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Rola El-Husseini Dean Receives Sabbatical Grant

The logo for Riksbankens jubileumsfond and a photo of Rola El-Husseini Dean.

CMES scholar Rola El-Husseini Dean has received a sabbatical grant from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

Rola will use the sabbatical to complete her book manuscript Performing Gender Equality: Arab State Feminism and the Sectarian Exception. In this book, she argues that most Arab governments instrumentalize women’s rights to show the West their adoption of gender-equality norms. She studies the link between gender and authoritarianism in Arab countries, then engage with the state-feminism literature to explain these gender-equality policies. The key instrument used is gender quotas. She shows how Western norms of women’s rights have been diffused, adopted, and adapted in Arab countries, and argues that these norms have led Arab political leaders to adopt a performative governance. This is a cynical performance that aims to burnish the leader’s modernizing credentials in the West. In states with diffuse leadership spread among several centers of power, the Arab form of state feminism is not implemented. The book analyzes the speeches of presidents and kings, and their implementation of policies and reforms. It integrates new information on current policies and the status of women’s rights in the region drawn from recent scholarship, analyses of policies, laws, and UN reports, and completed interviews with professionals in international organizations.

Rola El-Husseini Dean's research profile

More information about the grant