Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict: Threat, Mobilization and Gender Norms (defended June 2019)
What are the implications of the politicization of conflict-related sexual violence for women’s agency in conflict settings? My main theoretical argument is that conflict-related sexual violence makes gender salient in both domestic and international arenas, as a result of which women’s agency may be amplified. First, I show that women mobilize in civil society in response to the collective threat that conflict-related sexual violence constitutes to them as women. Interviews with representatives of women’s organizations and victims’ associations in Colombia reveal that patriarchal structures and societally entrenched gender inequality are at the heart of mobilized women’s understanding of this violence. Second, I posit that conflict-related sexual violence is a very visible indicator of gendered conflict that elicits a push for a gender-sensitive response to armed conflict by international actors. An examination of United Nations peace operation mandates reveals that gender content, including a commitment to women’s participation, is higher when sexual violence is widespread in the respective conflict. Likewise, countries experiencing a conflict with prevalent sexual violence adopt legislative gender quotas sooner and at higher levels than other countries, responding to domestic and international pressures for a “gendered” response.
The introductory chapter of the dissertation is available here. I am happy to mail out hard copies of my dissertation while supplies last. If you would like one, please send me an email.
For the dissertation, I received the 2020 Christiane-Rajewsky-Prize for junior conflict researchers, awarded by the German Association for Peace and Conflict Studies
Peer-reviewed journal articles
Civil Society Perspectives on Sexual Violence in Conflict: Patriarchy and War Strategy in Colombia. 2020. International Affairs. Advance access: https://academic.oup.com/ia/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/ia/iiz257/5707332
Gendered Conflict, Gendered Outcomes: The Politicization of Sexual Violence and Quota Adoption (with Mattias Agerberg). 2019. Journal of Conflict Resolution. OnlineFirst: https://doi.org/10.1177/0022002719859651
Responding to Sexual Violence: Women’s Mobilization in War. 2019. Journal of Peace Research 56:2, p. 220-233. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022343318800361
Traducción al español: La respuesta a la violencia sexual: movilización de las mujeres durante la guerra
Authoritarian Institutions and Women’s Rights (with Daniela Donno). 2019. Comparative Political Studies, 52:5, p. 720-753. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0010414018797954. Winner of the James Caporaso Best Paper Award for best paper published in Comparative Political Studies in 2019
The Gender Mainstreaming Gap: Security Council Resolution 1325 and UN Peacekeeping Mandates. 2017. International Peacekeeping, 24:1, p. 132-158. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13533312.2016.1195267
The Empowerment of Women in Diplomacy. With Ann Towns and Birgitta Niklasson. 2017. In Measuring Women’s Political Empowerment across the Globe: Strategies, Challenges and Future Research, eds. Amy Alexander, Catherine Bolzendahl and Farida Jalalzai. Palgrave, p. 187-205.
“How Does Civil Society Understand Conflict-Related Sexual Violence? Perspectives from women activists in Colombia”. GPS Policy Brief 03/2019. December 2019. PRIO Centre on Gender, Peace and Security. https://www.prio.org/Publications/Publication/?x=12142
Versión española: ¿Cómo comprende la sociedad civil la violencia sexual relacionada con los conflictos?
“Gender and Peacekeeping: Progress and Challenges”. July 2019. Oxford Research Group. https://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/blog/gender-and-peacekeeping-progress-and-challenges
“The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize is a tribute to activists against sexual violence in conflict”. December 2018. Political Violence @ a Glance. http://politicalviolenceataglance.org/2018/12/13/the-2018-nobel-peace-prize-is-a-tribute-to-activists-against-sexual-violence-in-conflict/
“Fighting sexual violence in war: Context matters”. December 2018. US Army War College War Room. https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/articles/sexual-violence-in-war/
“Sometimes autocrats strengthen their power by expanding women’s rights. Here’s how that works.” (with Daniela Donno). November 2018. Washington Post: The Monkey Cage. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/11/23/sometimes-autocrats-strengthen-their-power-by-expanding-womens-rights-heres-how-that-works/