Vulnerable Bodies: Gender, the UN and the Global Refugee Crisis, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Vulnerable Bodies

Gender, the UN and the Global Refugee Crisis, 1st Edition

By Erin K. Baines


240 pages

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Paperback: 9781138258761
pub: 2016-11-11
Hardback: 9780754637349
pub: 2004-10-28
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315234458
pub: 2017-03-02
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Examining the response of the United Nations to forced displacement in three cases, this insightful work lays bare the breach between advances in global policy on gender equality and humanitarianism and the implementation of these policies. In this book Erin Baines uses the examples of Bosnia, Rwanda and Guatemala to explore the interplay between the global, the national and the local level. By providing critical empirical data, feminist propositions can be tested against experience. Vulnerable Bodies will form an excellent resource for courses in international relations, gender studies, development studies, comparative politics, and for UN policymakers and government practitioners.


'In this engaging study, Erin Baines explores the gender-differentiated ways in which refugees are "confined to their bodies" and the manner in which formal responses sometimes sustain - and sometimes challenge - that differentiation…Baines never loses sight of the detail and nuance of people's "day to day" and offers a complex political picture about gender, the UN and the global refugee crisis.' Sandra Whitworth, York University, Canada 'Vulnerable Bodies examines the violence of war, its militarized masculinity, and gender nationalisms…Baines offers a unique insider perspective on the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its various responses to conflict and displacement in Africa, Latin America, and Europe. Her insights into the machinations and gender wars inside this UN agency are highly provocative in the post-Cold War context in which she writes.' Associate Professor Jennifer Hyndman, Simon Fraser University, Canada 'Baines deftly guides the reader through new humanitarian practices and principles, the emergence of gender equity norms with the United Nations, and unprecedented events within the refugee crises of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, and Guatemala. Within this multi-faceted context, she illuminates the gains and pitfalls of those working with refugee women and men…and the real-life impacts on women and girl refugees. A must-read…' Dr Dyan Mazurana, Tufts University, USA. 'The broad geographical scope and theoretical and practical application of this book makes it of relevance to scholars and students of many fields including conflict and peace studies, feminist theory and humanitarian law…it may also provide a bitter-sweet looking glass for UNHCR staff and others involved in the protection of "vulnerable women".' INCORE (International Conflict Research)

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: on vulnerable bodies; Transnational advocacy on refugee women, 1979-89; Promoting gender equality in the UN Refugee Agency, 1990-2002; In ruby splendour: Guatemala; The fragile world: Bosnia-Herzegovina; Stones, skulls, bones: Rwanda; Lessons learned for the next generation; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Erin Baines is Director of the Conflict and Development Programme at the Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia, Canada.

About the Series

Gender in a Global/Local World

Gender in a Global/Local World

Gender in a Global/Local World critically explores the uneven and often contradictory ways in which global processes and local identities come together. Much has been and is being written about globalization and responses to it but rarely from a critical, historical, gendered perspective. Yet, these processes are profoundly gendered albeit in different ways in particular contexts and times. The changes in social, cultural, economic and political institutions and practices alter the conditions under which women and men make and remake their lives. New spaces have been created - economic, political, social - and previously silent voices are being heard. North-South dichotomies are being undermined as increasing numbers of people and communities are exposed to international processes through migration, travel, and communication, even as marginalization and poverty intensify for many in all parts of the world. The series features monographs and collections which explore the tensions in a ’global/local world’, and includes contributions from all disciplines in recognition that no single approach can capture these complex processes.

Please contact one of the editors if you have a proposal for consideration:

Jane Parpart:

Marianne H. Marchand:

Rirhandu Mageza-Barthel:

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies