Robert U. Nagel

Robert U. Nagel

Public Engagement

5 things to know about the instability in eastern Congo (co-authored with Kate Fin) - Washington Post Monkey Cage

New violence that left 50 dead — and tens of thousands of people fleeing the vicinity of Mount Nyiragongo after a volcano erupted in late May — prompted the Congolese government to extend a temporary “state of siege” in the eastern provinces of Ituri and North Kivu.

Before the volcanic eruption, youth activists in eastern Congo protested to demand the departure of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO), claiming that the U.N. peacekeeping mission was not protecting civilians from armed groups. The protests came on the heels of reports of a deteriorating security situation in the country’s east and the ambush killing of the Italian ambassador to Congo in February.

Here are five things to know about the instability in the region....

Effectiveness of United Nations Peacekeeping: Gender Matters

Launch event for the report “Gendered Impacts on Operational Effectiveness of UN Peace Operations,” supported by Global Affairs Canada’s Elsie Initiative, on the impact of gender on the effectiveness of peace operations. Leading policymakers including H.E. Jean-Pierre Lacroix (UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations) and Ms. Gwyn Kutz (Director General for the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program, Global Affairs Canada), peacekeepers from UNFYICP and UNIFIL, and I discuss the difference women in uniform make and how to incorporate a gender lens in data collection and analysis, as well as share recommendations for advancing gender-responsive peacekeeping.

Report Back Better (co-authored with Ragnhild Nordås) - Foreign Policy

The State Department's yearly human rights report may be the United States' best tool for fighting sexual violence. Biden needs to get it right.

Q&A with Dr Dani Gilbert (US Air Force Academy)

25 min

The COVID-19 Pandemic’s Effects on United Nations Peacekeeping (co-authored with Julia Maenza) - Georgetown Journal of International Relations 

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges for United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, but also provides the opportunity to redefine the typically-masculinized idea of peacekeeping. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of gendered community engagement to ensure access to healthcare and humanitarian services. This should serve as another impetus to increase the number of women in peacekeeping.

Twenty years after UNSCR 1325: Any progress ending wartime sexual violence?

Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security (WPS). Where are we on the road to ending conflict-related sexual violence? There is good news and bad news.


"Women and Rebel Legitimacy" - with Hilary Matfess

This policy roundtable looks at the role of gender and gendered analysis in conflict and security. The authors highlight ways in which gender intersects with political violence and security policy. As the chair observes, the analysis, "defies efforts to make gender a problem of ideology or an issue best relegated to the human resources department."

“New UN Handbook on Sexual Violence in Conflict Helps, But Still Falls Short”

Nagel, Robert U. & Kate Fin (2020) Just Security

Equal opportunity, unequal burden? Women in U.N. peacekeeping

Speaking with members of the Mercersburg Academy community

“What the Pandemic means for UN Peacekeeping Work”

Nagel, Robert U. & Melanne Verveer (2020) PassBlue

The Venezolana Perspective: Women and the Venezuelan Crisis

CSIS event in early March 2020

“Gendered Violence and Political Agendas”

Matfess, Hilary, Nagel, Robert U. & Meredith Loken (2019) Political Violence at a Glance

Continued Failure to End Wartime Sexual Violence

with Ragnhild Nordås | PRIO Policy Brief, 7. Oslo: PRIO

​A decade after United Nations Security Council Resolution 1820, and four years after the Global Summit in London in 2014, wartime sexual violence has not abated. An update of the Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict (SVAC) dataset (Cohen & Nordås 2014) for 2010–2015 shows little sign of improvement. We also find that state forces are still frequent perpetrators of sexual violence. Further, a clear and worrying trend has emerged in the past decade: an increasing number of insurgent groups perpetrate sexual violence.

“Game of Thrones: Will There Ever be Peace in Westeros?”

Nagel, Robert U., Kirkpatrick, Daniel & Luke Abbs (2017) The Conversation, UK