Sam Cook

TitlePhD Candidate,
LLB, (UCT 2001); LLM (Columbia 2005)
DivisionSocial Sciences Division
DepartmentPolitics Department
OfficeMerrill 141
Campus Mail StopMerrill/Crown Faculty Services
Mail1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA
Sam Cook

Research Interests

My dissertation, Navigating Dilemmas: Feminist Articulations of Security Council Practice, responds to a line of scholarly and activist critiques that so-called feminist interventions in Council policy on “Women, Peace and Security” have failed to meet some more radical potential. Rather than being simple directives to action that are either taken up or not, I argue that these interventions must be seen as attempts at meaning making. Doing so, I argue, requires thinking through how interventions are shaped by, and shape, the day-to-day practices of the institutional space into which they emerge – in this case the Women, Peace and Security policymaking space at the UN Security Council. My project explores how advocates use or work with -- and within -- accepted forms and practices within the UN Security Council to create and/or sustain particular understandings within policy and policy discourse. This exploration of practice opens space to rethink narratives of past failure and to politically situate critique and imaginings for future interventions.

Biography, Education and Training

My research interests lie in the areas of feminist international relations, international law, global politics and critical security studies. I have a background in law and international policy advocacy at the UN Security Council and have worked on issues of “women, peace and security” across activist and academic spaces. The focus of my work has been concerned with ending militarism and violence against women. I am particularly interested in teaching and research that engages with the quotidian practices of institutions in order to understand law and policy outcomes.


Teaching Interests

International Relations Theory, Global Politics, Human Rights, International Law, Gender & Conflict