TOMS Juxtaposition


2023 Heritage Politics in the Case of Black Lives Matter in Bolzano-Bozen, Italy.” European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology.  

This contribution looks at the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests that took place in Bolzano-Bozen, the capital of the autonomous province of South Tyrol (Italy). As part of the BLM protests, an iconic statue of Italian cultural heritage was doused with red paint, transmitting a message with local, national, and international resonance. The case demonstrates how the USA BLM diffusion in Europe interacted with the ongoing statue wars to not only advance national level dialogues around racist legacies related to imperialism and colonialism but also specific local grievances. I marshal the concept of ‘ideological vandalism’ to argue that red paint attacks on public monuments can link transnational messages around racism and colonialism with local and national debates particularly regarding participation in heritage politics. This case underscores how claims can arise when national and international sociopolitical debates connected to colonialism and imperialism activate and surface additional local grievances around participation.

2022 With Natalie F. Hudson.  “Local Voices in Transnational Spaces: Diasporas Activists and the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda.” Interdisciplinary Political Studies. Volume 8, No 1. 169-185. 

This article sheds light on the status of women diaspora activists in transnational advocacy working to advance the WPS Agenda. Despite calls for solidarity, even “feminist” spaces face challenges for linking the Global North and South to advance advocacy efforts, challenges that are magnified when dealing with the issue of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV).  We focus on the stories of women diaspora activists working on active conflicts in the Global South and the ways these activists sought to embed themselves discursively in the WPS framework. We adopt an insider-outsider perspective to study their participation and draw insights on gender-related aspects of diaspora inclusion. We argue that the constraints on including local voices and perspectives in WPS advocacy is certainly contributing to some of the cracks in implementation. However, the construction of transnational solidarity by women for women’s security issues is improving the possibilities for meaningful participation.

2021 With Natalie F. Hudson. Sisterhood Partnerships for Conflict Related Sexual Violence. World Development. Volume 140, April.

This article examines partnerships to support development causes related to women, specifically in the area of gender security. Drawing from feminist international political economy and feminist security studies, this research investigates the gendered ways in which configurations led by NGOs and businesses use cause-related marketing models to build solidarity among women to address conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV). Through the concept of sisterhood partnerships, this article theorizes the nature of the relationships formed between female consumers in the North and female recipients in the South. A discussion of three sisterhood partnerships that address CRSV in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will reveal the specific and gendered ways in which businesses fuse neoliberal agendas in development and feminism by linking female consumers to female beneficiaries through notions of solidarity and empowerment. We argue that while sisterhood partnerships may bring the benefits of raising awareness and funds for CRSV, the reliance on consumer strategies for Northern audiences and economic empowerment models for Southern beneficiaries valorize individual actions that fail to effect broader social change. At stake, the notion that feminist “sisterhoods” between north and south are being co-opted by corporations and marketed in de-politicized ways that fail to address systemic concerns related to gender security and women’s emancipation. We find that these examples of “sisterhood” partnerships exhibit superficial engagement with local and global politics, empower their consumers and beneficiaries in limited ways, and draw upon gendered tropes of advocacy and charitable engagement while failing to address the collective and protection needs of a vulnerable population. This article contributes to surfacing neoliberal trends in development and feminism that hold implications for gender security.

2020    “Caffeinated Solutions as Neoliberal Politics: How Celebrities Create and Promote Partnerships   for Peace and Development.” Perspectives on Politics. 18:1: 60-75.

How do celebrities exert power to influence elite and popular thinking and policy around peace and development? Drawing from research on neoliberalism, celebrities, and ethical consumption, I build an interpretive analysis of two case studies of Brand Aid initiatives to argue first, that celebrities mobilize financial and political capital to create partnerships across businesses, NGOs, and the government in ways that embody neoliberal politics by ushering in new private actors; and second, that celebrities reinforce these neoliberal politics by promoting these partnerships to popular and elite audiences. I discuss how this paper contributes to unmasking neoliberal trends by showing how celebrities are deepening their engagement in ways that hold implications for democratic politics.

2019    With Natalie F. Hudson. “When Advocacy Securitizes: New Actors and Audiences in the Securitization of Sexualized Violence in Conflict.” In Securitization Revisited: Contemporary Applications and Insights. Edited by Michael Butler. (London: Routledge), 91-115.

This chapter concerns the ways in which advocacy efforts, both in official and unofficial circles, broaden how we think about securitization, especially in terms of understanding who counts as securitizing actors and audiences. Despite the passing of UN Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325 by the UN Security Council, the scourge of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) was neglected in major episodes of violence and conflict in the early 2000s. In light of the weak consideration given to SCR 1325 within official circles, it became evident that greater political will was needed to convince state-based security actors of this real and urgent threat. We argue that this political will was generated by the entry of new actors and audiences into the field of security. Looking at the case of Western advocacy around the SGBV situation in Congo, we show how non-state actors–activists, advocacy organizations, and celebrities– adopted security discourses as a way of putting pressure on official mainstream security actors. This included the promulgation of a simplifying narrative of women’s protection needs in armed conflict, strategic rape as a weapon of war that gained traction with mass audiences. Our data is drawn from media coverage, films, websites, campaign materials, reports, and semi-structured interviews with over 30 humanitarian practitioners, human rights advocates, and representatives of inter-governmental organizations in New York, London, Washington, DC, and Boston from 2015-2017. Adopting a security lens, we argue that rather than being solely the purview of state-centric actors, security discourses can be effectively adopted by new actors and audiences in ways that count as securitizing moves.

2018    With Joel R. Pruce. “The Elite Politics of Media Advocacy in Human Rights.” New Political Science. Special Issue on “Everyday Humanitarianism: Ethics, Affects and Practices” edited by Lisa A. Richey and Lillie Chouliaraki. Volume 40, Issue 4: 744-762.

Advocacy NGOs based in the North adopt digital tools to bypass repressive regimes, raise awareness among global publics, sustain grassroots activists in the South, and engage in political action. Social media was expected to offer innovative platforms for mobilizing participants to take meaningful action on behalf of “distant others”. But the practices of some organizations signal that something else is at play. Rather than empower individuals, online and social media campaigns reify elite politics, using outsider strategies to support insider lobbying, thus weakening the ability of ordinary people to exercise their nascent desire to “do good”. Through communicative processes of mediatisation, organizations pay homage to the existence of a movement, but only afford thin forms of participation. Using the framework of media advocacy (Pruce and Budabin 2016) to explore two prominent organizations, Human Rights Watch and the Enough! Project, we argue that social media becomes a top-down platform that exacerbates the elite design of organizations, enabling them to assert legitimacy for political actions, while disingenuously marketing themselves as democratic with bottom-up credibility.

2018.  Book Review. “Visual Global Politics.” The Journal of Development Studies 55 (1):159-160.

2018   With Roberta Medda-Windischer and Mattia Zeba. “Chapter 3: Non-discrimination and Equality” and “Chapter 4: Religious Diversity.” In Handbook on Teaching in Diversity. An Erasmus + funded project.

2018    With Lisa Ann Richey. “Advocacy Narratives and Celebrity Engagement: The Case of Ben Affleck in Congo.” Human Rights Quarterly. Volume 40. Number 2: 260-286. DOI: 10.1353/hrq.2018.0015

2018    With Joel R. Pruce. “Beyond Naming and Shaming: New Modalities of Information Politics in Human Rights.” In Making Human Rights News: Balancing Participation and Professionalism. Edited by Mort Winston and John Pollock. (London: Routledge),118-135. ISBN: 978-1-138-03774-8

2017    “Crafting Humanitarian Imaginaries: The Visual Story-Telling of Buy-One Give-One Marketing Campaigns.” Proceedings. Volume 1. Issue 9. Online publication. DOI : 10.3390/proceedings1090905

2017    With Louisa Mubanda Rasmussen and Lisa Ann Richey. (first author). “Celebrity-led development organisations: the legitimating function of elite engagement.” Third World Quarterly. Volume 38, Issue 9: 1952-1972. DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2017.1322465

2016    With Joel R. Pruce. “Beyond Naming and Shaming: New Modalities of Information Politics in Human Rights.” Journal of Human Rights. Volume 15, Issue 3. Special Issue on “Human Rights in the News” edited by Mort Winston and John Pollock.

2016    With Lisa Ann Richey. “Celebrities in International Affairs.Oxford Handbooks Online. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199935307.013.3 ISBN: 9780199935307

2016    With Lisa Ann Richey. “Celebritizing Conflict: How Ben Affleck Sells the Congo to Americans.Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism and Development. Volume 7, Issue 1: 27-46. Special collection on “Humanitarianism and Human Rights: Conceptualizing Development, Security, and Justice in Africa” edited by Amal Fadlalla.

2016    “Ben Affleck Goes to Washington: Celebrity Advocacy, Access, and Influence.” In Celebrity Humanitarianism and North-South Relations: Politics, Place and Power. Edited by Lisa Ann Richey (Oxford: Routledge), 131-148.

2015    “Celebrities as Norm Entrepreneurs in International Politics: Mia Farrow and the Genocide Campaign.” Celebrity Studies. Volume 6, Issue 4: 399-413. Special collection on “Capitalism, Democracy and Celebrity Advocacy” edited by Dan Brockington.

2015    “Documentarian, Witness, and Organizer: Exploring Celebrity Roles in Human Rights Media Advocacy.” In The Social Practice of Human Rights. Edited by Joel R. Pruce (New York: Palgrave Macmillan), 63-78.

2014    “Diasporas as Development Partners for Peace? The Alliance Between the Darfuri Diaspora and the Save Darfur Coalition.” Third World Quarterly. Volume 35, Number 1, (February): 168-180. Special edition co-edited by Stefano Ponte and Lisa Ann Richey on “New Actors and Alliances in Development.”

2014    “Diasporas as Development Partners for Peace? The Alliance Between the Darfuri Diaspora and the Save Darfur Coalition.” In New Actors and Alliances in Development. Edited by Stefano Ponte and Lisa Ann Richey (Oxford: Routledge).

2012    Citizens’ Army for Darfur The Impact of a Social Movement on International Conflict Resolution (Ann Arbor: ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing). ISBN 9781267197382

2011    “Genocide Olympics: How Activists Linked China, Darfur, and Beijing 2008.” In Sudan Looks East: China, India and the Politics of ‘Asian’ Alternatives. Edited by Daniel Large and Luke Patey (Oxford: James Currey), 139-156.

2009    “Genocide Olympics: The Campaign to Pressure China over the Darfur Conflict,” Central European University Political Science Journal, Volume 4, Issue 4 (December): 520-565.


2016    “Diritti Umani: La Storià e il Futuro.” (Past and Future of Human Rights), Alto Adige (Bolzano, Italy). Front Page.

2016    “L’Olocausto e le sue Tracce Locali” (The Holocaust and its Local Traces). Alto Adige (Bolzano, Italy). Front page.

2015    “La Nostra Comune Humanità” (Our Shared Humanity). Alto Adige (Bolzano, Italy). Front page.

2015    “La Protezione dei rifugiati e Bolzano” (The protection of refugees and Bolzano). Alto Adige (Bolzano, Italy). Front page.

2014    “Do Celebrity Humanitarians Matter?” Carnegie Ethics Online. Edited by Madeleine Lynn (New York: Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs). Excerpted for the University of the State of New York Regents Exam 2016.

Curricular Guides

2007    Zachor: A Kit for Teachers and Students to Study and Memorialize the Holocaust. Working in consultation. New York: Museum of Jewish Heritage.

2007    Child Brides: Stolen Lives Facilitator’s Guide. New York: NOW on PBS.

2007    Child Brides: Stolen Lives Action Kit. New York: NOW on PBS.

2003    Girls Learn International Program Handbook. New York: Girls Learn International, Inc.