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

Vulnerable Bodies
Gender, the UN and the Global Refugee Crisis

ISBN 9781138258761
Published November 10, 2016 by Routledge
240 Pages

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Book Description

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.

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.

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


'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 may also provide a bitter-sweet looking glass for UNHCR staff and others involved in the protection of "vulnerable women".' INCORE (International Conflict Research)