-opted into militarised peacekeeping. At the same time the Council's use of gender perspectives and the protection of civilians narrative is seemingly used to avoid scrutiny of its agenda and mandates, suggesting the development of normative and thematic work as requiring greater scrutiny from critical and feminist actors.

* Dr Gina Heathcote is a Senior Lecture in Law and Gender Studies at the School of Law, SOAS, UK. Her research interests include feminist legal theory, the international law of armed conflict and the use of force, and gender dynamics in peacekeeping and collective security. Her forthcoming book, Feminist Dialogues in International Law, will be published in 2016 by Oxford University Press.