Anne Clary

Anne Clary
© grasp
Anne Clary
Graduate School of Politics
Scharnhorststraße 100
48151 Muenster
  • Project

    The project aims to analyze European state security responses to political violence targeting women (PVTW) in order to fulfill the following objectives: (1) identifying precisely the political contexts in which the violence occurred; (2) examining how relationships between empirical data on PVTW rates and the determined sources of violence function as indicators of greater trends of domestic violent extremism in specific countries. As applied to Greece, Romania, and Ukraine as national case studies and as subjects for comparative analysis, the fulfillment of these objectives within this project offers promise in developing more effective responses to PVTW and in assessing political systems across a vital security region.

    The project orients itself around the following research question: How do state security forces in Greece, Romania, and Ukraine respond to and mitigate politically violent events targeting women? From this core question, important sub-questions follow that reflect the particular regional focus of the project. For example, does European Union (EU) membership have a demonstrable effect on how the violence is responded to? Does a previous legacy of illiberalism impact the current structures of state security institutions? Does a given state’s security response vary depending on who the perpetrators are?

    These research questions respond to the recent rise in domestic extremism among citizens and polarized political parties within liberal democracies (Byman, 2018). This trend has led to the election of “radical right populist” political leaders with authoritarian agendas, the increase of political protests both peaceful and not, and, in some instances, the increase of political violence (Weinberg and Assoudeh, 2018). Among other aspects, these extremist beliefs typically reinforce gendered hierarchical orders, suppress the overall advancement of women and minorities, and promote nationalistic aggression (Weinberg and Assoudeh, 2018). The lasting impact of the movements remains to be seen, but democratic world leaders and global governance institutions are vocal about the risks of greater national and regional destabilization from current trends of democratic backsliding (Meyerrose, 2020).

    Previously, policy and scholarly attention has largely been given to authoritarian regimes and political violence in countries that are already entrenched in conflict or understood as “post-conflict” (Krause, 2019). However, focus is shifting towards the occurrence of “homegrown” political extremism and its impact on national security within liberal democracies (McAlexander, 2019). With the increase of political violence, women as specific targets of political violence is also increasing (Palickova, 2019). From 2018-2019, there were over 4,000 politically violent events recorded worldwide that targeted women, with armed attacks accounting for half of the events and another one third were harms of sexual nature (ACLED, 2019). As this trend, political violence targeting women, has only very recently begun being quantified, little analysis exists on how political violence targeting women is being mitigated by national security measures in liberal democracies. Within Europe, most democratic countries have adopted United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security, affirming their commitment to gender security and recognizing the disproportionate impact of armed conflict on women and girls (United Nations Development Fund for Women, 2021). However, this research project is most interested in understanding whether threats to gender security, through the instances of political violence targeting women, is not only important to mitigate for the sake of the livelihood of women and girls, but can also be potentially indicative of greater threats to national and regional security posed by domestic violent extremists.

    By incorporating empirical data recording politically violent events that target women in Romania, Greece, and Ukraine, countries that have all committed to upholding UNSCR 1325 and also have geographic security importance for Europe (Petersen, 2004), the project analyzes the political environments in which this type of violence occurs and the subsequent state security responses. By mapping the differing rates of PVTW, the project sheds light on both longstanding and emerging extremist security challenges in Europe’s eastern and southeastern perimeter, challenges that would otherwise be missed due to the lack of a gendered lens in state security institutions and practices.

    Ball, Nicole (2010): The Evolution of the Security Sector Reform Agenda. The Future of Security Sector Reform.

    Balla, Evanthia (2017): European Security Strategy in the 21st Century: The Blair Doctrine Revisited.

    Bardall, Gabrielle (2018): Violence, Politics, and Gender. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. Oxford. Pg. 1-23.

    Bardall, Gabrielle, Elin Bjarnegard, and Jennifer Piscopo (2019): How is Political Violence Gendered?: Disentangling Motives, Forms, and Impacts. Political Studies. Pg. 916-935.

    Blanchard, Eric (2003): Gender, International Relations, and the Development of Feminist Security Theory. Signs. Chicago. Pg. 1289-1312.

    Byman, Daniel (2018): Terrorism and the Threat to Democracy. Democracy & Disorder. Brookings Insitution.

    Edmunds, Timothy (2002): Security Sector Reform: Concepts and Implementation. Geneva. Pg. 45-60.

    Hoeglund, Kristine (2009): Electoral Violence in Conflict-Ridden Societies. Terrorism and Political Violence. Pg. 412-427.

    Hudson, Valerie, Mary Caprioli, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Rose McDermott, Chad F. Emmett (2009): The Heart of the Matter. International Security. Boston. Pg. 7-45.

    Huhtanen, Heather and Veerle Triquet (2015): Gender Equality and Good Security Sector Governance. SSR Backgrounder Series.

    Hutchinson, Clare (2020): Are We There Yet? Implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda: If Not Now, When? NATO.

    Johnson-Freese, Joan (2019): Women, Peace and Security. Oxford.

    Johnson, Tana and Andrew Heiss (2018): Liberal Institutionalism – Its Threatened Past, Its Threatened Future. Brookings Institution.

    Kishi, Roudabeh, Melissa Pavlik, Hilary Matfess (2019): Terribly and Terrifyingly Normal: Political Violence Targeting Women. Armed Conflict Location Event Data.

    Krause, Keith (2019): On (Political) Violence. Global Challenges. Geneva.

    Luckham, Robin (2016): Whose Violence, Whose Security?. Peacebuilding. Pg. 99- 117.

    Makinda, Samuel (1998): Sovereignty and Global Security. Security Dialogue. Pg. 281-292.14.

    Martins, Lisa and Beth Simmons (1998): Theories and Empirical Studies of International Institutions.

    International Organization. Pg. 729–57.

    McAlexander, Richard (2019): How Are Immigration and Terrorism Related? An Analysis of Right and Left-Wing Terrorism in Europe, 1980-2004. Journal of Global Security Studies.

    Meyerrose, Anna (2020): The Unintended Consequences of Democracy Promotion: International Organizations and Democratic Backsliding. Comparative Political Studies.Pg. 1547-1581.

    North Atlantic Treaty Organization (2018): Women, Peace and Security. Brussels. Pg. 1-32.

    OECD, DAC Guidelines and Reference Series (2015): Security System Reform and Governance. Paris.

    Palikova, Agata (2019): Political Violence Against Women at the Highest Level Since 2018. EURACTIV.

    Petersen, Alexandros (2004): Black Sea Security: The NATO Imperative. Wilson Center.

    Pratt, Nicola and Sophie Richter-Devore (2013): Women, Peace and Security: New Conceptual Challenges and Opportunities. Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre.

    Raleigh, Clionadh, Andrew Link, and Havard Hegre (2010): Introducing ACLED: An Armed Location Event Dataset. Journal of Peace Research.

    Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law (2019): Strauss Center Project Launch of Political Violence Targeting Women Data. Austin.

    Salahub, Jennifer Erin and Krista Nerland (2016): Just Add Gender? Challenges to Meaningful Integration of Gender in SSR Policy and Practice. The Future of Security Sector Reform.

    Soare, Simone (2016): Romania’s National Security Strategy – a Critical Approach. Monitor Strategic.

    Tickner, J. Ann (2001): Gendering World Politics: Issues and Approaches in the Post-Cold War Era. New York.

    Uppasala Conflict Data (2020): United Nations Development Fund for Women (2006): CEDAW and Security Council Resolution 1325. New York. Pg. 1-56.

    United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (2021): Domestic Violent Extremism Poses Heightened Threat in 2021. Washington, DC. Pg. 1-4.

    Valasek, Kristin (2008): Security Sector Reform and Gender. Gender and Security Sector Reform Toolkit.

    Weinberg, Leonard and Eliot Assoudeh (2018): Political Violence and the Radical Right. Oxford Handbook of the Radical Right. Oxford.

    Williams, Kristen (2017): Feminist Security Studies. Oxford. 15.

    WomanStats Project (2020):

  • Career


    04/2021 Member of the Graduate School of Politics (GraSP), Institute for Political Science, University of Münster.
    Master's studies of International Development at University of Bristol
    Bachelor's studies of Political Science at Southwestern University
    Since 08/2019 Program Lead, Political Violence Targeting Women at Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law, The University of Texas
    04/2017-08/2019 Assistant Director at Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law, The University of Texas
    03/2015-04/2017 Program Manager at Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law, The University of Texas
    10/2013-12/2014 Campaign Manager at Diane Henson for Chief Justice of the Third Court of Appeals
    12/2012-09/2013 Fellow, Training & Outreach at The Atlas Project
    08/2012-11/2012 Field Manager at Elizabeth Warren for United States Senate

  • Publications

  • Further Information

    Research interests

    • National security
    • International security
    • Domestic extremism
    • Gender security
    • Democratic governance

    Further memberships

    • Mentor and Member, Women's Foreign Policy Group;
    • Working Group Member, CNA Corporation;
    • Alumna, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies;
    • Member, Women In International Security Brussels