School of Politics and International Relations

Jennifer Thomson - The Politics of Abortion Legislation in Contemporary Northern Ireland

 Jennifer Thomson - The Politics of Abortion Legislation in Contemporary Northern Ireland

Jennifer Thomson, PhD Candidate
Primary Supervisor: Dr Rainbow Murray

Twitter: @jencthomson

Jennifer holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Cambridge and an MA in Political Science from the New School for Social Research, New York.

Prior to beginning her doctoral studies at Queen Mary, she worked as an English language teacher in Canada and South Korea.

She is the recipient of a +4 ESRC studentship. In the autumn of 2015 she was a Visiting Researcher at the Institute for British-Irish Studies, University College Dublin.

From 2013-2015 she was the UK Political Studies Association Postgraduate Network’s Conference Coordinator, organizing events in Oxford, Birmingham and London. She currently serves as postgraduate coordinator for the PSA Women and Politics Specialist Group and postgraduate co-coordinator for the BISA Gendering International Relations working group.

Her research focuses on the politics of abortion legislation in contemporary Northern Ireland. Using a feminist institutionalist conceptual framework, it explores the gendered aspects of the territorialisation of policies in the wake of devolution.

Her broader research interests include post-conflict governance, and gender and human rights mechanisms.

Peer-reviewed journal articles
“Explaining gender equality difference in a devolved system: the case of abortion law in Northern Ireland”, British Politics, 2015. DOI: 10.1057/bp.2015.47

“Abortion and same-sex marriage: how are non-sectarian controversial issues discussed in Northern Irish politics?”, Irish Political Studies, 2015. DOI: 10.1080/07907184.2015.1103226

“Thinking globally, acting locally?: the women’s sector, international human rights mechanisms and politics in Northern Ireland”, Politics, forthcoming 2016

Under Review
“Conservative social movements and feminist research: the case of pro-life activism in Northern Ireland”

“Feminist institutionalism and critical actors: a dual approach to analysing gendered policy making”

Book chapter
“A ‘United’ Kingdom?: the 1967 Abortion Act and Northern Ireland” in Abortion in Anti-Choice Islands: Crossing Troubled Waters, Prince Edward Island University Press, forthcoming 2016

Journal contribution
“Researching gender in divided societies: a conversation”, Fidelma Ashe, Gorana Mlinarevic, Claire Pierson and Jennifer Thomson, International Feminist Journal of Politics, forthcoming 2016

Selected Internet Publications
Devolving abortion law: a positive step or cause for concern?”, Gender Politics at Edinburgh blog, October 2015

Will Northern Ireland be next to legalise same sex marriage?”, Mile End Institute blog, July 2015

Bad news for abortion rights if this Northern Irish party holds the balance of power in Britain”, The Conversation, April 2015

What role will Northern Ireland play in the British election?”, The Conversation, April 2015

Discussions about abortion and same-sex marriage demonstrate signs of unity in Northern Ireland’s divided politics”, LSE British Politics and Policy blog, January 2014

Selected Conference Presentations

International Studies Association, Atlanta, USA: “Consociationalism and gender: challenging identity hierarchies” (co-authored with Ronan Kennedy and Dr. Claire Pierson)
PSA, Brighton: “Reproductive rights and territorial governance: the case of the contemporary UK”

PSA Ireland, Cork: “Why is same-sex marriage not legal in Northern Ireland?”
- ECPR European Consortium on Politics and Gender, Uppsala, Sweden: “Thinking Globally, Acting Locally? The women’s sector, international human rights mechanisms and politics in Northern Ireland”
- BISA, London: “CEDAW, UNSCR 1325 and Northern Irish politics”

BISA Global Health Working Group Workshop, University of Heidelberg, Germany:  “Transitional Justice and Abortion Rights: A comparison of South Africa and Northern Ireland”, (presented virtually)
- ECPR General Conference, Glasgow: “Transitional Justice and Reproductive Rights”
- PSA, Manchester: “Morality politics and institutional design in Northern Irish politics”