About Maria O'Reilly
Maria O'Reilly is a Lecturer in Politics & International Relations. She joined Leeds Beckett in 2017. Her research focuses on questions of gender, agency, justice and security in conflict and post-conflict contexts. Maria is interested in bringing in insights from feminist and critical theories and methodology, to understand the nature of violent conflict and peace.
Maria's work focuses on the gender politics of war and peace, and in particular the region of the former Yugoslavia. Her current work explores how gendered agency emerges in response to war and to post-war peacebuilding interventions. She also seeks to understand to what extent international intervention in justice contexts of war and peacebuilding helps to promote gender-just forms of peace.
Before joining Leeds Beckett, Maria worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary, University of London. Prior to that she was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. She completed her PhD in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, in 2014. Her thesis explored women’s activism around transitional justice issues in post-conflict Bosnia-Herzegovina, using a mixture of documentary analysis, participant-observation, and fieldwork interviews.
Maria's research interests include questions of gender, justice, agency and security conflict and post-conflict contexts.
- Maria is currently finalising my research on ‘The Gender Politics of Demilitarisation: Examining DDR from the Perspective of Female (Ex)-Combatants’. This project examines the relationship between gender, agency and international security, looking in particular at the case of (post-)conflict Bosnia & Herzegovina. I explore whether contemporary security practices provide 'gender security' in (post)conflict settings, and examine the ways in which gendered agency and resistance emerges in response to peace and security interventions. This research received support via an Innovation Award from the Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research (PaCCS), and was jointly funded by AHRC and ESRC.
- Maria is also working with Dr Laura McLeod (University of Manchester) to develop a feminist analysis of key concepts, methods and approaches used in the field of Critical Peace & Conflict Studies.
- Previously, Maria worked as Postdoctoral Researcher and Project Coordinator for the European Research Council funded project, ‘The Gender of Justice: The Prosecution of Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict’ at Goldsmiths. She was also Principal Investigator for the project, ‘Gendered Agency in War and Peace: The Reintegration of War-Affected Women and Female Ex-Combatants in Post-Conflict Bosnia-Herzegovina’, funded by the British Academy.