Centre of Expertise Global Governance

Research group United Nations Studies in Peace and Justice

From 1st of September 2018, Alanna O'Malley was appointed as Professor of United Nations Studies in Peace and Justice, focusing on the ‘lesser-known actors’ of the UN: women, the youth, the agents of informal diplomatic networks within the UN and actors from the Global South. This Special Chair has been created by the Municipality of The Hague to honor the work of Jozias Van Aartsen, former Dutch Foreign Minister and Mayor of The Hague. The new appointed professor Alanna ‘O Malley will set up and lead the research group UN Studies: Peace and Justice. The Research group aims to increase the visibility and relevance of the UN to the general public in The Hague and beyond, capitalizing on The Hague a strategic centre for UN Studies.

About the research group

The research group is positioned halfway within the Institute of Security and Global Affairs of Leiden University's Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs and the Faculty of Governance, Law and Safety of The Hague University of Applied Sciences. The research group is being funded by the Municipality of The Hague for a period of three years as part of the ‘Van Aartsen honours program’ in the field of UN Studies.

Aim of the research group

The aim of the UN Studies research group is to ultimately change perceptions of the UN. It will do so by establishing a UN Studies Research Network connecting expertise at The Hague University of Applied Sciences with that of Leiden University. The research group provides a unique opportunity to bring together a diverse set of actors relating to the UN and its activities in order to improve public visibility of and engagement with the organization. The research group is designed to act as an umbrella to connect different dimensions of UN proficiency by bridging academic and civil society and acting as a focal point for activities relating to the UN and associated ideas of global governance in the area of peace and justice.

Timing of the programme

This is a very timely moment at which to think about the UN for three main reasons.

Firstly, as the 75th anniversary of the UN in 2020 draws closer, the time has come for more balanced, critical and representative views of the organization. The Chair will stimulate frontier research in a range of different areas.

Secondly, the historical legacy of international law in The Hague, its reputation in the area of peace and justice, alongside the wealth of researchers and experts here, make it the ideal place in which to develop contributions to current debates about UN reform and revitalization.

Thirdly, as The Netherlands has just completed a term as an elected member on the Security Council this is an opportunity for appraisal and reflection on a range of UN issues from the perspective of the Dutch experience which may be mined to develop broader action plans.

See also: Leiden University

About the professor

Alanna O'Malley

Alanna O’Malley is Professor of United Nations Studies in Peace and Justice at The Hague University of Applied Sciences and Leiden University. She completed a PhD at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence from 2007-2012. In 2009, she was a Visiting Scholar at New York University, in Spring 2017 a Kathleen Fitzpatrick Visiting Fellow at the Laureate Research Program in International History at the University of Sydney and from August 2017-February 2018 she was a Fulbright Research Scholar at the History Department of George Washington University in Washington D.C. In 2019 she was awarded a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for her new research project 'Challenging the Liberal World Order from Within, The Invisible History of the UN and the Global South.