The Student Research Committee on Human Rights and Gender Studies covers a broad range of research topics – including, but not limited to, philosophy of human rights, international human rights law, gender mainstreaming, feminist theory and antifeminism, gender in political and public discourse, and the political regulation of sex work – as well as a range of geographical research areas – such as Western and Eastern Europe, India, and the Middle East.

Our SRC is currently comprised of six members who study political science, law, sociology, and related fields at different levels of study, from undergraduates to PhD students. The aim of our SRC is not only to conduct and publish research, but also to share ideas, learn about each other’s cultures and research interests, and connect with scholars around the globe. All of us are very passionate about research and the fields we are studying. We do our research either on an individual or collaborative basis. Concurrently, we also provide continuous feedback and review whatever we produce within the committee. At the 2016 IAPSS World Congress in Berlin, we presented our research at our own “Human Rights and Gender Studies” panel. In this academic year, we aspire to conduct original research, participate in conferences, and publish our work in IAPSS’s journal Politikon as well as other journals.

Do not hesitate to contact us in case of any questions or possibilities for collaboration (e-mail: src.humanrights.genderstudies@gmail.com).


Tiaan WestenbergTiaan Westenberg, Chair of the SRC

Tiaan was born in South Africa but spent his childhood and high school years on the island of Cyprus. He completed his BA in European Studies at The Hague University in the Netherlands, where his thesis examined the effects that re-interpreting Article 9 of the Japanese constitution could have on International Peace and Security. He is currently studying at Leiden University for his MSc in Political Science: Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict and Development, where he also is a member of the Board of the non-profit Leiden Univeristy Pride, an LGBT+ organization for students, alumni, staff and friends. His academic interests vary, but revolve around LGBT+ rights as well as identities and how these fit into our perception of our neo-liberal world, or not.

Kerk_NevienNevien Kerk, Vice-Chair of the SRC

Nevien has been awarded with a Bachelor degree in European Studies focusing on public administration, international law and conflict at The Hague University. In the course of her Bachelor program she spent a semester at the St. Petersburg State University studying International Relations, emphasizing Russian foreign policy and conflict management. She is now starting a Joint European Master’s program in Humanitarian Action at the Ruhr University in Bochum. The course is facilitated and organized by the Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA). Nevien’s research interests lie particularly with Human Rights. She wrote her undergraduate dissertation on the Human Rights violations of 2011 in Bahrain, while completing an internship with Human Rights Watch. Further academic interests lie in Human Rights during armed conflict and the interdependence of politics and law regarding humanitarian and Human Rights issues.

Eliška JelínkováEliška Jelínková

Eliška is doing her Master degree in Gender Studies at Utrecht University. Her Master thesis is on the topic of  the strategic use of sexual violence in conflict. Her research focuses on gender-based violence in conflict, unarmed civilian protection, intersectionality, sex trafficking and humanoid robots. She has previously done an internship at the UN and at CARE international and is currently doing an internship at UNOY Peacebuilders in the Hague.


Aashna BanerjeeAashna Banerjee

Aashna has graduated with a degree in Psychology with cognates in Peace and Conflict Studies and International Relations. Her research interests revolve around implicit cognition, gender, and structural violence.

Upasana PandeyUpasana Pandey

Upasana Pandey is a second year undergraduate student of National Law University Odisha, India and is presently pursuing her B.A. (LL.B) from there. She has been passionate about social issues since her childhood and is currently engaged as the permanent volunteer of Samaritan Help Mission, India. She likes to devote her free time teaching English and Mathematics to the underprivileged children. Apart from this she is also engaged as the Research Assistant of Litigation and Legislative Policy Group at her own university. Her research interests at the moment  include International Human Rights Law and International Criminal Law


Oana Crusmac

Oana CrusmacOana was born in a small city from the south of Romania. In 2011 she graduated from the Faculty of Communication and Public Relations at the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, with a thesis focusing on the relation between post-feminism and women’s magazines. Afterwards she continued her studies with two master’s degrees, the first in Sociology and the second in Political Theory and Political Analysis, at the same university. She chose to diversify her studies in order to get a better view on gender related issues, a research interest which has been constant. Her final thesis in Sociology focused on the social representation of feminism in social media, whereas the thesis from the second MA analyzed the main theories of distributive justice from a feminist perspective. Currently Oana is a PhD student in Political Science at the  National University of Political Studies and Public Administration based in Bucharest, Romania. Her research focuses on contemporary political philosophy, her particular interests being gender and distributive justice, as well as global justice and – boosted more recently by  related contemporary debates – climate change.

Isabel KöhlerIsabel Köhler

Isabel is a first-year PhD student in political science at Rutgers University, NJ, with a concentration in women and politics. She grew up in the north of Germany and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Sociology at Georg-August University Göttingen. As a member of the Student Research Committee on Human Rights and Gender Studies, she has worked on gender equality in European countries and the impact and relevance of Gender Mainstreaming. Her academic interests include the interplay of gender and political institutions, women’s rights, discourse analysis, and the cultural and political representation of women and minorities. Currently, her project deals with mothers in executive positions in German politics.

Nigel Mxolisi Landa

Landa_PhotoNigel was born and raised in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. In 2013 he earned his first degree a B. Sc. (hons) in Sociology from the University of Zimbabwe. He went on to take up the M.Sc. in Sociology and Social Anthropology at the same university which he completed thanks to a generous in-country scholarship from DAAD in 2015. His M.Sc. thesis focused on the relationship between the Court System and State-Witnesses in Zimbabwe.
Currently, Nigel has applied for a doctoral degree at a South African University. His proposed thesis (on Social Justice) focuses on undocumented Zimbabweans (i.e. without any migration documents such as passports etc. hence staying in that country “illegally”) living in Johannesburg, South African in the context of xenophobia.
Broadly, Nigel’s research interest lies in the fields of Social Justice and Human Rights, Jurisprudence, Political Philosophy, Development in Africa, Social Theory and Epistemology, and Qualitative Research. He has been involved in a number of ways in the practical application of these disciplines either as a research assistant or as a teaching assistant at the University of Zimbabwe. During his spare time Nigel enjoys travelling, going to concerts, and following global current affairs.

Yasmine Mandour

Yasmine MandourYasmine received a BSc. Degree in political Science from the faculty of Economics and Political Science, English section, Cairo University in June 2015. She started growing an interest in feminism and gender studies in junior year at university and invested the bulk of her research at college in that field since then. Yasmine first joined IAPSS as a reviewer for Politikon journal in 2014. Currently, Yasmine work as a research assistant at a research group in Egypt called ‘Ikhtyar (Choice) for Gender Studies and Research.’ After spending a short time interacting with the feminist community in Egypt, She realized that being ‘veiled’ unintentionally pushed her towards focusing on the intersection between religion; particularly Islam, and gender and its sociological repercussions as a field of study. Prior to her work, she never focused on Muslim Feminism as such and perceived feminism to be an essentially liberal school of thought. Recently though, she participated at a regional training on Gender, Islam, and Justice in Morocco which has further asserted me the crucial relation between religion and gender, especially in the MENA region. Yasmine main research interests include Feminism; the Feminist Theory; Women and Development; Veil and Oppression.

Aya Marovt

AyaAya Marovt holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Ljubljana and is currently pursuing a Politics, Philosophy and Law degree at King’s College London. Her main research interests at the moment include Human Rights Law, Humanitarian Law and Criminal Law. In her free time, she enjoys travelling, going to the theater and concerts and taking long walks in the nature.

Augustinus Mohn

Augustinus MohnAugustinus received his undergraduate degree in Management, Philosophy and Economics from Frankfurt School of Finance & Management in Germany. There, he developed an interest in political philosophy, which has become the main driver of his research. He is also interested in network studies and has gained insight into the natural science aspect of this field during his time as Junior Project Manager at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Munich. For his postgraduate studies, Augustinus moved to the United Kingdom, where he obtained a degree in Strategic Studies and International Law. Since 2014, Augustinus is doing his PhD in Law and Politics at the University of Aberdeen. His main research interests comprise strategic studies, human rights, international law and the use of force, as well as foreign policy decision-making. Augustinus is editor of the Aberdeen Student Law Review.

 University profileAberdeen Student Law Review

Raquel Bosó Pérez

Raquel BosoRaquel, from Valencia (Spain) is an undergraduate student reading Geography and Sociology at the University of Edinburgh. Her degree has encouraged her to explore how socio-cultural dynamics play out in space, and the role of societal structures in guiding individual action. Her dissertation, ‘An Ethnography of the NuvaRing’ relies upon feminist reworkings of Actor-Network Theory to explore how users’ experiences of contraception match and fall short of their ideal needs, and how their narratives contrast with the intentions behind the NuvaRing’s invention, production, and distribution. She currently works as Project Manager at Edinburgh Global Partnerships, a registered Scottish charity which partners with local NGOs throughout the Global South to carry out community-led sustainable development projects. She additionally works to promote judgement-free sex and relationships education with Sexpression:Edinburgh, designing and implementing lessons and workshops for both teenagers and adults. Her academic interests focus on intersectional feminism, gender, sexuality, the body and reproduction.