Portrait of Julia Zulver.

"I look forward to working with my new colleagues on the Gender, Peace and Security team at the Swedish Defence University", says Julia Zulver.

Julia Zulver appointed as Wallenberg Academy Fellow at the Swedish Defence University

Julia Zulver has been selected as one of this year's Wallenberg Academy Fellows by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. Her research focuses on how feminist activists are mobilizing in post-conflict and complex security environments to protect women’s rights.

Julia Zulver is affiliated with the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and Oxford University, United Kingdom. As a Wallenberg Academy Fellow, she will receive research funding for the next five years and will be working at the Swedish Defence University.

– I am delighted and honored to have been selected as a Wallenberg Academy Fellow. This Fellowship will allow me to develop and carry out my research agenda on feminist mobilizing in the face of patriarchal backlash, says Julia Zulver.

Gender justice in comparative global perspective

Her research will include extensive fieldwork in Latin America to better understand the nature of efforts to undermine women’s empowerment gains, as well as how activists are adapting their strategies to respond to these challenges.

– I look forward to working with my new colleagues on the Gender, Peace and Security team at the Swedish Defence University, and hope that we will find creative ways to collaborate on gender justice in a comparative global perspective. I am thrilled to have received support for research about gender justice, particularly in a global context where women’s rights are under attack.

Women's rights in post-conflict contexts and complex security environments

Julia Zulver’s research focuses on organisations that mobilize to protect feminist progress in countries that have recently transitioned away from war and conflict, and in countries experiencing chronic violence and insecurity.

Violence can destroy communities, yet in its aftermath, there are unique opportunities for feminist mobilizing and women’s political and economic gains. Research shows, however, that these gains may be short-lived, in part due to patriarchal backlash. From Rwanda to El Salvador, Colombia to Myanmar, governments and their allies are attacking feminists and aiming to roll back the rights they promote.

Policy implications for the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

Julia Zulver’s research project has three objectives. First, she will map the tactics state actors and their allies use against women’s and feminist organisations. Second, she will document how these organisations adapt their own strategies to overcome the political, legal, and cultural barriers they face, so they can continue to promote women’s rights. Finally, she will explore what these organisations’ work mean for the quality of democracy more broadly. She will focus on the policy implications of her findings for the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, a United Nations Security Council framework that includes a focus on women’s role in post-conflict reconstruction.

– I have spent over a decade working in Latin America with activists who struggle for gender equality and women’s rights, even in the face of grave danger. In a global context where we see new and transforming ways in which governments and their allies are pushing back against gender equality, it is vital that we shine a spotlight on how women continue to fight for and protect their empowerment gains, she says and continues:

– I hope that my action- and policy-oriented research can both advance knowledge about – and stand in solidarity with – women engaging in post-conflict mobilization in the face of patriarchal backlash.

Contribute to the research environment in gender, peace and security

As Wallenberg Academy Fellow, Julia Zulver will be joining the Department of War Studies and Military History at the Swedish Defence University where she will contribute to the work of the Gender, Peace and Security research team.

– Julia Zulver’s expertise from Latin America is a welcome addition to our existing area studies expertise. Her international connections provide an opportunity to strengthen our international profile and develop further collaborations. Also, her demonstrated experience with policy communities will significantly strengthen our ability to communicate research findings to relevant agencies as well as the wider public. We are absolutely delighted to welcome her soon, says Annick Wibben, Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of War Studies and Military History at the Swedish Defence University.

Josefin Svensson

Wallenberg Academy Fellows for Young Researchers

This year, the grant was awarded to 31 young researchers. The program began in 2012 and was established in collaboration with the Royal Academies and 16 Swedish universities. Depending on the field, the grant ranges between 6.5 and 15.6 million SEK per researcher over a period of five years. After the initial period, there is an opportunity to apply for an additional five years of funding. The grant covers research in natural sciences, medicine, technology, humanities, and social sciences. Including this year's cohort, 261 young researchers, of which 46 percent are women, have been appointed as Wallenberg Academy Fellows.

More about Wallenberg Academy Fellows.

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Annick Wibben

Professor, Deputy Head of Department +46 8-55342941