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Magda Lorena Cárdenas, PhD Candidate, Umeå University

I am a PhD Candidate in Political Science at Umeå University, Sweden. My research introduces and illustrates the concept of women-to-women diplomacy through cases of bottom-up peacebuilding strategies developed by women’s organizations in dissimilar stages of conflict, covering both situations of active fighting and when the opposing sides are stalemated. The first case focuses on the strategies developed by women’s organizations in Myanmar and the second, on women’s initiatives in Georgia. The experiences of women’s organizations in Georgia and Myanmar illustrate how women contribute to peacebuilding by challenging the “us-and-them” dichotomy and establishing dialogue across ethnic lines that leads to the creation of a new arena for coalition building. During my time in NIAS, I will be focused on the case of the women’s movement in Myanmar, its strategies and current challenges. My work has been recently published in Civil Wars and Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, and I contributed to the edited volume “Women, peace and security in Myanmar. Between feminism and ethno-politics” (Routledge, 2019).


Eeva Holopainen, MA student, Helsinki University

In her master’s thesis, Eeva concentrates on immigration, belonging and group membership in South Korea. The aim is to study the concept of (South) Koreanness, how children with immigrant backgrounds or minority ethnic identities are educated and raised and what is expected of them; and whether Koreanness is only attainable at birth as often suggested by popular narrative, or whether it can be taught and learnt as per recent official policy narrative. The study is based on a three-month ethnographic fieldwork conducted in a regional children’s centre in urban environment, a place dedicated to after school education of so-called “children of multicultural families”.