The Securitization of Peace: Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, Gendered Peacebuilding and their Effects on Women

Short Description of the Project

The doctoral dissertation is part of the SNF PRIMA funded research project Gendered Security Strategies: Why Women Matter in Policy and Practice of Countering Violent Extremism under the lead of Dr. Elizabeth Mesok. The project examines the development and implementation of security strategies designed to ‘counter and prevent violent extremism’ (P/CVE), with emphasis on the gendered ramifications of such strategies. Whereas the gender discourse has gained traction in policy discussions on counter-terrorism, the gendered implications of P/CVE remain to be investigated. To that end, the research focuses on the emergence of gendered approaches to P/CVE as enacted across different sectors including state and military institutions, civil society organizations, and multilateral development agencies, as well as the impact such strategies have on the communities in which they are implemented. Finally, the research project aims at bridging the gap between theory and practice, thereby addressing the gap in literature on women, gender and security by theorizing gender as discursively constructed, fluid and embodied technology rather than a stable coherent signifier.

Nora will critically assess the P/CVE agenda and related security architecture through the lens of postcolonial feminist theory and discursive analysis in order to understand the underlying ramifications for women and structures of power in contexts where violent extremism is prevalent. From a peacebuilding perspective, she will focus on the nexus between multilateral development agencies and civil society organizations to explore how the securitization of peacebuilding impacts the broader multilateral security framework as well as civil society. She examines the shift to “softer” security strategies with an emphasis on the role of women and women’s rights within the political economy of P/CVE. 

Supervisor: Dr. Elizabeth Mesok
Co-Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Laurent Goetschel


Nora Naji is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at the Graduate School for Social Sciences at the University of Basel. She holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Geneva and a MA in Culture and Politics from Leiden University in the Netherlands. Prior to joining the Gender, War, and Security Research Group, she was a Junior Project Manager at swissnex San Francisco. She also gained professional experience in the Human and Social Sciences Sector at UNESCO in Paris and at a human rights organization in Amman. Her research interests include peacebuilding and human security, gender and postcolonial feminism, as well as humanitarian innovation and design.



Nora Naji 
Zentrum Gender Studies 
Rheinsprung 21, Office U4.001
4051 Basel