Dr Jennifer Thomson

Job: Early Career Academic Fellow

School/department: Leicester Castle Business School

Address: Hugh Aston Building

T: +44 (0) 116 250 6819

E: jennifer.thomson@dmu.ac.uk

W: https://dmu.academia.edu/JenniferThomson


Personal profile

Jennifer joined the Department in January 2016 as an Early Career Academic Fellow.

She finished her ESRC funded PhD in the School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London, in late 2015. Her thesis considered the politics of abortion legislation in contemporary Northern Ireland from a feminist institutionalist perspective.

Her core research interests lie at the intersection of women’s rights, ethno-national identities and power-sharing. She is particularly interested in how consociational (power-sharing) settlements inhibit gendered political representation. Her current research will explore comparative studies of post-conflict power-sharing and attention paid to women’s rights, particularly with regards to how post-conflict states adopt laws and practices under the UN’s Women, Peace and Security agenda.

She was a member of the PSA’s Postgraduate Committee from 2013-2015. Her work has been published in a number of scholarly journals including the British Journal of Politics and International Relations, the International Political Science Review and Politics. As a former Managing Editor of the LSE British Politics and Policy blog, she has a keen interest in using blogs and social media to promote academic research, and has published with various LSE blogs, The Conversation and Democratic Audit, amongst others.

Research interests/expertise

Gender and Politics

Gender and International Relations

Feminist Institutionalism

Post-conflict institutions


Human rights 


PhD, 2016, School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary, University of London

MA, 2010, New School for Social Research, New York

MA, 2007, University of Cambridge

Membership of external committees

Postgraduate co-convener of the BISA Gendering International Relations Working Group, July 2015-

Postgraduate convener of the PSA Women and Politics Specialist Group, January 2015-

PSA Postgraduate Network Conference Coordinator, July 2013-January 2015

Membership of professional associations and societies

Political Studies Association

British International Studies Association

International Studies Association

Conference attendance


International Studies Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, March 2016, “Consociational power-sharing and gender” (with Claire Pierson and Ronan Kennedy)

Women, Peace and Security Post-2015 Workshop, Centre for Women, Peace and Security, London School of Economics, March 2016, “Where are reproductive rights in the Women, Peace and Security agenda?” (with Claire Pierson)

Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Brighton, March 2016, “Scotland, devolution and abortion”


ECPR Standing Group on Politics and Gender, Uppsala, June 2015, “Challenging Identity Hierarchies: Gender and Consociationalism” (with Ronan Kennedy and Claire Pierson)

BISA General Conference, London, June 2015, “CEDAW, UNSCR 1325 and Northern Irish politics" 

PSA General Conference, Sheffield, May 2015, “International Governance and Abortion Rights: the case of Northern Ireland”



ECPR General Conference, Glasgow, September 2014, “Transitional Justice and Reproductive Rights” 

PSA Annual Conference, Manchester, April 2014, “Morality politics and institutional design in Northern Ireland”


Recent research outputs

Peer reviewed journal articles

“Power sharing, civil society and gender” (with Claire Pierson), special issue of Nationalism and Ethnic Studies, ‘Power-Sharing Pacts and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda: Constructive Engagements’, forthcoming December 2017

“Resisting gendered change: feminist institutionalism and critical actors”, International Political Science Review, forthcoming 2017

Challenging identity hierarchies: consociational power-sharing and gendered political representation” (with Claire Pierson and Ronan Kennedy) British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 2016

Thinking globally, acting locally?: the women’s sector, international human rights mechanisms and politics in Northern Ireland”, Politics, 2016

“Explaining gender equality difference in a devolved system: the case of abortion law in Northern Ireland”, British Politics, 2015

“Abortion and same-sex marriage: how are non-sectarian controversial issues discussed in Northern Irish politics?”, Irish Political Studies, 2015

Other publications

“Researching gender in divided societies: a conversation”, Fidelma Ashe, Gorana Mlinarevic, Claire Pierson and Jennifer Thomson, International Feminist Journal of Politics, December 2016

“Northern Ireland in the 2015 General Election”, UK Election Analysis 2015: Media, Voters and the Campaign, edited by Jackson, Daniel and Einar Thorsen, Bournemouth: The Centre for the Study of Journalism, Culture and Community

Book chapter

“A ‘United’ Kingdom?: the 1967 Abortion Act and Northern Ireland” in Fiona Bloomer (ed.)  Abortion in Anti-Choice Islands: Crossing Troubled Waters, Prince Edward Island University Press, forthcoming 2017

Selected Internet Publications

IndyRef2? The thorny question of Scottish independence hasn’t gone away”, LSE Brexit blog, November 2016 

“Designing a new parliament with women in mind”, The Crick Centre blog, July 2016

“Do international human rights mechanisms help women?”, Politics blog, May 2016 (Also published on Democratic Audit)

“A court just made a landmark ruling for abortion rights in Northern Ireland”, The Conversation, November 2015

“What role will Northern Ireland play in the British election?”, The Conversation, April 2015

“Discussions about abortion and same-sex marriage demonstrate signs of unity in Northern Ireland’s divided politics”, LSE British Politics and Policy blog, January 2014

Externally funded research grants information


Grant from the PSA Pushing the Boundaries competition to co-convene “Rights in Diverse Societies: Gender, Migration and Ethno-politics in the EU", Queens University Belfast


ESRC Overseas Institutional Visit, funds to spend five weeks at the Institute for British-Irish Studies, University College Dublin


Grant from the PSA Women and Politics Specialist group and the PSA Irish Politics Specialist group to put on the event ‘Researching Gender in Divided Societies’ at Ulster University, Belfast


Economic and Social Research Council +4 Studentship