Catherine Eschle


  • United Kingdom

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Personal Statement

As a senior lecturer in the School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Strathclyde, I teach honours and Masters courses on the Politics and International Relations degree and I also teach on the Masters in Applied Gender Studies.

My research looks broadly at feminism and social movement politics: I am interested in the theory and practice of Western feminism, on the one hand, and the gender politics and role of feminism in a range of contemporary movements, on the other.  With a recurrent focus on transnational organising and solidarity relationships, and on how activists rework political concepts and theories, my work bridges critical International Relations, political theory, gender studies and sociological social movement studies. In the early part of my career, I focused on feminism in the global justice movement, and more broadly on feminist activism in and against neoliberalism. More recently, I have published on the gendered and feminist politics of protest camps, and I have been developing a decolonial feminist research programme on (anti)nuclear politics

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

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 and Occupy Glasgow/Edinburgh camps. Drawing on interview data collected 2014-16, and archival research on movement ephemera, my research has been published in International Feminist journal of Politics, Security Dialogues and Social Movement Studies. My article 'Troubling Stories of the End of Occupy' was awarded the 2019 Britta Baumgarten memorial prize for the best article published in the previous two years in  Social Movement Studies. I have also been working for several years toward the publication of an international, interdisciplinary collection, co-edited with Alison Bartlett, entitled Feminism and Protest Camps: Entanglements, Critiques and Re-Imaginings (Bristol University Press, 2023).

2) Feminist Contestations of the Global Nuclear Order. This research was initially inspired by the claim of Cold War feminist activists that the nuclear state is sustained in part through gendered identity claims and rhetoric – which anti-nuclear struggle must therefore expose and challenge. I have sought to update this argument for the post-Cold War world, both theoretically and empirically. In this vein, I have published articles critiquing recent British nuclear policy;  reframing the relationship between women and anti-nuclear activism; and reconceptualising the gendered identities and 'everyday security practices' of anti-nuclear activists.

Latterly, I have argued that feminist analysis of (anti)nuclear politics should take coloniality more seriously; doing so requires serious attention to Indigenous and anti-racist perspectives most often found outside of IR, shifts dominant framings of the spatial and temporal dynamics of nuclear politics, and expands our understanding of feminist anti-nuclear sources and voices. Connectedly, I have since 2019 been convening the international, interdisciplinary 'Femnukes' research network (with Shine Choi), which in 2022 produced a groundbreaking International Affairs special issue entitled 'Feminist Interrogations of Global Nuclear Politics'. I am currently 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 April-July 2020, I took up a Guest Professorship at Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, where I taught  Introduction to the Methods and Theories of Gender Studies, and I am currently participating in an international project entitled Decolonizing the Nuclear Curriculum, as part of the team developing an open-access module on perspectives from feminism, queer scholarship and disability studies.

I welcome applications for PhDs in the following areas:

1) the theory and practice of 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, Feminism, Social Movements and the Globalisation of Democracy, 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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