Till startsida
To content Read more about how we use cookies on gu.se

Ann Towns


Ann Towns
+46 31 786 1153

Room number: B506
Postal Address: Box 711, 40530 Göteborg
Visiting Address: Sprängkullsgatan 19 , 41123 Göteborg

Department of Political Science (More Information)
Box 711
405 30 Göteborg
Visiting Address: Sprängkullsgatan 19 , 411 23 Göteborg

About Ann Towns


Ann Towns is professor of political science at the University of Gothenburg.

She received a PhD in political science, with a minor in feminist studies, at the University of Minnesota in 2004. In 2013, she was awarded a Wallenberg Academy Fellowship by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. She has been visiting scholar at Georgetown University 2017-2018 and the University in Oslo 2017-2019.

Towns’ research has been honored with a number of awards from the American Political Science Association and the International Studies Association. The latest of these was a Bertha Lutz Award (Diplomatic Studies Section) of the International Studies Association, 2018, for her research on diplomacy.

Research interests

• Diplomacy and gender
• Hierarchies, order and norms in international politics
• Discourses of civilization in international politics
• National identity / nationalism, gender and cultural diversity

Ongoing Research

Towns’ research pivots around questions of norms, hierarchies and resistance in international politics, generally with a focus on gender. She currently runs the research program GenDip on gender norms, gendered practices and hierarchies in diplomacy, an inter-state institution that has long been dominated by men but where more women have entered in the past decade. What does the encounter between these women and male-dominated diplomacy look like? In what ways are diplomatic interactions, norms and institutions gendered, and how do international and gender hierarchies intersect in diplomacy? To what extent and how do diplomats resist (or make use of) gender norms, given the restrictions of diplomatic code? GenDip also consists of a formal network that ties together diplomacy scholars from around the world.

Her research is financed 2014-2021 by a Wallenberg Academy Fellowship and a grant from the Swedish Research Council. Towns has recruited associate professor Birgitta Niklasson for a study on gender in the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs in a comparative perspective and Katarzyna Jezierska (associate professor, University West) for a study of how diplomats manage the feminist foreign policy in Poland and Hungary, contexts where opposition to feminism and gender perspectives is considerable. Both of these projects are funded by grants from the Swedish Research Council.

Towns continues to write on international social hierarchies.


• International politics
• Gender and politics
• Qualitative methods
• Advisement of theses at the senior and master levels

Towns has supervised three PhD-students to completion of their dissertations: Angela Wolfe (main adviser, University of Delaware, defense 2012), Joshua Martineau (main adviser, University of Delaware, defense 2014) and Anne-Kathrin Kreft (main adviser, University of Gothenburg, defense 2018).


Towns is editor of Gendering Diplomacy and International Negotiation (with Karin Aggestam, 2018, Palgrave) and author of Women and States: Norms and Hierarchies in International Society (2010, Cambridge University Press). Her research has also appeared in journals such as International Organization, European Journal of International Relations, Millennium, Party Politics, NORA, Cooperation & Conflict and Women & Politics. She has also contributed to a number of edited volumes and handbooks.

For a complete list of publications, see Towns’ CV.

Showing 1 - 10 of 34


“Gender, Nation and the Generation of Cultural Difference Across ‘the West’”
Ann Towns
Culture and Order in World Politics, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, Chapter in book 2020
Chapter in book


"Body Work of Ambassadors. Visual Expressions of Gender and Sexuality in Diplomacy"
Ann Towns
European International Studies Association (Sofia, Bulgaria), Conference contribution 2019
Conference contribution

“Narrating Gender Expertise: Distinction Games Among the Nordic States"
Ann Towns
European Conference of Politics and Gender (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Conference contribution 2019
Conference contribution

“Gender and the Hierarchies of Diplomacy”
Ann Towns
European Conference of Politics and Gender, Conference contribution 2019
Conference contribution

The gender turn in diplomacy: a new research agenda
Karin Aggestam, Ann Towns
International Feminist Journal of Politics, Journal article 2019
Journal article

Global Patterns and Debates in the Granting of Women's Suffrage
Ann Towns
The Palgrave Handbook of Women's Political Rights, London, Palgrave MacMillan UK, Chapter in book 2019
Chapter in book


“All These Rankings yet the Bodies Keep Piling Up: Rankings, Public Diplomacy and the Soft-Power Industrial Complex.”
Ann Towns, Paul Beaumont
European International Studies Association (Prague, Czech Republic), Conference contribution 2018
Conference contribution

“Allocation of Moral Status and Its Discontents”
Ann Towns, Bahar Rumelili
International Studies Association (San Francisco, USA), Conference contribution 2018
Conference contribution

"Metoo är långt mer än sexuella trakasserier"
Ann Towns, Lena Wängnerud
Svenska Dagbladet 20180420, Newspaper article 2018
Newspaper article

“Gender Equality as a Nordic Brand? Comparing Sweden, Denmark and Norway”
Ann Towns, Katarzyna Jezierska
“Gender Equality as Branding: Moving Beyond Nordic Exceptionalism” Workshop, Refsnes Gods (Moss), June 20-21 2018., Conference contribution 2018
Conference contribution

Showing 1 - 10 of 34

Page Manager: Webbredaktionen|Last update: 5/31/2017

The University of Gothenburg uses cookies to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing on this website, you approve of our use of cookies.  What are cookies?