» Archive for: December, 2013

The inaugural Civic Innovation Research Initiative Forum on Theories and Practice in Civic Innovation: Building bridges among politics, markets and gender/sexuality took place at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, 8 – 10 October 2013.

The Forum represented one of the major events of the new ISS programme ‘Civic Innovation Research Initiative (CIRI)’. Founded in January 2013. We recognize the importance of knowledge production led by researchers and activists working to change the development arena. Based on the history of original research and public engagement at the ISS, the three core strands of CIRI look specifically at civic engagement in (a) market, (b) politics, and (c) sexuality. The Forum was the critical step for CIRI to build up a vibrant intellectual home that take on board both academic and activist concerns around citizenship struggles and identities. The CIRI Forum brought together a diverse group of actors engaged in the three strands of the CIRI exploring how organizations and individuals mobilize to change their societies. It provided a participative space designed to take on board both academic and activist concerns around citizenship struggles and identities.

Thanks again to all participants who made the Forum such a success!

Download the final report with more reflections and pictures here.

CIRI wish you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Brazilian ‘Science without Borders’ funding available for study at ISS!

CIRI wins Four-Year Project-Based Educational Exchange Programme with Brazil. The programme will apply Governance of Labour and Logistics for Sustainability (GOLLS) as the basis for funded PhD, post doc and staff exchange between Brazil and the Netherlands. The proposal to use the GOLLS has been approved by the Brazilian (CAPES) and Netherlands (NUFFIC/Neso Brasil) governments.

ISS GOLLS project is now eligible for Post Graduate funding within Brazilian ‘Sciences without Borders’ (SWB) Programme. More information about the project, how to apply and the sort of funding available.

  • Interested candidates in Brazil can also obtain information about GOLLS from the SWB website.
  • Other application possibilities (for Brazilians and ISS students) are detailed on the GOLLS webpages.

What is GOLLS?

The objective of the GOLLS project is to promote labour rights and human security along and within global value chains. It is set against the debate about whether and how the ‘logic’ of labour and communities involved in production can be conciliated with the ‘logic’ of chain drivers. That is, it is a systematic enquiry into the nature of chain governance and thus has considerable policy significance for Government and social actors.

For more information contact Lee Pegler: pegler@iss.nl

We are pleased to invite you to the last session of the Development Research Series ‘Bodies in Resistance’ on Monday 16th December from 16:15 to 17:45 in Small Aula (International Institute of Social Studies).

The invited speaker Dr. Marjaana Jauhola will deliver her keynote speech under the title ‘Becoming Better Men and Women: Gender Mainstreaming and Gendered Agency in Post-tsunami Reconstruction in Indonesia’. CIRI member and PhD researcher, Tamara Soukotta, will be the invited discussant.

Dr. Marjaana Jauhola is a postdoctoral researcher in Gender Studies at the University of Helsinki, Finland. She holds PhD from Aberystwyth University in International Politics (2010). In her postdoctoral research, she continues her research on governmentality and subversive potential of reconstruction landscapes in Aceh through street ethnography in Banda Aceh exploring how aesthetics of ordering and disordering urban space offer alternative modes for political engagement in post-disaster landscape: how lived and embodied experiences of reconstruction offer modes of contestation, rupture and discontinuity for the conceived ‘political present’. Dr. Jauhola has nearly 15 years experience as a development aid practitioner.


Gender mainstreaming, integration of a gender equality approach and a gender perspective, was formally endorsed by the UN member states at the Beijing Conference in 1995 as a policy strategy to promote gender equality and the advancement of women. The underlying assumption of gender mainstreaming is a transformative process resulting in empowerment and freedom.

It has become the dominant mode for promoting gender equality for most international, regional and national organizations, governments and non-state actors: Since the early 1990s, humanitarian organizations have introduced policies, guidelines and training packages to support the integration of gender concerns into emergency response and disaster management

In her groundbreaking study of female agency in Aceh from the 1990’s, Jacqueline Siapno argued that female agency is constituted in a complex interplay of indigenous matrifocality, Islamic belief and practice, state terror, and political violence. What is the situation twenty years later, 9 years after the devastating Indian Ocean Tsunami and the earthquakes, and 8 years after signing of Memorandum of Understanding that ended nearly three decades of armed conflict?

This talk will address the question of gendered agency from the perspective of international ‘gender humanitarianism’ or gender advocacy in Aceh and it will explore how initiatives that aim to mainstreaming gender and attempts to integrate a gender equality approach to post-tsunami reconstruction efforts in Aceh, take part in the politics of reconstruction by both reproducing and subverting gendered images of temporality and spatiality, nation, modernity and citizenship that intersect with norms such as sexuality and the practice of Islam.

Focusing on two governmental practices of gender mainstreaming, the use of the sex/gender concept pair, and the use of gender as an exclusive category of feminist analysis, the talk aims to illustrate how gender advocacy on one hand unfold their effects and how on the other how disaster landscapes escape the attempts of governance and allow the emergence of subversive feminist politics.

The talk is based on a recently published monograph ‘Post-tsunami Reconstruction in Indonesia: Negotiating normativity through gender mainstreaming initiatives in Aceh’.


In December 2013, ISS staff teach the tailor-made training on ‘Understanding globalization and labour: topics and methods‘ in Karachi, Pakistan. It took off at the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER), Karachi.

Dr. Zafar Shaheed

Dr. Zafar Shaheed, former director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), inaugurated the training with a talk on ‘Why studying globalization and labour in Pakistan?’.




Photos of the inaugural session

About the course

The training team consists of ISS faculty and CIRI members Karin Astrid Siegmann, Amrita Chhachhi and Freek Schiphorst, facilitated by PILER senior research associates. They will teach a group of 20 junior researchers from PILER and other Pakistani civil society and academic institutions.

Besides equipping participants with grounded theoretical knowledge about key concepts and dynamics in work, employment and globalization and basic methods in labour market research, the training is skill-oriented.

During the three-week course that is spread over four months, participants will conduct their own small study on labour issues in Pakistan and translate their findings into policy briefs.

The Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (Nuffic) has supported the training.

We are pleased to invite you to the last session of the Development Research Series ‘Bodies in Resistance’ on Monday 2nd December from 16:15 to 17:45 in Small Aula (International Institute of Social Studies).

The invited speakers will be Dr. Rosalba Icaza, CIRI member and senior lecturer at the ISS, and PhD candidates Larissa Barbosa Da Costa from Brazil and Angelica Maria Ocampo Talero from Colombia. They will discussedKnowledge about, Knowledge with. Dilemmas of Researching Lives, Nature and Genders Otherwise’. Sara de Jong from Leiden University College in Netherlands will be the invited respondent.

About the research series

Under the title Bodies in Resistance the series continues the debate on why sexuality and gender are integral to development studies showing how the body, (sexualized and desexualized), is embedded in development discourse.

The focus of this second series will be to look at gender relations and the new body politics in civic resistance to the governing regimes and the inequalities and injustices of neoliberal capitalism around the world.

The series will look at the sexual politics of ‘bodies in resistance’ on the streets, in communities and in the in-between marginal places as people are fighting for their rights, their integrity and their survival. Speakers will address such issues as the responses of female Egyptian activists who were exposed to sexual violence while protesting in Tahrir Square in 2011 and 2013; the ‘new’ forms of body politics using social media; the fight to be recognized by transgender activists in feminist movements; gender relations in communities fighting for their survival in environment conflicts in Latin America.

The series will illustrate how shifting forms of oppression and discrimination, including sexual and racial-based discrimination, and gender relations are part and parcel of social movement protest. Speakers from Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, USA and Asia will bring examples of ‘bodies in resistance’ in civic action and movements organizing for social change.

As with the first SRI series ‘Why sex counts’ the sessions will be designed as interactive conversations with members of SRI facilitating each session along with an invited speaker and ISS staff or PhD students engaged in a dialogue format.

For more information please contact: Wendy Harcourt and Rosalba Icaza (harcourt@iss.nl and icaza@iss.nl).

International Institute of Social Studies

CIRI aims to scale up and identify synergies between existing research at ISS on civic agency and change agents, as drivers of societal change and development. This blog is a forum on which to share and discuss themes and issues which fall within the broad framework of the programme.

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