Dylan Forrester

USA, Ph.D Candidate, Department of Political Science, Comparative Politics and International Relations, University of California, Davis 2024

Gender and Reconciliation: A Case Study of Post-conflict Colombia

Dylan Forrester

Project Description

The women and peace hypothesis suggests that women are less hawkish than men across a range of security issues. On the other hand, research also indicates that women are less willing to take on security risks than men. These two tendencies are at tension in post-conflict societies, where the public is put in position of having to accept a negotiated, `dovish’ end to war, while simultaneously taking on some risk as ex-combatants are reintegrated into society. I examine these competing tendencies among women in Colombia following the government's 2016 peace agreement with the leftist FARC rebels. Using data from the Americas Barometer and qualitative interviews, I find a persistent gender gap in conflict-termination attitudes that suggests women’s security concerns outweigh their less hawkish tendencies in these settings. These results suggest that women may represent an oppositional segment of the population to a peace process, especially when they are expected to coexist with former insurgents.


Dylan Forrester is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the University of California, Davis. His research focuses on social cohesion after civil war, with an emphasis on Latin America. Prior to starting his Ph.D., he completed a B.A. in Political Science at the University of California, San Diego, and an M.A. in Conflict Resolution at Georgetown University. After graduating from Georgetown, he worked at a non-profit organization in Bogotá, Colombia that supports initiatives to strengthen civil society and repair interpersonal connections damaged by war. Subsequently, he worked as a program associate at Inclusive Security in Washington, D.C., a non-governmental organization that lobbied to include women in peacebuilding efforts.