Letter From the Dean

Merit E. Janow
September 12, 2019

This volume of the Journal of International Affairs offers a compelling entry point into a subject that is timely and important, but also understudied: feminism as a global political force. Women around the world are increasingly serving as drivers of progress through their public service in senior levels of government, and their leadership of non-governmental organizations and grassroots movements. They are also exerting their influence at both local and international levels to shape public policy, uphold women’s rights, and drive peaceful resolution in conflict settings.

The contributed articles in this volume are impressive, and represent an exceptional range of perspectives and backgrounds.

You will find coverage of the challenges facing the women’s movement in Pakistan, profiles of women’s peace movements in Liberia and Ireland, the transition from war to peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a description of the struggle for feminism and peace in Afghanistan. These essays are powerful examples of how women have had an impact and offer important lessons from previous conflicts.

This volume also considers the treatment of women in a world of ubiquitous social media, where that important amplifier of women’s voices can also be misused as a tool for misogyny and discrimination.

The authors bring experience and tested voices. They represent the views of individuals who have been directly involved in these efforts, including leaders of peace movements, Nobel Laureates, former cabinet ministers, advisors to the heads of major multilateral organizations, and leading scholars.

We thank our contributors for sharing their informed perspectives and bringing greater attention and visibility to the important role women continue to play to advance progress in politics around the world.

Merit E. Janow
Dean & Professor of Practice, International Economic Law & International Affairs
School of International and Public Affairs
Columbia University