Feminist Research in Transitional Justice Studies: Navigating Silences and Disruptions in the Field

Citation:

Simic, Olivera. 2016. “Feminist Research in Transitional Justice Studies: Navigating Silences and Disruptions in the Field.” Human Rights Review 17 (1): 95–113.

Author: Olivera Simic

Abstract:

This paper will analyse what it takes to conduct feminist and sensitive research in countries that have seen mass human rights violations. Transitional justice research involves critical examination of difficult topics which raises a number of ethical and methodological issues for both the participants and the researchers. Although empirical research has been a facet of the studies produced in the field, researchers' accounts of undertaking research in often politically sensitive environments is largely missing from published books and research reports. This paper is informed by personal experiences of doing research in wartime rape in the ethnically and politically divided country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I argue that the researcher's profile and positionality directly affects the fieldwork and that fieldwork is a dialogical process which is structured by the researcher and the wider political processes in the country.

Keywords: feminist research, sensitive topics, personal reflections, transitional justice

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Justice, Transitional Justice, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Rape Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2016

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