Carrie Reiling, Ph.D.

Washington College

Country: United States (Maryland)

About Me:

Carrie Reiling is an assistant professor of political science and international studies at Washington College, a liberal arts school in Maryland. Her work focuses on the intersection of the Women, Peace, and Security agenda with local development priorities in West Africa.

Research Interests

Gender and Politics

African Politics



International Law & Organization

Text as Data

Peace And Conflict

United Nations

Human Security

Feminist Peace Politics

Peace Studies

Women, Peace, Security

Post-Conflict Peacebuilding

Women And Development

Women And Security

Feminist International Relations

Feminist IPE

Feminist Methodologies

Transnational Feminism

Africa's International Relations

Civil Society Africa

Development Africa

Governance In Africa

West Africa

Teaching Africa


Gender And Development

Politics Of Development

Sustainable Development

Countries of Interest

Ivory Coast (Cote D`Ivoire)




Sierra Leone

My Research:

My research is situated at the intersection of human security, global governance, women's development and empowerment, and African feminist theory. I am now working on a book manuscript, tentatively titled Human Development, Economic Empowerment, and Discourses of Women's Security. This project dissects the UN Security Council's Women, Peace, and Security agenda's implementation in three francophone West African countries: Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, and Mali. I demonstrate that the agenda's implementation is shaped by a number of factors, in particular a tension between "security," "peacebuilding," and "development" projects for women, not only in rhetoric but also in the programs designed to implement the agenda. Further tensions arise in the conflicting priorities of local women's organizations, national governments, and the international and transnational policy communities. The effects of these tensions are revealed through interviews with local NGO, government, and United Nations representatives as well as participant observation over nearly two years in West Africa. With insights from African feminism, my findings call into question the assumptions about women's roles in international security policies and the interrelation of actors in policy implementation.


Journal Articles:

(2017) Pragmatic Scepticism in Implementing the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda, Global Affairs

Conditions for women in the Global South have increasingly become acknowledged as critical components of global security. However, the development and implementation of policies to address these conditions, particularly the UN Security Council’s Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, have rested on essentializing assumptions of women’s victimhood and certain traditional roles in society. On the basis of these assumptions, national governments, transnational NGOs and international organizations provide financial and technical assistance to women's local civil society organizations to implement the WPS agenda. In response, local women’s organizations in Côte d'Ivoire perform “pragmatic scepticism” in the face of these essentializing international discourses. Local women, challenge the discourses at the same time they reclaim them for their own needs. This article uncovers two frames that women articulate – vulnerability and motherhood – as markers of identity in advocating for peace and security and as instruments to attract attention from the international community.