IAS Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor Susan Allee, Director, United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)

Susan AlleeConflict, Displacement and Gender-Based Violence

7 - 20 May 2017

Susan Allee is a Director in the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), where she heads the Integrated Operational Team for the Middle East and Northern Africa. Ms. Allee took up this position after serving for seven years as the lead political officer in DPKO on the three Middle East operations. She has been with the United Nations since 1993, when she joined the United Nations Observer Mission in South Africa as a political and human rights monitor.  Since then she has held a variety of positions within the UN Secretariat and in peacekeeping operations in the field, including Bosnia where she was the Deputy Chief of the Legal Office of the UN Mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1998-2000, and Cyprus, where she served with the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus as Senior Advisor to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General. 

Ms Allee is the author of “The Launch of a New South Africa”, published in the Online Journal of Peace and Reconciliation, and “UN Blue: An Examination of the Interdependence between UN Peacekeeping and Peacemaking,” published in the International Journal of Peace Studies.   In 2007-2008, Ms. Allee spent a year as a Visiting Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.  Prior to the UN, Ms. Allee worked with various advocacy organisations, including the women’s rights group Equality Now and as a Legal Aid attorney. She has a long track record as a social justice activist on lgbt, race and women’s issues.

The aim of the two-week fellowship with the Centre for Gender and Violence Research at the School for Policy Studies, is for Susan Allee to work closely with staff and key stakeholders on two of the Centre’s current projects relating to conflict and displacement: the ‘Gender Based Violence and Displacement’ project funded by the ESRC Global Challenges programme, and the ‘Addressing Sexual Violence Against Refugee Women (ASVARW)’ project funded by the European Justice programme. The fellowship will add value and enhance the academic interrogation by bringing Susan Allee’s 20 years of experience as a UN practitioner to discussion on the context for ‘conflict, displacement and gender-based violence’ and enable the development of links and deepening of networks between local and global practitioners. 

Implicit in the exploration of ‘conflict, displacement and gender-based violence’, is the matter of how conflict settings work to produce outcomes, specifically why and which people end up as refugees and/or displaced within their own countries and the dynamics that shape their experiences prior to this particular upheaval. Gender is a defining feature of these experiences, but so is the broader context of the violent conflict from which the displaced emerge.  The sexual violence and exploitation to which refugees are often vulnerable is preceded and given opportunity by the violence of war.  It is important to attempt to understand the actors within that context, the belligerents and the resistors, the profiteers and the peacekeepers, and to analyze the society in which the conflict arises as well as the contortions the society undergoes.  These are key issues for the fellowship visit and Susan Allee’s perspective as a political analyst and operational strategist will complement the academic and practical analysis being undertaken by the current projects in the Centre, to enable their useful exploration and means of tackling gender-based violence outcomes that may result.

BMVP Susan Allee will deliver the following seminars:

During her stay Ms Allee will be hosted by Professor Marianne Hester (School for Policy Studies)