Photo of Amanda Klassen

Amanda Klassen

Student Researcher

Degrees:M.I.P.P. (Balsillie School of International Affairs), B.A. (Wilfrid Laurier)

I am a second-year doctoral student in Political Science at Carleton University working under the supervision of Dr. James Milner and specializing in International Relations and Gender and Diversity. Using a critical feminist approach, my research focuses on the local implementation of global norms relating to the protection of refugee women and girls. I am interested in exploring the factors that influence the way that individuals (refugee women) participate in the implementation of global norms. I hope to demonstrate that refugee women must be included in the process of defining successful implementation for a norm such as gender mainstreaming to positively change the lived experiences of refugee women. My other areas of research interest include feminist theory and policy making.

I was most interested in becoming involved as a student researcher with LERRN because I am passionate about improving circumstances for refugees, and ensuring that refugee participation is encouraged, and supported in all stages of research and policy making. Because LERRN places such a strong emphasis on collaboration with partners in the Global South, meeting their research needs, and the inclusion of refugee voices, I felt that working with LERRN was a great opportunity to use my theoretical training in a practical way.

As part of my research with LERRN I have published a working paper alongside Dr. Milner “From theory of change to SMART pledges: Lessons for pledges at the Global Refugee Forum and beyond”. This paper was written ahead of the Global Refugee Forum in 2019 to provide guidance on making funding pledges that will have meaningful positive impact. I also published a blog for International Women’s Day 2020 “An Equal World is an Enabled World: Reflections on Gender Equality in Refugee Contexts” which emphasized the importance of including the voices of refugee women in the fight for equality and empowerment. Most currently, I am working on a project relating to the role of civil society in the global refugee regime.