8 March 2021

International Women's Day - Celebrating the achievements of our female staff

To mark International Women's Day, we’re celebrating the impact the women who work in the Department of Politics and International Relations have on the wider world.

A collage featuring headshots of female staff from the Department of Politics and International Relations

Our department is proud to employ a range of female scholars and support staff who not only teach and conduct world leading research, but who are having an impact on life beyond the University. Here are a few things you may not know about the work our staff have done:

  • Professor Ruth Blakeley researches state violence and human rights. She is co-director of The Rendition Project. Her work on the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation programme has had considerable impact, including informing litigation on behalf of torture victims at the European Court of Human Rights, and various police and government level investigations into the role of UK’s intelligence and security services.
  • Professor Charlie Burns works on the implications of EU membership on environmental policy and is co-founder and co-chair of the Brexit and Environment Network, which has brought together academics and stakeholders to shape environmental policy and politics in the UK. 
  • Professor Rosaleen Duffy works on biodiversity conservation, wildlife trafficking, poaching, security and global environmental governance. Her recent BIOSEC Project produced a range of policy briefs and videos designed to shape and inform policy on tackling conservation issues and the illegal wildlife trade. 

Watch the BIOSEC videos here

  • Professor Genevieve LeBaron works on forced labour and modern slavery. She is the lead academic of Re:Structure Lab, a collaborative initiative with Stanford and Yale Universities dedicated to advancing new models for a more equitable economy, and works closely with UK Parliament around slavery and the supply chain.  Her award-winning work has informed numerous policy debates and been featured widely in the media. 
  • Dr Kate Dommett works on digital technology and politics. Her research has influenced UK and EU policy debates around the regulation of digital campaigning. She has worked as special advisor to the House of Lords Committee on Democracy and Digital Technology and featured on the BBC News at 10 and BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme. 
  • Dr Hannah Lambie-Mumford works on food charity and she has been at the forefront of research on the growth of food charity systems in the UK and comparative research on the topic across Europe. Hannah sits on the Child Poverty Action Group’s Policy Advisory Committee and the Food Standards Agency’s Advisory Committee for Social Science. She works closely with a number of other NGOs, food charities and faith-based organisations. 
  • Dr Felicity Matthews works on the policy making process and the relationships that exist between government, parliament and citizens. She recently worked in the UK Parliament to monitor how MPs were engaging with parliamentary e-petitions and often speaks about her research on the BBC. You can listen to her recent discussion with BBC Radio Sheffield about the budget announcement below.

Listen here

  • Dr Jonna Nyman researches the politics of security, with particular interests in energy security, climate politics, and China. She regularly engages with policy-makers in the UK, EU, and NATO on these issues. 
  • Dr Lisa Stampnitzky’s research analyses how understandings of state and non-state violence are politically, socially, and historically constructed. She speaks regularly about her work to the media and has provided commentary for Sky News, BBC Radio 5 and Democracy Now!
  • Dr Joanna Tidy works on topics related to gender, war and military power. She is currently writing a book on soldiers who are engaged in non-combat roles, considering the implications of these soldiers’ experiences and role for theorisations of war and military power and concepts including militarised masculinity. She also works on anti-war politics including by veterans.  
  • Dr Helen Louise Turton works on conflict related sexual violence, how it is researched, its long-term consequences and questions of justice for victim/survivors. Her research has led her to work closely with a range of NGOs, Museums, Truth Commissions and charities, especially in Colombia, where artistic and participatory methods are used to help survivors of sexual violence in conflict. 
  • Dr Anastasia Shesterinina conducts research on contemporary armed conflict. She holds a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship, and works closely with ex-combatants to understand their trajectories in and out of armed groups and inform policy on sustaining peace in conflict-affected societies.

Find out more about her UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship

  • Dr Judith Verweijen works on militarisation and particularly on the intersection of conflicts around natural resources and violence. Having conducted extensive field research in eastern DRC, she is often consulted by policymakers, diplomats, NGOs and journalists. Her insights and work are regularly featured in news and background articles by, for instance, Reuters, Bloomberg and World Politics Review. She has also written numerous opinion pieces, including in Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs. She is a Fellow of the Rift Valley Institute, for which she has authored numerous policy briefs and reports, in addition to acting as Co-Director of Studies of their annual field course on the Great Lakes of Africa. 
  • Dr Ann George researches Asian security issues, focussing especially on Sino-Indian relations. She also has a research interest in norm emergence in the context of the hypersonic weapons arms race. She has spoken about her research on Indian TV, worked for the AOL Huffington Post media group and participated in the NATO Defense College Rome’s Deterrence and Nuclear Policy conference.
  • Dr Sarita Panday researches issues of equity and inclusion in maternal and child healthcare in Nepal. Using participatory research, she has engaged with local communities, NGOs, and policy makers in Nepal. She has brought medical and social science researchers to organise writing workshops for capacity building of researchers in Nepal, and is also working with the Health System Global to ensure that the community voices are represented in Global Health. 
  • Junyan Zhu studies social media and political participation in western democracies. Her recent work focused on the role of misinformation in political communication and how British policymakers evaluate the credibility of information in the ‘post-truth’ context. Her research report was used to provide guidance to shape the strategy of the Nottingham Institute for Policy and Engagement.
  • Dr Perla Polanco Leal researches forced labour in the global supply chains. She is currently collaborating in two research projects funded by the AHRC and Humanity United respectively. She is a part of a team collaborating with Stanford and Yale on developing a series of briefs aiming to provide evidence-based ideas into how to restructure business models and supply chains to build a more equitable economy. In order to disseminate this knowledge Perla and the team are engaging policymakers, businesses, and civil society, among others.
  • Jennifer Watson is Senior Knowledge Exchange Associate in the Faculty’s newly formed Knowledge Exchange Team. Jennifer has helped to build engagement opportunities with non academic partners such as policymakers, NGOs, charities and other key partners. This has led to Departmental research being used by non-academic partners to deliver societal change. 

We also want to recognise the awesome contribution our female (and lone male!) professional service colleagues make to the smooth running of the Department, going above and beyond to respond to both colleagues and students. Without Sarah Beddow, Sarah Moga, Wendy Birks, Katie Hunter, Jackie Mather, Nicola Moore, Gail Smallwood, Vickie Stewart, Christina Sommerville, Katie Turner and others the Department just wouldn't be the same. A shout out also goes to our wonderful female colleagues supporting the Department from Faculty hubs and beyond.

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