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Date and Location

November 6, 2023
3:00 PM - 4:15 PM ET
Rubenstein 414ab (ellwood Democracy Lab) + Virtual Via Zoom


The WSP Agenda and the Promise of a Feminist Theory of Power-sharing with Siobhan Byrne, University of Alberta Photo

​​​​Two powerful United Nations-led norms in conflict resolution and peace-building emerged at roughly the same time in the 1990s: power-sharing, which requires rival ethnic groups to negotiate a peace agreement and jointly serve in new post-conflict political institutions, and the women, peace, and security (WPS) agenda, which demands improved representation of women and gender in conflict resolution processes. While international organizations, states, and non-governmental organizations regularly advance both norms at peace tables worldwide, they are rarely brought together in conflict mediation and resolution processes. Consequently, women are regularly shut out from negotiations that produce power-sharing and are under-represented in post-conflict power-sharing institutions. Even when included, women’s priorities continue to come up against resilient gender norms and tropes. Dr. Siobhan Byrne traces the origins and rise of these two norms. She considers the possibility of bringing these two norms together while also sketching the contours of a new feminist theory of power-sharing.

Siobhan Byrne is the inaugural Director of the Institute for Intersectional Research and Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Dr. Byrne’s research and teaching are in the areas of feminist anti-war activism and peacebuilding in societies transitioning from conflict, with a special focus on Northern Ireland and Palestine/Israel. Dr. Byrne’s work has appeared in the International Feminist Journal of Politics, International Political Science Review, International Peacekeeping, and elsewhere. She is co-editor of the volume Power-Sharing Pacts and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda (Routledge), and she is currently completing a book manuscript with Dr. Allison McCulloch titled Gender, Peace, and Power-Sharing (University of Toronto Press). Dr. Byrne earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from Queen’s University and held a postdoctoral fellowship at University College Dublin, Ireland.

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This event is co-sponsored by the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School and the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School.​

Persons with disabilities who would like to request accommodations or have questions about physical access may contact Laura Botero at or 617-384-7575 in advance of the program or visit.​

Speakers and Presenters

​Siobhan Byrne, Inaugural Director of the Institute for Intersectional Research and Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Alberta.



Additional Organizers

​The Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School