Louise Olsson's research systematically examines gender equality aspects of armed conflict and its resolution, and it explores the normative developments related to gender mainstreaming and the UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security. In addition, Olsson works to support research-policy dialogue and the effective use of research in policy development and decision-making.
Olsson got her PhD from Uppsala University in 2007 with the thesis Equal Peace. United Nations Peace Operations and the Power-Relations between men and women in Timor-Leste (published by Brill 2009). She is the editor of several special issues of international research journals, the latest also being published in the book Gender, Peace and Security: Implementing UN Resolution 1325 (Routledge 2015).
Prior to taking up her position at PRIO, Olsson was the Senior Advisor to the Director General at the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA), Sweden. Before that, she served as the Head of the Women, Peace and Security Program at FBA between 2011-2015. A central part of her work at FBA was to enhance research-policy dialogue and to create and lead a Research Working Group on Women, Peace and Security consisting of international scholars. The aim was to promote systematic empirical research of relevance for the implementation of the UN resolutions (2009-2018).
As a Senior Advisor, Olsson also worked with strategic organizational development on inclusivity and gender mainstreaming, and with policy support. For example, Olsson has supported the work with the Swedish National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and has led evaluation teams analyzing how NATO's military operations and EU's civilian missions address the Women, Peace and Security agenda.
Olsson has substantial pedagogical experience and has been involved in education and training for a broad range of audiences. For example, she has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels and has been the Director of Studies at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University. As regards policy-related training, Olsson has served as a coach on gender equality and Women, Peace and Security at a Gender Coach Program, which is a training program for senior management, organized by the Swedish Armed Forces. There she has acted as the coach to the Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces (2015-17), to the Head of Joint Operations (2019-20), and to the Head of the Military Intelligence and Security Directorate (2013). She has also collected some of her experiences in organizing such a leader training course in 2013 in the policy paper Gender Training for Leaders written together with Major Anna Björson (published by Georgetown University).
Olsson began her career in 1999 by contributing to the UN project Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective in Multidimensional Peace Operations which held its final workshop in Windhoek in May 2000.
- Inequality and insurgency in India: a disaggregated analysis of the link between gender inequality and armed conflict (2015-2018. With Erika Forsberg, Uppsala University). By combining fieldwork with statistical analysis of new micro-level data on India’s 640 districts, this project sought to improve our understanding of the mechanisms behind gender inequality and violent conflict. Funded by the Swedish Research Council.
- Disciplining Fighters: Understanding Armed Political Actors’ Control of Sexual Violence (2016-2019. With Angela Muvumba-Sällström, Uppsala University). This project studied why and how diverse types of armed groups, with their varied agendas, motivations, institutions and gradations of sociality during wartime, create preventive cultures and pathways. Funded by the Swedish Research Council
- Sweden in the UN Security Council: Making Women, Peace and Security Core Council Business? (2019-2020) The objective of this first joint PRIO-Uppsala University/Nordic Africa Institute project was to increase our knowledge on the role of an elected member in two respects: 1) It provided insights into a) the assessments and decisions involved in forming the elected member’s aims and strategy, and b) the tactical manoeuvring of the conditions which affect an elected member’s efforts to promote WPS within the UNSC’s responsibilities and processes. 2) It demonstrated a) how the effects of an elected member’s actions on the WPS trajectory can be understood, and b) outline a model for assessing progress on integration into UNSC’s responsibilities. Funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and FBA.
- Equal Peace? Women’s Empowerment and Multicultural Challenges in War-to-Peace Transitions (2018. With Inger Skjelsbæk and Torunn L. Tryggestad, PRIO.) Olsson contributed with a study of women mediator networks (with Anna Möller-Loswick, and Camilla Riesenfeld at FBA) and with a chapter on the production of the Global Study to the Oxford Handbook on Women, Peace and Security (with Ismene Gizelis, University of Essex).
By Louise Olsson & Madhav Joshi in Social Science Research
By Louise Olsson & Erika Forsberg in Journal of Global Security Studies
Wednesday, 10 Nov 2021
On October 21, the UN Security Council (UNSC) held its annual Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) under the presidency of Kenya, one out of ten members of the UNSC that was elected to serve by the UN General Assembly (a so-called E10 state). Kenya has joined forces ...
Journal Article in Social Science Research
Journal Article in Journal of Global Security Studies
Popular Article in IPI Global Observatory
Popular Article in Political Violence @ a Glance
Book Chapter in Contemporary Peacemaking: Conflict, Violence and Peace Processes
GPS Policy Brief
Popular Article in Political Vioelnce at a Glance
Popular Article in The International Peace Institute (IPI) Global Observatory
Natalie Azba has successfully defended her thesis "The Illusion of Inclusion: Assessing the Effects and Gendered Implications of Power Sharing".
The Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs are organizing a series of thematic roundtable meetings about current issues on the Security Council's agenda. The situation in Afghanistan was topic for the third of these meetings on 30 September 2021.
This fall the PRIO GPS Centre and Gender Research Group are collaborating on a strategic initiative to build more research focusing on men and masculinities at PRIO.
In recent years, there has been a growth of research which focuses on how gender shapes men's lives, including in peace and conflict research. Through different thematic workshops this fall, PRIO researchers and other collaborators will be meeting to identify where masculinities can fit into PRIO's research, and to develop innovative and new project proposals.
The project kicked off with a seminar by PRIO Global Fellow Jacqui True in August, and three workshops will be taking place throughout the fall at PRIO, covering topics such as men’s engagement for Women, Peace, and Security, violent extremism and masculinity, and masculinities and militarism.
The PRIO Gender, Peace and Security Update (GPS Update) is an electronic newsletter launched by the PRIO Centre on Gender, Peace and Security in response to growing interest among the public for information about gender, peace and security issues.
Sign up to the GPS Update here. For other queries, contact the editors at email@example.com.
The PRIO paper on “Sweden as an Elected Member of the UN Security Council: Promoting Women, Peace and Security as Core Council Business, 2017–18” was successfully launched at a webinar on Wednesday the 23rd of June. The webinar brought together scholars and decision-makers to discuss the findings of the report, promote dialogue, and advance our knowledge on elected United Nations Security Council (UNSC) members.
As part of the newly established Dialogue Forum for Norway's membership in the United Nations Security Council 2021-2022, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in collaboration with PRIO, and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) are organizing a series of thematic roundtable meetings about current issues on the Council's agenda. The first meeting took place on April 29th and the topic was global health and security.
The March 2021 issue of the PRIO Gender, Peace and Security Update is out now.
The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace, and Security was the NATO Library’s most popular book in 2020. The handbook was published in 2019 and has 93 contributors from all over the world, including several PRIO researchers.