Feminist approaches in peace and conflict studies have been neglected for a long time – but they are currently on the rise. Interestingly, a similar trend may be observed in the practice of peacebuilding. While researchers and consultants base their approaches on similar reflections, their challenges with regard to the implementation of feminist approaches are not quite the same. In this discussion, Samantha Ruppel, feminist researcher at the PRIF, and Alena Sander, a feminist freelance consultant, discuss these differences, and emphasize common goals and opportunities of the feminist approach in peace research and practice.
The African Union’s (AU) peacebuilding efforts in The Gambia reflect the organization’s growing responsibility in this field. From 2018 to 2020, the AU deployed the African Union Technical Support Team to The Gambia (AUTSTG). Drawing on interviews and document and media analyses in 2020/2021, this PRIF Spotlight examines this novel mode of engagement and points out an emerging dilemma: The AUTSTG was successful as a technical and pragmatic intervention. However, this only came at the expense of supporting long-term political processes and thus undermined the AU‘s holistic peacebuilding policy.