Interdisciplinary, Cross-Cultural, Theoretical, Applied
Diplomacy and World Affairs (DWA) is Occidental College’s nationally recognized international relations major. In addition to providing students with a firm foundation on various IR theories and issues, students are encouraged to draw in an interdisciplinary manner from a related major (among them politics, economics, film/documentary-making, critical theory, history, and religious studies). Students are required to engage in substantial foreign language study. DWA hosts the William and Elizabeth Kahane United Nations Program, which is unique in allowing undergraduate students to intern at agencies and arms of the United Nations. The John Parke Young Fund generously funds independent research projects developed by our students under faculty supervision. In cooperation with the McKinnon Center for Global Affairs, DWA also hosts a lively series of guest lectures, brown bags, films, documentaries, and the John Parke Young Distinguished Speaker Series.
Student Spotlight: Katie Wiese
The Diplomacy and World Affairs Department awarded Katie Wiese "Honors and Distinction" for her Senior Comprehensive Project. For her senior thesis, Katie researched how the Women Peace and Security (WPS) resolutions in the UN Security Council have impacted sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) policy in conflict and post-conflict zones. Recently, the Security Council powerfully urged all UN agencies and member states to provide access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health services in conflict settings. These WPS resolutions marked the first instance the Council addressed the extremely controversial issue of SRHR. It is currently unknown how these resolutions have influenced UN humanitarian and peace-building operations regarding SRHR. For her thesis, Katie conducted semi-structured interviews with policy advisors from various UN agencies and affiliated advocacy organizations to determine how these resolutions have impacted SRHR in conflict and post-conflict settings. Drawing upon these interviews and an analysis of policy documents, she argued that the WPS resolutions have promoted important normative shifts in both SRHR advocacy and discourse at the United Nations. Yet, the resolutions have not substantially altered operational policies regarding sexual and reproductive health, thereby inhibiting the efficacy of post-conflict peace-building efforts.This research was inspired by Katie's internship at the United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations, where she worked on various gender and human rights issues in the Third Committee of the General Assembly and the Security Council.
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