Gender, Peace, Security and the Law

The details
Essex Law School
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Monday 15 January 2024
Friday 22 March 2024
20 October 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module provides an in-depth overview of the legal and political frameworks developed at the international level governing gender, peace and security.

Such frameworks were developed particularly to address the relative invisibility of women and gender more broadly in articulations of threats to peace and security and with a view to promoting and extending the roles of women in the development and implementation of strategies to address such threats.

The module highlights the interface between feminist legal theory, international human rights law, international relations theory and additional legal frameworks relevant to key subject areas which are particularly relevant to gender, peace and security. These consist of: displacement, peacekeeping, terrorism, weapons and disarmament, investigations and commissions of inquiry, prosecutions and reparations.

In the exploration of each of these subject areas, particular emphasis is placed on exploring the specific gender dimensions – both in how the subject areas are framed but equally, in understanding the tensions within those framings and the legal and policy responses that have been developed to address them and the gaps that remain.

Module aims

The aim of the module is for students to obtain an in-depth overview of the legal and political frameworks developed at the international level governing gender, peace and security and to be able to critically assess those frameworks.

Module learning outcomes

(i) Students will have acquired a good understanding of critical feminist legal and political theory as it relates to peace and security.
(ii) Students will understand the foundational concepts and principles of ‘Women, Peace and Security’ particularly as articulated by the UN Security Council and addressed programmatically by a range of United Nations agencies.
(iii) Students will learn how to take a critical approach to the study of law and policy and in particular, to analyse the gender dimensions of the subject areas covered in the module. They will be able to form their own opinions as to the extent to which international law adequately addresses the gender dimensions of peace and security.
(iv) Students will learn how to develop and express (orally and in writing) complex arguments to substantiate the critical approaches they take to the subject areas explored within the module.

Module information

Indicative Module Outline

1. Feminist Legal Theory and Notions of Security
2. The Women, Peace and Security Agenda and Related Framings
3. Gender and Displacement
4. Gender and Peacekeeping
5. Gender, Weapons and Disarmament
6. Gender, Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism
7. Investigations and commissions of inquiry
8. Prosecutions
9. Reparations

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be taught via weekly 2-hour seminars. The module teaching team will upload all relevant teaching materials on Moodle. You will find reading lists, the textbook, weekly handouts or PPS notes on Moodle. The materials in question are designed both to help you navigate the material to be covered in the seminars and to equip you to analyse the required readings. You will be expected to have completed the required readings in advance of your seminars.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   LW938-7-SP - Essay    100% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Carla Ferstman, email: cf16045@essex.ac.uk.
Law Education Office, pgtlawqueries@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 18 hours, 18 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Essex Law School

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.