Guest Editorial – Women and Security Special Issue

by Dr Negar Partow
Published in National Security Journal, 09 April 2021

Claire Bibby takes a closer look at the role of communication and imaging in better policing and in developing a more inclusive security discourse that would allow police officers to communicate with the public in a more effective and influential way. She bases her research in the academic critique of the normative discourses of security, and surveys over one hundred police officers about their familiarity with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and its implementations. Bibby shows how the lack of organisational awareness of the resolution and its implementation is embedded in the hegemonic and normative narrative of security and how changing perceptions of communication can foster transformational change.

Sheridan Webb undertakes a historical study of New Zealand’s counter- terrorism legislation from 1977 to 2002 and discusses the internal and external factors that instigated change in the regulations. She notes that no counter-terrorism legislation has been developed in New Zealand that is not a response to a UN resolution or external stimulus. She argues that New Zealand governments historically have had little appetite for developing robust counter-terrorism policy or legislation, and in the wake of the recent Royal Commission of Inquiry report two options are open for New Zealand – to take a more proactive approach to terrorism, or revert back to previous neglect. The history of abortion law in a comparative study between Poland and New Zealand is the focus of Justyna Eska-Mikołajewska’s article in this issue. Eska-Mikołajewska compares the history of abortion laws, particularly drawing on the connection between changes is politics and criminalisation of abortion to highlight that the existence of a progressive law does not guarantee its sustainability and how women’s individual security and their rights could be easily undermined by political alliances that are often irrelevant to abortion or individual security of women. In the case of New Zealand, she points out, the government’s decision to decriminalise abortion and consider health issues have prevented this health issue becoming further politicised. In her article, EskaMikołajewska explores how politicisation and criminalisation of abortion reproduces a specific discourse of power that reduces women’s agency in politics.

This issue would not materialise without the hard work and determination of the editorial team of the National Security Journal. I particularly appreciate the work of Dr John Battersby, the editor of the journal, on reviewing individual articles and for working closely with our authors. I am also grateful to Pamela Dolman and Mr Nicholas Dynon who supported Dr Battersby and I in formatting the articles and uploading them on the National Security Journal’s website. Finally, authors in this issue have been a real motivation and central in this process. I thank them all in considering the National Security Journal and trusting us as the platform for publishing their work.

It was an absolute pleasure working with you all as the guest editor of this issue.