Governance refers to a conceptual framework for addressing the evolution of governing processes in a society, transcending hierarchical structures, and including bottom-up as well as horizontal and cooperative forms of decision-making. Special emphasis is given to the study of various forms of governance, following a newly developed analytical and interpretative framework. We especially look at how problems can be mitigated through the legal and political means available to the international community and to national and local actors.
Gender is considered as a core transversal tool in the approach to governance and conflict. The sex/gender system is a complex social construction that includes sexual categories, practices, relations, representations, symbols and institutions marked by both hierarchies and inequalities. At the same time, gender is intertwined with class, nation, race, culture and ethnicity in their historical contexts. All these intersections bear importance as they determine forms of (non)-agency in the governance of South America. A particular focus concerns the redefinition of statehood, citizenship and political participation by indigenous women movements who struggle for cultural and ethnic recognition as well as gender justice.