Catherine Eschle


  • United Kingdom

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Personal profile

Personal Statement

As a senior lecturer in the School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Strathclyde, I am Director of the Honours year of the Politics and International Relations degree and also teach on the Masters degrees in International Relations (IR) and Applied Gender Studies. My research focuses on feminism and social movement politics: I am especially interested in the theory and practice of the contemporary feminist movement, on the one hand, and the gender politics and role of feminism in other movements (with a current focus on anti-nuclear organising), on the other.  My work bridges critical International Relations, political theory, gender studies and sociological social movement studies. With Bice Maiguashca, I have written two books and several articles on the global justice movement. More recently I have published on the gendered politics of protest camps, on debates within feminism about co-optation and solidarity, and on feminism, nuclear policy and anti-nuclear politics, in journals including International Studies Quarterly, Security Dialogues, European Journal of Politics and Gender, and Political Studies. My paper 'Troubling Stories of the End of Occupy: Feminist Narratives of Betrayal at Occupy Glasgow' recently won the 2019 Britta Baumgartner memorial prize for the best article published in Social Movement Studies 2017 and 2018. Read it here (open access until end 2019).

I am active in several international feminist academic networks. A long-term member of the Feminist Theory and Gender Studies section of the International Studies Association, I have been on the executive committee since 2017 and am programme co-chair for 2020-21, along with Catherine Goetze. I was co-editor of the International Feminist journal of Politics 2006-11, with Sandra Whitworth and Teresia Teaiwa, and remain a member of the international editorial board. I am also a member of AtGender and the Feminist and Women's Studies Association, UK, as well as of the European International Studies Association, the European Conference on Politics and Gender, and the Gendering IR working  group of the British International Studies Association. Closer to home, I coordinate the Strathclyde University Feminist Research Network blog with Kirsty Alexander.

Follow me on twitter at @DrCEschle

Research Interests

My main research interests hinge on:

  • feminist theory and practice, particularly theoretical debates around democracy, intersectionality, solidarity, co-optation and resistance; and particularly the empirical contexts of the UK, transnational activism and institutions of global governance.
  • the gender politics of, and role of feminism in, social movements more generally, particularly  anti-nuclear and anti-austerity organising, and protest camps.
Connectedly, I am interested in feminist research methodology, and in how activist claims and practices can be illuminated by, and also contribute to, sociological scholarship on movements and International Relations theory, especially debates in critical security studies and critical international political economy.

My research is currently organised into two themes:

1)  Engendering Protest Camps: This research investigates the protest camp phenomenon from a feminist perspective, with a particular empirical focus on Faslane peace camp (ongoing, and Occupy Glasgow/Edinburgh camps (of Autumn 2011). There has been little academic analysis of these camps, notwithstanding the longevity and local importance of the Faslane camp; the high media profile of the shorter-lived Occupy camps; and the existence of a large scholarly literature on the peace camps of the 1980s, on the worldwide Occupy phenomenon of 2011, and on the social movement tactic of establishing protest camps. Moreover, this existing literature has not explored whether and in what ways gender or feminism, both so high profile in the peace camp politics of the 1980s, play a role in shaping protest camps today. My research responds to both lacunae, and consists of interview data collected 2014-16, and archival research on movement ephemera; it has been published in International Feminist journal of Politics, Security Dialogues and Social Movement Studies. I am currently developing an edited book on this theme.

2) Gender, Feminism and (Anti-)Nuclear Politics in the Post-Cold War World. This research takes as its starting point the Cold War feminist argument that the nuclear state is sustained in part through gendered identity claims and rhetoric – and that anti-nuclear struggle must therefore challenge and recreate gendered relationships and symbolic systems. I aim to update this argument for the post-Cold War world, both theoretically and empirically. To this end, I seek to think through the implications for scholarship and activism opposed to nuclear weapons of recent anti-essentialist feminist arguments about multiple masculinities and femininities, shifting in their character and impact over time and space, produced through anti-nuclear politics rather than preceding it. And I am particularly interested in tracking shifting feminist influence on the embodied protest tactics, normative visions and identifications of anti-nuclear activists. In this connection, I have published articles critiquing British nuclear policy and reframing the relationship between women and anti-nuclear activism. More recently I have written on the gendered identities and 'everyday security practices' of anti-nuclear activists. I am currently co-convening a research workshop (with Shine Choi) at the International Studies Association annual convention in Honolulu, March 2020 on this theme, with a particular focus on Pacific-Asia, and on the relationship between postcolonial and feminist theory, activism and academia. I am also in the early stages of a monograph bringing together and extending my work on this topic.


Teaching Interests

I teach the honours level class L2421 Feminism and Politics, and the MSc International Relations classes, L2964 Debating International Relations Theory (with Max Gallop and Richard johnson) and L2965 Feminism and International Relations. In addition, I contribute to classes and supervision on the MSc in Applied Gender Studies. In May/June 2020, I am taking up a Guest Professorship at Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, where I will be teaching classes entitled Introduction to the Methods and Theories of Gender Studies, and From Suffrage to #MeToo: Feminism and Social Movement Politics in a Global Frame

I welcome applications for PhDs in the following areas:

1) the theory and practice of the contemporary feminist movement (particularly theoretical debates around democracy, intersectionality, solidarity, co-optation and resistance; and particularly the empirical contexts of the UK, transnational networks, and institutions of global governance); and

2) the gender politics and role of feminism in other social movements (particularly peace, anti-nuclear and anti-austerity activism, and the independence movement in Scotland)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Sussex

Award Date: 1 Jan 1999

Master of Science, London School of Economics & Political Science

Award Date: 1 Jan 1995

Bachelor of Science, University of Bristol

Award Date: 1 Jan 1993


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