Through the Looking Glass: Brexit, Defence and Security Through the Lens of Gender

  • Amy BarrowEmail author
Part of the Gender and Politics book series (GAP)


This chapter explores the implications of Brexit on the EU’s defence and security policy through the lens of gender. As the UK navigates its departure from the EU, there remains significant uncertainty about the implications of the post-Brexit political landscape on defence and security. While commentators have attempted to decipher what Britain’s divorce from the EU may mean for the UK as well as the EU’s defence and security, a gender lens has not been systematically applied to these analyses. Since UN Security Council Resolution 1325 was adopted in October 2000, the EU has, at least on paper, supported the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda. Yet, these and other important policy developments are at risk. Whether the UK and EU negotiate a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit, the integration of a gender perspective in defence and security policymaking may be undermined and have detrimental consequences.


  1. Bailes, A.J.K. 2008. The EU and a ‘Better World’: What Role for the European Security and Defence Policy? International Affairs 84 (1): 115–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barrow, A. 2009. ‘[It’s] like a Rubber Band’. Assessing UNSCR 1325 as a Gender Mainstreaming Process. International Journal of Law in Context 5 (1): 51–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barrow, A. 2013. Mainstreaming Gender in Transitional Justice Processes. In The Experiences of Women as Protagonists in Transitional Justice, ed. L. Yarwood, 34–53. Abingdon, Oxon; New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Barrow, A. 2016. Operationalizing Security Council Resolution 1325: The Role of National Action Plans. Journal of Conflict and Security Law 21 (2): 1–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Basu, S. 2016. The Global South Writes 1325 (Too). International Political Science Review 37 (3): 362–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Beveridge, Fiona, and Jo Shaw. 2002. Introduction: Mainstreaming Gender in European Public Policy. Feminist Legal Studies 10 (3–4): 313–328. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Black, J., A. Hall, K. Cox, M. Kepe, and E. Silfversten. 2017. Defence and Security After Brexit: Understanding the Possible Implications of the UK’s Decision to Leave Europe. RAND Corporation.Google Scholar
  8. Chalmers, Malcolm. 2017. UK Foreign and Security Policy After Brexit. Briefing Paper, RUSI Royal United Services Institute.Google Scholar
  9. Charlesworth, Hilary. 1994. Transforming the United Men’s Club: Feminist Futures for the UN. Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems 4: 421. Google Scholar
  10. D’Almeida, Irina Bratosin, Rebecca Haffner, and Corinna Horst. 2017. Women in the CSDP: Strengthening the EU’s Effectiveness as an International Player. European View 16: 313–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Deiana, Maria-Adriana, and Kenneth McDonagh. 2018. ‘It Is Important, but…’ Translating the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda into the Planning of EU Peacekeeping Missions. Peacebuilding 6 (1): 34–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. European Parliament Report on Participation of Women in Peaceful Conflict Resolution (2000) A5-0308/2000.Google Scholar
  13. Guerrina, Roberta, and Annick Masselot. 2018. Walking into the Footprint of EU Law: Unpacking the Gendered Consequences of Brexit. Social Policy & Society 17 (2): 319–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Guerrina, R., and K.A.M. Wright. 2016. Gendering Normative Power Europe: Lessons of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. International Affairs 92 (2): 293–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gya, Giji. 2011. Women, Peace and Security in EU Common Security and Defence Policy. Background Paper, CSDN Policy Meeting on EU-CSO Expert Meeting on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) in EU Common Security and Defence Policy Missions and Operations, June 21, Brussels, Belgium. Last accessed 18 May 2018.
  16. Hadfield, Amelia. 2018. Britain Against the World? Foreign and Security Policy in the ‘Age of Brexit’. In Beyond Brexit. London: UCL Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hafner Burton, Emilie, and Mark A. Pollack. 2002. Mainstreaming Gender in Global Governance. European Journal of International Relations 8 (3): 339–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Henokl, Thomas. 2018. How Brexit Affects EU External Action: The UK’s Legacy in European International Cooperation. Futures 97: 63–72. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Joachim, Jutta, Andrea Schneiker, and Anne Jenichen. 2017. External Networks and Institutional Idiosyncransies: The Common Security and Defence Policy and UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Cambridge Review of International Affairs 30 (1): 105–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kirby, P., and L.J. Shepherd. 2016. The Futures Past of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. International Affairs 92 (2): 373–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kronsell, Annica. 2016. Sexed Bodies and Military Masculinities: Gender Path Dependence in EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy. Men and Masculinities 19 (3): 311–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Meiske, Maline. 2015. Gender Balancing in CSDP Missions. European Union for Security Studies (51): 1–2. Google Scholar
  23. Miller, B., M. Pournik, and A. Swaine. 2014. Women in Peace and Security Through United National Security Council Resolution 1325: Literature Review, Content Analysis of National Action Plans, and Implementation. Global Gender Program Working Paper No. 09. Washington, DC, USA: George Washington Elliott School of International Affairs.Google Scholar
  24. Moser, Caroline, and Annalise Moser. 2005. Gender Mainstreaming Since Beijing: A Review of the Success and Limitations in International Institutions. Gender and Development 13 (2): 11–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nováky, Niklas. 2018. The EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation in Defence: Keeping Sleeping Beauty from Snoozing. European View 17 (1): 97–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Otto, Diane. 2009. The Exile of Exclusion: Reflections on Gender Issues in International Law Over the Last Decade. Melbourne Journal of International Law 10 (1): 11–26.Google Scholar
  27. Rees, Teresa. 2005. Reflections on the Uneven Development of Gender Mainstreaming in Europe. International Feminist Journal of Politics 7 (4): 555–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Shepherd, Laura J. 2008. Power and Authority in the Production of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. International Studies Quarterly 52 (2): 383–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Squires, Judith. 2005. Is Mainstreaming Transformative? Theorizing Mainstreaming in the Context of Diversity and Deliberation. Social Politics 12 (3): 366–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. True, Jacqui. 2016. Explaining the Global Diffusion of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. International Political Science Review 37 (3): 307–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Valenius, Johanna. 2007. Gender Mainstreaming in ESDP Missions. Chaillot Paper No. 101. Paris: European Union Institute for Security Studies.Google Scholar
  32. Walby, Sylvia. 2005. Gender Mainstreaming: Productive Tensions in Theory and Practice. Social Politics 12 (3): 321–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Whitman, Richard G. 2016. The UK and EU Foreign, Security and Defence Policy After Brexit: Integrated, Associated or Detached? National Institute Economic Review 238 (1): R43–R50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Williams, Kristin P. 2017. Feminism in Foreign Policy. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. USA: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar
  35. WILPF. 2007. European Security Politics – Peace, Security and Cooperation. Stockholm: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom—Swedish section.Google Scholar
  36. Woodward, Alison E. 2004. Building Velvet Triangles: Gender and Informal Governance. In Informal Governance in the European Union, ed. Thomas Christiansen and Simona Piattoni, 76–93. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Macquarie Law SchoolMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations