Current Institutional Affiliation
PhD Candidate, Political and International studies, Rhodes University

Award Information

Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa: Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship 2016
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Political and International Studies, Rhodes University
Beyond state-centrism: informal regionalisation by gender-based civil society and its implication for future region-building in southern Africa

This study aims to examine to what extent informal regionalisation by gender-based civil society do promote a sense of regionness in southern Africa. So far, the conception of regionness and region-building in international relation (IR) literature on regional integration has largely been state-centric, or has focused on regionalisation of formal regional organisations. Further, while gender and the political economy are part of the global landscape of the new regionalism, they generally remain neglected in IR discourse. This neglect, however, is not empirically justified given that regions and regionness have evolved in the context of globalisation and liberalisation, and involves new actors and more expanded processes of regionalisation such as those by civil society within informal interactive networks of organisations and alliances addressing regional challenges and governance to achieve peace, development, security and empowerment. Pertinent to also note is that gender issues play a significant role within formal and informal forms of regionalisation in southern Africa which recognise how gender inequality adversely impacts of region-building and peace-building efforts. My research site will involve gender-based civil society regionalising within the context of southern Africa in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This study will employ interpretative reflective methods of research based on primary and secondary research data. The primary data through semi-structured interviews of the key respondents will provide some new and valid insights on informal regionalisation by gender based civil society in southern Africa that explains vital aspects in IR literature, and at policy level contribute to research on the relevance of informal regionalisation by civil society to reduce gender disparities that impact negatively on peace, development and empowerment.