Agora-SHS Ateliers gouvernance et recherche Appliquée
Nouméa, samedi 25 mai 2024

Sciences Sociales Nouvelle Calédonie Sciences Humaines

GEORGE, Nicole

Nicole George

Post-Doctoral Fellow and Associate Lecturer

School of Political Science and International Studies

University of Queensland

Email :

My research is chiefly focussed upon the political agency of Pacific Islands women and guided by three interrelated questions which consider a) the nature of Pacific women’s political activity, b) the national, regional and international impact of this activity, and c) how it is situated within broader local and global political contexts.

Given the limited presence of Pacific women within the formal, institutional sphere of politics (New Caledonia being the notable exception here) my work is principally focussed upon the informal realm of women’s organising. While my research projects therefore provide a “bottom up” perspective of women’s political capacity they also demonstrate how that activity is shaped by broader socio-cultural and political considerations as well as global norms governing international development policy-making. As such my work goes beyond a simple “celebration” of Pacific women’s political capacity by also contextualising apparent gains in a way which attempts to identify and explain historical shifts within the realm of women’s activism.

My current research project examines the history of women’s regional approaches to peace-building from the period of Pacific decolonisation until the present day. It considers both the shifting normative orientation of this activity and its varying regional scope. A strong emphasis is given to the history of collaboration between women from the Pacific’s Independent and non-independent territories. This involves detailed consideration of how Francophone women have participated in regional peace-building networks, the factors which appear to have encouraged active collaboration across the Anglophone / Francophone divide in the 1970s but seeming worked against this level of collaboration continuing in later periods.

The significance of this research is three-fold. First it provides greater insights into the poorly understood history of “bottom up” forms of Pacific regionalism and provides an important counter-narrative to the more common story of regional cooperation achieved through institutional avenues. Second it provides insights into the shifting nature of this regional activity which goes beyond a mere documentation of Pacific women’s political capacity and solidarity. Third it counters conventional accounts of women’s peace-building activity which tend to reinforce the idea that women’s approaches to conflict resolution are singular, homogenous and underpinned by an innate feminine capacity for pacifism.

Recent Publications

2009 Situating Women : Gender Politics and Circumstance in Fiji, Stanford University Press (Under peer review).

2009 “Pacific Women Building Peace : A Regional Perspective”, The Contemporary Pacific, (under consideration).

2009 “‘Situating’ Active Citizenship : Historical and Contemporary Perspectives of Women’s Organising in the Pacific”, Development In Practice (forthcoming 2009 special edition on Active Citizenship).

2009 “Women’s Organising in Fiji : Shifting Terrains of Transnational Engagement” in Gender and Global Politics in the Asia-Pacific, Katrina Lee Koo and Bina D’Costa (eds.), (Palgrave-Macmillan, NY) pp.175-193.

2008 “Contending Masculinities and the Limits of Tolerance : Sexual Minorities in Fiji” The Contemporary Pacific, Vol.20, No.1, pp. 163-89.

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