Research and publications
My research is at the intersection of security gender, security studies and queer theory. Here I include my published journal articles, book chapters, review articles, and additional online publications.
All publications accessible here or open access. Also see my Queen's University Belfast Pure page.
'Queer Conflict Research: New Approaches to the Study of Political Violence', (edited with Samuel Ritholtz and Andrew Delatolla), Bristol University Press, Forthcoming Spring 2024
Bringing together a team of international scholars, this volume provides a foundational guide to queer methodologies in the study of political violence and conflict. Contributors provide illuminating discussions on why queer approaches are important, what they entail and how to utilise a queer approach to political violence and conflict. The chapters explore a variety of methodological approaches, including fieldwork, interviews, cultural analysis and archival research. They also engage with broader academic debates, such as how to work with research partners in an ethical manner. Including valuable case studies from around the world, the book demonstrates how these methods can be used in practice. Chapters available upon request ahead of publication.
'Cuir/Queer Peacebuilding', (edited with Melanie Judge, Samuel Ritholtz and José Fernando Serrano Amaya , Revista de Estudios Sociales, January 2023
This special issue explores what “queering” means in the context of peacebuilding. The issue addresses an unexamined gap in peacebuilding efforts to achieve gender justice and inclusive security in conflict-affected societies, namely the unique experiences of LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer) individuals and their collective efforts to achieve social justice in contexts of sociopolitical violence. Although there is now over two decades of work to include attention to gender in peacebuilding efforts, little of this work focuses specifically on queer perspectives. Read the introduction here.
'An Interview with Nikita Simonne Dupuis-Vargas Latorre about Trans Men’s Rights in Colombia Today', Peace Review, November 2022
In November 2021 Jamie J. Hagen spoke with trans rights activist Nikita Simonne Dupuis-Vargas Latorre from Bogota, Colombia. Nikita has worked as an activist on issues of transmasculinities and depathologization of identities for 15 years. Nikita is a social communicator and journalist from the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University. He has worked as a public official since 2010 in the District Mayor’s Office of Bogota for the territorialization of LGBT Public Policy. For this interview Nikita spoke about his work over the past decade
and a half at the intersection of anti-militarization and trans rights. Read here.
'Forum-Shifting and Human Rights: Prospects for Queering the Women, Peace and Security Agenda', (with Catherine O'Rourke), Human Rights Quarterly, August 2023
The adoption of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda by the UN Security Council constituted a forum-shift by women’s rights advocates away from the human rights system. As queer critique of the WPS agenda gathers pace, this article reflects on the antecedents of the queer exclusions of the WPS agenda in international human rights law. The article thereby reveals the consequences in other international law regimes of human rights law’s queer exclusions. The article concludes with some tentative proposals to utilise the pluralism of international human rights law to expand queer possibilities for both human rights and WPS.
'Queering Gender-Based Violence Scholarship: An Integrated Research Agenda', (with Meredith Loken), International Studies Review, November 2022
Research on armed conflict's gender dynamics has expanded significantly in the past decade. However, research in this field pays little attention to sexual orientation and gender identity. Moreover, where scholarship focused on violence against sexual and gender minority (SGM) individuals during war exists, it is largely divorced from work on gender-based violence (GBV) in conflict-related environments and from sexuality studies. In this article, we integrate these bodies of work and argue for the theoretical expansion of GBV as a conceptual, empirical, and analytic category to study and explain targeted attacks against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and otherwise queer individuals. Article is available open access.
'Worker-led feminist mobilizing for the museum of the future' (with Margaret Middleton), European Journal of Women's Studies, October 2022
Museum workers have taken a massive hit during the pandemic when many museums closed their doors, cut staff hours, instituted layoffs and furloughs, and pushed more into precarity. For many workers, the effect of the pandemic has highlighted long-standing issues of racial, economic, gender and political inequality. This article engages with how workers are responding to this insecurity by highlighting worker-led feminist mobilizations for transformation in museums based in the United States and the United Kingdom. By focusing on efforts for engaging with the Black Lives Matter movement, decolonizing the museum, unionizing workers and providing mutual aid, this article examines worker-led practices of transformation of the museum amid crisis. A special emphasis is put on how workers articulate the importance of feminist solidarity and collective action in envisioning a more just museum of the future. Article is available open access.
'Queer feminist interruptions to internationalising UK higher education',
British Education Research Journal, April 2022
This paper considers queer feminist interruptions as a way to halt, reverse and rethink internationalisation in UK higher education (HE). These points of intervention are situated within the queer development studies literature, which provides a framework for understanding internationalisation practices alongside other strategies of Western extraction, critical of claims that internationalisation is important for enhancing diversity. The central questions addressed are: (1) how does queer liberation help academics think differently about promoting, participating in and developing UK HE internationally? (2) What can academics learn from those working to centre queer feminist practices in their transnational research and teaching? .Article is available open access.
"Nevertheless, they persisted. feminist activism & the politics of crisis in Northern Ireland " (with Maria-Adriana Deiana and Danielle Roberts), Journal of Gender Studies, 2022
The gendered effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have been documented globally by feminist researchers and activists. However, less explored are the strategies employed by feminist activists to navigate such challenges. Mobilizing feminist scholarship on the politics of crisis and the study of feminist movements, this article presents findings from a collaborative research project that sought to understand how the crisis engendered by the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting on feminist activism in Northern Ireland (NI) post-Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. Drawing on focus groups with local activists, we outline how the effects of the pandemic compound the long history of marginalization and de-prioritization of gender equality and justice seen throughout the peace process and its multiple crises. Open access.
"Revisiting gender-neutral policy from a trans perspective: a look at Northern Ireland " (with Maria-Adriana Deiana and Danielle Roberts), European Journal of Politics and Gender, 2022
Key Messages: Gender-neutral policy can depoliticise gender and marginalise trans people. Intersectional and gender-aware politics resists reproducing the gender binary when promoting gender equality Read here.
"Racial hierarchies of knowledge production in the Women, Peace and Security agenda" (w/ Toni Haastrup), Critical Studies on Security, 2021
In this article, we address hierarchies of knowledge production that have emerged in the two decades of researching the global normative framework, the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. We argue that through the constitution of Centres of Excellence (CoE), the well-meaning processes of producing WPS knowledge can reify prevailing global racial hierarchies. We find that these processes rather than achieving emancipatory feminist outcomes can instead serve to narrow the scope of inquiry, pushing marginalised peoples further to the margins. Open access. Read here.
"Compounding Risk for Sex Workers in the United States", NACLA Report on the Americas, 2018
The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) and Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) hold serious consequences for Latinx queer and trans sex workers, especially those who are undocumented or seeking asylum. These new laws exemplify how racist, sexist, and moralistic legislation uninformed by those most impacted misunderstands both sex work and human trafficking. Mobilizing for change, sex workers of color offer a way to rethink what safety in their communities looks like by centering solutions based on their own experiences. Read here.
This piece considers the importance of the inclusion of LGBT organizations in the Colombia peace accords and what this means for the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in future WPS initiatives. It was published as a part of the Interventions section about queer/ing in/securities. Read here.
Feminist security studies and emerging queer theory in international relations provide a framework to incorporate a gender perspective in WPS work that moves beyond a narrow, binary understanding of gender to begin to capture violence targeted at the LGBTQ population, particularly in efforts to address SGBV in conflict-related environments. The article explores how a queer security analysis reveals the part heteronormativity and cisprivilege play in sustaining the current gap in analysis of gendered violence. Read here.
"Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE) in Violent Conflict and Peacebuilding" (with Megan Daigle, Jamie Hagen, and Henri Myrttinen)
This chapter considers the heightened and layered vulnerabilities for gender and sexual minorities (GSM) living in war-related environments. A case study on the Colombian conflict explores the violence faced by those with diverse SOGIE as well as how queer communities support one another to survive conflict violence. The authors consider how post-conflict offers a moment to push back against heteropatriarchal and cisgender norms. They conclude with a look at international organisations currently working to respond to conflict-related violence against GSM with a focus on the work by OutRight Action International, Madre and the Organization for Women’s Freedom in Iraq. Read here.
Soumita Basu, Paul Kirby & Laura J. Shepherd (Eds.) , Bristol University Press, 2020
This contribution reflects on how whiteness and white privilege are refracted in the narratives and practices WPS agenda through a focus on National Action Plans (NAPs). We consider who WPS is about and who it is for on the international stage. A central part of this investigation is interrogating whether NAPs are truly able to localize the international project of WPS or whether because of global racial hierarchies, they actually simply reinforce the status quo to then allow for the perpetuation of countries in a peaceful though militarized Global North to place countries in the insecure Global South in a position of always failing at WPS. We also examine the imagery used by different countries within their NAPs and its implications for WPS messaging by countries in the Global North. Read here.
"Extending acts of motherhood: Storytelling as resistance to stigma" , Troubling Motherhood: Maternality in Global Politics, Lucy B. Hall, Anna L. Weissman, & Laura J. Shepherd (eds), Oxford University Press, p. 51-66, 2020
This chapter highlights the different ways mothers engage in storytelling to resist stigma, while also rejecting the idea that they are “bad” mothers. The prevailing story told about what makes a “good” mother relies on the construction of an ideal mother parenting within a specific vision of the nuclear family. Mothers who do not live up to this ideal construction of motherhood are punished through various forms of stigma such as sexual stigma and abortion stigma. This chapter considers the impact of stigma on two groups of women, lesbian mothers and mothers who have had abortions. Mothers from both communities who have faced stigma are finding ways to rewrite the script about how to mother without shame.
"Sexualities" in Handbook on Gender and Violence, eds, Laura J. Shepherd (ed), Oxfordshire, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, p. 61-76, 2019
This chapter introduces the main scholarship pertaining to sexuality as it relates to gender, with a focus on how this intersection matters for better understanding violence targeting LGBTQ individuals. Specifically, the chapter examines how homophobia is used as a means of upholding heteronormativity on the institutional level. The chapter considers how upholding norms based on binary constructions of masculinity and femininity perpetuates forms of violence, especially for queer and trans individuals who are deemed to being failing to perform these aspects of their identity appropriately who are then punished through acts of violence. Read here.
"Global LGBTQ politics and human rights" in Interdisciplinary Approaches to Human Rights, eds. Elora Chowdhury & Rajini Srikanth (eds) Oxfordshire, UK: Taylor and Francis/Routledge, 2018
This chapter addresses human rights debates about global LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) politics. The role of human rights as contained in UN documents on the global scale verses human rights concerns as articulated by local organizations is then compared. The chapter concludes with a look at the critical pushback on the human rights paradigm as a way to achieve security and equality for LGBTQ individuals due the colonial legacy of the institution as expressed by some transnational feminists. Read here.
Gender, Sex and Politics: In the Streets and Between the Sheets
This book chapter reviews ways that online queer and trans communities provide a space to connect in new and exciting ways not previously available to most. The chapter highlights the lesbian, feminist website Autostraddle as well as queer sex and fashion blogs such as DapperQ, The Handsome Butch Tumblr and The Testshot Tumblr.
Review articles and editorials
Additional online publications
Can the U.N. Protect Queer Rights?, ( with Dean Cooper-Cunningham, María Susana Peralta Ramón, and Jess Gifkins) Foreign Policy, July 2023
In countries as different as Colombia and Lebanon, LGBTQ advocates are helping lead protests and build peace, Washington Post, July 2021
Interview – Jamie Hagen, (edited by Karoline Faerber), E-IR, 15 February 2021
Race, Justice and New Possibilities: 20 Years of the Women, Peace and Security agenda, (with Toni Haastrup), LSE WPS Forum, July 2020
The Future of LGBTQ Human Rights in the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, IPI Global Observatory, July 2019
How a UN Committee’s Ruling on Abortion in Ireland Holds Countries Accountable, Rewire News, Jan 2017
Did sexual orientation and gender identity play a role in the rejection of the Colombian peace deal?, LSE WPS Blog, December 2016
How We Are Failing Women and Girls in Humanitarian Emergencies, Rewire News. Feb 2016
5 things you didn't know about human trafficking, Rolling Stone, August 2014
The Fight for Universal Access to Abortion, Rewire News, April 2014
Sex Work is Work: A Conversation with Melissa Gira Grant, Bitch Magazine, March 2014
The missing group of victims in conflict-related violence, Women Under Siege, Dec 2014
Reproductive Justice through the eyes of an Abortion Doula, Rewire News, Feb 2014