Megan MacKenzie

Professor and Simons Chair in International Law and Human Security

Megan MacKenzie

Professor and Simons Chair in International Law and Human Security


D. Phil. University of Alberta
M.A. University of Saskatchewan
B.A. University of Regina

Areas of Specialization

  • International Security
  • Gender and war
  • Feminism and international relations
  • Military culture
  • International laws of war
  • Post-conflict reconstruction


Megan MacKenzie is a feminist scholar interested in war, security studies, post-conflict recovery and reconstruction, and military culture. Her work is broadly focused on the ways that gender matters in understanding war and insecurity and the ways that experiences of war and insecurity are shaped by gendered norms and sexism.

Megan has been studying military culture and gender integration in the military for over a decade, which includes projects on military sexual violence, the integration of women into combat roles, and military suicide. She also has worked on issues related to post-conflict transitions and feminist solutions to ending war. This work includes projects on disarmament programs, amnesty provisions in peace agreements, truth and reconciliation commissions, and a series and edited book on feminist solutions to ending war. Megan is also involved in a research hub on images and international relations, based at the University of Copenhagen.

Megan’s research has been funded by the Australian Research Council, the Independent Research Fund Denmark, and the Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre. She held a fellowship at the Belfer Centre Center for Science and International Affairs and the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School.



MacKenzie, Megan and Nicole Wegner (eds) Feminist Solutions to Ending War. (under contract with Pluto Press, to be published early 2021)

MacKenzie, Megan. Beyond the Band of Brothers: the US Military and the Myth that Women Can’t Fight. (Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, June 2015).

MacKenzie, Megan. Female Soldiers in Sierra Leone: Sex, Security, and Post-Conflict Development. (New York: New York University Press, August 2012).


MacKenzie, M, Gunaydin E & Chaudhuri, U. (2019) “Illicit Military Behaviour as Exceptional and Endemic: Media coverage of military sexual violence and the ‘bad apples’ paradox,” International Studies Quarterly, accepted October 24, 2019; to be published online in January 2019.

MacKenzie, Megan. (2019) “Why do soldiers swap illicit pictures? How a visual discourse analysis illuminates military band of brother culture,” Security Dialogue, accepted November 2019 to be published early 2020.

MacKenzie, Megan. (2019) “Can We Really ‘Forget’ Militarization?: A Conversation on Alison Howell’s Martial Politics,” and “Looking to the Pacific for Ways to Overcome Western Liberal Nostalgia for Pre-War Pacifism.” Editor of special conversation section of Alison Howell’s concept of ‘martial politics’ in International Feminist Journal of Politics Vol 21(5), 816-836.

MacKenzie, Megan. (2018) “Will Letting Women Fight Fix Gender Inequality?” Foreign Affairs 24 April.

MacKenzie, Megan and Alana Foster. (2017) “Masculinity Nostalgia: How war and occupation inspire a yearning for gender order.” Security Dialogue 48(3), 206-223.

MacKenzie, Megan. (2015) “True Grit: the Myths and Realities of Women in Combat.” Foreign Affairs 12 August.

MacKenzie, Megan. (2013) “On ‘Women in Battle’” Parameters 43(3), 128-132.

MacKenzie, Megan. (2013 ) “Women in combat: beyond ‘can they?’ or ‘should they?: Introduction.” Editor of the interventions section of Critical Studies on Security Vol 1, No. 2, 239-242.

MacKenzie, Megan. (2012) “Let Women Fight” Foreign Affairs 91(6), 1-6.

MacKenzie, Megan and Marianne Bevan, (2012) "Cowboy Policing: Observing Policing Masculinities in East Timor" International Feminist Journal of Politics 14(4), 508-528.

Ben-Josef Hirsch, M., Mackenzie, M., Sesay, M. (2012) “Measuring the imapacts of truth and reconciliation commissions: placing the global ‘success’ of TRCs in local perspective.” Cooperation and Conflict, 47(3), 386-403.

MacKenzie, Megan and Mohamed Sesay. (2012) “No Amnesty from/for the

International: the Production and Promotion of TRCs as an International Norm in Sierra Leone.” International Studies Perspectives, 13(2), 146-163.

MacKenzie, Megan. (2011) “Their Personal is Political, Not Mine: Feminism and Emotion” International Studies Review. July.

MacKenzie, Megan. (2010) “De-Securitizing Sex: War Rape and the Radicalization of Development in Sierra Leone,” International Feminist Journal of Politics, Volume 12; 2.

MacKenzie, Megan. (2009) "Securitization and Desecuritization: Female Soldiers and the Reconstruction of Women in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone," Security Studies, issue 2, volume 18.

MacKenzie, Megan. (2009) "Empowerment Boom or Bust? Assessing Women's Post-Conflict Empowerment Initiatives," Cambridge Review of International Affairs, issue 2, volume 22.

Book Chapters

MacKenzie, Megan and Christopher Hills. “Women in Non-State Armed Groups After War: The (Non)Evolution of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration.” In Rachel Woodward and Claire Duncanson (eds) “The Palgrave International Handbook of Gender and the Military.” (London: Palgrave, 2017)

MacKenzie, Megan. “Gender and Post-Conflict Security.” In Simona Sharoni, Julia Welland, Linda Steiner, Jennifer Pedersen (eds) Handbook on Gender and War, (London: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., 2017)

MacKenzie, Megan. “Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration and the Politics of Slavery in Sierra Leone.” In Joyce P. Kaufmand and Kristin Williams (eds) Women and Post-Conflict Transitions: Lessons of the Past, Implications for the Future (Routledge 2016).

Baldi, Giulia and Megan MacKenzie. “Silent Identities: Children Born of War in Sierra Leone." in R. Charli Carpenter ed. Born of War: Protecting Children Born to Sexual Violence Survivors in Conflict Zones. (San Francisco: Kumarian Press, 2007)

MacKenzie, Megan. “Securitization and De-Securitization: Female Soldiers and the Reconstruction of Women in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone.” in Laura Sjoberg ed. Gender and International Security. (Critical Security Series, Routledge. 2009)

MacKenzie, Megan. “Security as the Exceptions: What Women Warriors Experience” in Christine Sylvester ed. Experiencing War. (Routledge: 2010) 


This instructor is currently not teaching any courses.