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Queen's University

Rebecca Tiessen


Term Adjunct , Global Development Studies 
PhD - Rural Studies/Community Development (Guelph University)

Curriculum Vitae (PDF 131KB)

phone: (613) 541 - 6000 ext 6304 
fax: (613) 541-6822 

Royal Military College of Canada
Mackenzie 463A
Kingston, Ontario 
K7K 7B4 
Office hours - Tuesdays 1:30 - 4:30 or by appt

Research Interests:

My research interests include two major areas of inquiry: 1. gender inequality in the developing world (especially sub-Saharan Africa, Indonesia and Sri Lanka) and 2. the role and (perceived) impact of Canadians in the developing world. 

1. My research on gender inequality and development includes the study of a) gender and environmental issues in Africa (Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Malawi), b) gender and development in disasters (Indonesia and Sri Lanka), c) challenges of gender mainstreaming in development work (Malawi, Sri Lanka and Indonesia), and d) gender, HIV/AIDS and human security in Africa (Uganda and Malawi). 

2. My second major area of research addresses social, cultural and identity-related issues pertaining to the role and impact of Canadians (volunteers, military personnel, NGO workers and government employees) working in the “developing world”1. The research objectives are to answer two inter-related questions: 1. What do Canadians believe to be their impact in the developing world in terms of the promotion of peace, security and development? This research involves comparative data about Canadian military personnel and civilians working in developing countries and what the people living in the developing world see as the impact of Canada’s actions abroad. Specifically, this research involves data collection with community members in countries where Canada offers humanitarian assistance and development. To understand how Canadians (civilian and military) understand their impacts abroad, I am currently involved in an International Development Research Centre (IDRC) funded research project titled: “Creating Global Citizens? The Impact of Learning/Volunteer Abroad Programs” which runs from 2007-2011. It is a collaborative project with co-Principal Investigator – Dr. Barbara Heron – at York University. I am interested in the motivations, expectations and perceptions of self and “other”, experiences with culture shock, reintegration challenges, and their understanding of contributions made while abroad. 

The second part of this research concerns Canada’s impact abroad from the perspective of the people living in the developing world. IDRC funding for the project “Creating Global Citizens” has enabled Barbara Heron and I to collect data from members of host communities in the developing world (Peru, Guatemala, Malawi, South Africa, India and Jamaica). In other research, I examine the impact of Canadian military and development activities in post-conflict communities by carrying out ethnographic research with local organizational staff to better understand Canada’s impact abroad. 

1The developing world is understood here to describe the countries classified as less developed, “Third World” or, as described by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), as those countries with low human development. COURSES TAUGHT Introduction to International Development (RMC - Undergraduate) Fall 2009 Gendered Dimensions of Conflict (RMC - Graduate), Winter 2010 Sociology of the Armed Forces (RMC - Undergraduate) Winter 2010 Human Security (RMC - Graduate) Spring 2010 

Other Appointments:

I am a Canada Research Chair in Global Studies and Leadership. I am Adjunct Professor in Global Development Studies at Queen’s University and a Research Fellow at Dalhousie University. At RMC, I am cross-appointed to the Department of Politics and Economics and to the War Studies Program. I supervise graduate students in several graduate programs at RMC and in Global Development Studies at Queens. 


Introduction to International Development (RMC - Undergraduate) Fall 2009 

Gendered Dimensions of Conflict (RMC - Graduate), Winter 2010 

Sociology of the Armed Forces (RMC - Undergraduate) Winter 2010 

Human Security (RMC - Graduate) Spring 2010 



Tiessen, R. Everywhere/Nowhere: Gender Mainstreaming in Development Agencies, 2007, Bloomfield: Kumarian Press.


Tiessen, R. Sustainable Development and Canada: National and International Perspectives, Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2001, co-authored with O.P. Dwivedi, J.P. Kyba, and P. Stoett. 


Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

Tiessen, R. “Small Victories but Slow Progress: An Examination of Women and Politics in Malawi”, International Feminist Journal of Politics, Vol. 10, No. 2, June 2008, pp. 198-216. 

Tiessen, R. “Educating Global Citizens? Canadian Foreign Policy and Youth Study/Volunteer Abroad Programs”, Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, Vol. 14, No. 1, 2008.


Black D. and R. Tiessen. “The Canadian International Development Agency: New Policies, Old Problems” Canadian Journal of International Development Studies, November 2007, Vol. XVIII, No. 2, pp. 191-213. 


Tiessen, R. “Gender Mainstreaming in HIV/AIDS Programs: Ongoing Challenges and New Opportunities for NGOs in Malawi”, Journal of International Women’s Studies, Vol. 7, No. 1, November, 2005. 


Tiessen, R. “What’s New about Gender Mainstreaming: Three Decades of Policy Creation and Development Strategies”, Canadian Journal of Development Studies, Vol. XXVI, Special Issue, 2005. pp. 705-720.


Tiessen, R. “Reinventing the Gendered Organization: Staff Attitudes towards Gender Mainstreaming in NGOs in Malawi”, Gender, Work and Organization, Vol. 11, No. 6, 2004, pp. 689-708. 


Tiessen, R. “Challenges to Gender Mainstreaming in Environmental Planning: NGO Practice and Canadian Foreign Policy”. Canadian Foreign Policy Vol. 9, No.3, June 2002, pp. 85-98. 


Tiessen, R. “Gender, Environmental Security and Development in Malawi”, International Insights, Special Issue: Globalisations/New Regionalisms/Development, Vol. 15, No. 3, Fall 2000, pp. 116-131.


Peer-reviewed Book Chapters 


Tiessen, R. “Youth Ambassadors Abroad: Canadian Foreign Policy, Public Diplomacy and Youth Internship Experiences”, chapter in Canadian Foreign Policy in Critical Perspective, J.M. Beier and L. Wylie (eds), Oxford University Press, accepted and forthcoming. 


Tiessen, R. “Cross-Pressures and the Pursuit of Sustainable Development in South Africa”, chapter in Environmental Management in the Global Context: Perspectives from the South, Dwivedi and Diez (eds), Broadview Press, 2008. 


Tiessen, R. “Gender Mainstreaming for Sustainable Livelihoods: An Analysis of Development NGOs in Malawi”, Section 1: Framework for Change in Gender Equality and Sustainable Livelihood Strategies: Tools for Gender in Development Best Practices, Ottawa: CIDA, 2007, pp. 11-23. 


Tiessen, R. “What’s New about Gender Mainstreaming? Three Decades of Policy Creation and Development Strategies” in Chapter 11: “Has Gender Mainstreaming Been Effective?”, Chapter in Crosscurrents: International Development, Mark Charlton and Paul Rowe (eds), Toronto: Thomson Nelson (re-print with the permission of the Canadian Journal of Development Studies), 2007, pp. 257-273.

Tiessen, R. “A Silent Killer: HIV/AIDS Metaphors and Human (In)security in Southern Africa”, Chapter in A Decade of Human Security: what prospects for global governance and new multilateralisms? Timothy Shaw, Sandra MacLean, David Black (eds), Ashgate, 2006, pp. 145-161. 


Tiessen, R. “Masculinities and Femininities in DFAIT’s SDS: Gender and Canadian Foreign Policy” in Gendered Discourses, Gendered Practices: Feminists (re)write Canadian Foreign Policy, Sjolander, C., H. Smith and D. Stienstra (eds). Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2003, pp.108-123.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000