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Yugoslavia (former)

Genocide and Gender in the Twentieth Century: A Comparative Survey


Randall, Amy E. 2015. Genocide and Gender in the Twentieth Century: A Comparative Survey. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Author: Amy E. Randall


Genocide and Gender in the Twentieth Century brings together a collection of some of the finest genocide studies scholars in North America and Europe to examine gendered discourses, practices and experiences of ethnic cleansing and genocide in the 20th century. It includes essays focusing on the genocide in Rwanda, the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire, the Holocaust and ethnic cleansing and genocide in the former Yugoslavia.
The book looks at how historically- and culturally-specific ideas about reproduction, biology, and ethnic, national, racial and religious identity contributed to the possibility for and the unfolding of genocidal sexual violence, including mass rape. The book also considers how these ideas, in conjunction with discourses of femininity and masculinity, and understandings of female and male identities, contributed to perpetrators' tools and strategies for ethnic cleansing and genocide, as well as victims' experiences of these processes. This is an ideal text for any student looking to further understand the crucial topic of gender in genocide studies.
(Bloomsbury Academic)

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Genocide, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against men Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Europe, Balkans, South Caucasus Countries: Armenia, Rwanda, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2015

Witness to Rape: The Limits and Potential of International War Crimes Trials for Victims of Wartime Sexual Violence


Henry, Nicola. 2009. “Witness to Rape: The Limits and Potential of International War Crimes Trials for Victims of Wartime Sexual Violence.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 3 (1): 114–34. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijn036.

Author: Nicola Henry


Despite the proliferation of trauma and memory research in recent years, we know very little about the contribution of transitional justice mechanisms to psychological healing and societal reconciliation in the aftermath of genocide, armed conflict and politicized violence. Many scholars in this area have argued that the disclosure of traumatic experiences is beneficial to the psychological recovery process for survivors of gross human rights violations. This article critically examines this therapeutic assumption within a transitional justice paradigm. The article explores the potentials and limitations of international war crimes trials for victims of wartime sexual violence, focusing specifically on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The article provides a theoretical framework for analyzing the significance of testimony at international war crimes trials and raises some critical questions related to the psychological impact of trials. It is argued that due to the sheer diversity and heterogeneity of wartime rape victims, the experience of giving testimony is likely to be mixed: while some victims may suffer under the constraints of legal process, under the right circumstances, war crimes trials may help others to make sense of their suffering.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Health, Trauma, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Transitional Justice, Sexual Violence, Rape Regions: Europe, Balkans Countries: Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2008

Transitional Justice as Recognition: An Analysis of the Women’s Court in Sarajevo


Clark, Janine Natalya. 2016. “Transitional Justice as Recognition: An Analysis of the Women’s Court in Sarajevo.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 10 (1): 67–87. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijv027.

Author: Janine Natalya Clark


In May 2015, a women’s court was held in Sarajevo over a four-day period. It was the first such court on European soil in over 40 years and reflected a growing awareness within the former Yugoslavia of the limitations of international and national criminal trials. I attended the Women’s Court, and this article draws on both my experiences as a participant observer and my interviews with some of the organizers and witnesses. Although it is too soon to know whether the Court will produce any substantive results or have any lasting impact, I offer an early analysis. While the organizers of the Court theorized it as feminist justice, I regard feminist justice as part of what Frank Haldemann terms ‘justice as recognition.’ Analyzing and assessing the Court within this conceptual framework, I argue that it successfully delivered justice as recognition at a symbolic level. The challenge now is to translate this symbolic justice as recognition into a more tangible and practical form.

Keywords: Women's Court, former Yugoslavia, justice as recognition, feminist justice, holistic approach

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Transitional Justice Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2016

The Role of Women in Peacebuilding


Schirch, Lisa, and Manjrika Sewak. 2005. "The Role of Women in Peacebuilding." Working Paper, Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict.


Authors: Lisa Schirch, Manjrika Sewak


In the last ten years, a powerful and expanding network of women began to strategize and articulate a global agenda for including women in conflict prevention and peacebuilding.  This paper gives a brief history of that network, examines the current concerns and tensions around women’s roles in peacebuilding, and provides examples, lesson’s learned, recommendations, and resources for civil society, government, and UN actors involved in conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict Prevention, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Mainstreaming, Peacebuilding, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Asia, South Asia, Europe, Balkans Countries: India, Liberia, Rwanda, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2005

Gender, conflict and peace-building: Lessons from the conflict in the former Yugoslavia


Korac, Maja. 2006. “Gender, conflict and peace-building: Lessons from the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.” Women's Studies International Forum 29: 510-20.

Author: Maja Korac


This article explores the importance of gender sensitive analysis of conflict constructed as ethnic strife for conceptualising and developing new and more effective ways of intervening in this type of war. It points out that because most of the physical violence and suffering in these conflicts occur at the community level, they generate massive refugee movements, causing not only physical and material devastation, but also the destruction of social networks and local communities. This critically affects the prospects for refugee return, which is central to any sustainable peace agreement and post-conflict democratic development. In searching for an answer to the question of how to address effectively the issue of reconciliation in such a context, the discussion highlights the centrality of acknowledging gender dimensions and dynamics of this type of war, as a way of uncovering and recognising a reconciliatory potential of women as women organising and activism that often occurs in these conflicts. By focusing specifically on the initiatives of some women's groups during the war in the former Yugoslavia, which aimed at rebuilding trust and broken social networks at a communal level, the article examines the reasons why women as women often opt for alternative forms of political mobilisation. It argues that this type of activism has an important potential for conflict resolution and should be recognised in a fundamental way in any attempt to build peace in conflict zones.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Democracy / Democratization, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Violence Regions: Europe, Balkans Countries: Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2006

Against the Odds: Sustaining Feminist Momentum in Post-War Bosnia-Herzegovina


Cockburn, Cynthia. 2013. “Against the Odds: Sustaining Feminist Momentum in Post-War Bosnia-Herzegovina.” Women’s Studies International Forum 36 (2): 26–35. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2013.01.003.

Author: Cynthia Cockburn


During the nationalist wars that destroyed Yugoslavia, a women's organization in central Bosnia-Herzegovina was set up to respond to the needs of women raped and traumatized in the fighting. In 1995, as the war ended, the author made a study of the feminist and anti-nationalist thinking and relationships among the doctors, therapists and other staff of Medica Women's Therapy Centre. In 2012 she returned to Bosnia to reinterview women and track developments in this post-conflict period. Medica now supports survivors of domestic violence, on the one hand working in a close partnership with local government services and on the other lobbying the state for improved legislation and provision. In a political system riven by nationalism, women report a retrogression in gender relations and high levels of violence against women. A recent split in Medica signals divergences in feminism and aspirations to a more radical and holistic movement.

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Nationalism, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2013

Traffickers and Trafficking in Southern and Eastern Europe: Considering the Other Side of Human Trafficking


Surtees, Rebecca. 2008. “Traffickers and Trafficking in Southern and Eastern Europe: Considering the Other Side of Human Trafficking.” European Journal of Criminology 5 (1): 39–68. doi:10.1177/1477370807084224.

Author: Rebecca Surtees


This paper describes patterns of trafficking from and within South-Eastern Europe, with particular attention to traffickers and their activities. This helps to determine the most effective methods of tackling these grave crimes through the strategic use of the criminal justice system. To date, attention has primarily been paid to victims of trafficking – who they are and what makes them vulnerable – in an effort to develop counter-trafficking interventions. To complement these studies of victims, studies of traffickers and their operations are also required. There is a need to address traffickers’ behavior through more effective law enforcement and through legal, social and economic reforms that will cause them to reassess the economic benefits of pursuing this strategy.

Keywords: criminal justice, prevention, prosecution, protection, recruitment, South-Eastern Europe, trafficker profiles, trafficking operations, Trafficking

Topics: Ethnicity, Gender, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, Justice, Livelihoods, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, Trafficking, Human Trafficking Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2008

Viol d’hommes, masculinités et conflits armés


Le Pape, Marc. 2013. “Viol d’hommes, masculinités et conflits armés.” Cahiers d’études africaines, 1, 201‑15.

English: Le Pape, Marc. 2013. “Male Rape, Masculinities and Armed Conflicts.” Reports on African Studies, 1, 201‑15.

Author: Marc Le Pape


Les violences sexuelles commises contre des hommes au cours de conflits armés ont longtemps été négligées. Elles ont été reconnues par des activistes des droits de l’homme et quelques ONG médicales dans les contextes de guerre en ex-Yougoslavie et à l’Est de la République du Congo. Puis, au début des années 2000, des études ont commencé à se donner pour objectif à la fois d’enquêter sur ces formes de brutalité et d’expliquer le fait qu’elles aient été si rarement considérées par les ONG et les agences des Nations Unies. Nous examinons ces études et les explications qu’elles donnent aux approches exclusivement orientées sur les viols de femmes.

English Abstract:

For a long time the topic of sexual violence against men in wartime has been neglected. Inquiries have been conducted for the first time by human rights activists and some medical NGOs during wars in ex-Yugoslavia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since as early as 2000, researchers began to investigate sexual assaults on men, and at the same time tried to explain why general comments by NGOs and UN agencies about sexual violence have explicitly excluded male victims. We examine these studies and the critical explanations they give for approaches exclusively oriented on the rape of women.

Keywords: Democratic Republic of Congo, armed conflicts, international law, homophobia, sexual violence, male rape

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, International Law, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against men Regions: Africa, Central Africa, Europe, Balkans Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2013

The Hidden Prevalence of Male Sexual Assault During War


Carlson, Eric Stener. 2006. "The Hidden Prevalence of Male Sexual Assault During War." The British Journal of Criminology 46 (1): 16-25.

Author: Eric Stener Carlson


The article presents the author's observation on the prevalence of male sexual assault during war. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia investigated sexual assault in the mid-1990s. The male prisoners were sexually assaulted by forced fellatio, masturbation, mutilation of the genitals and insertion of objects into the anus. Sexual torture is widely used to break down the identity of political prisoners. In most cases of sexual assault, the victim is reluctant to admit that he or she was abused. Therefore, it is important to understand the psychodynamics of this trauma. (Abstract from EBSCO)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Men, Health, Trauma, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, SV against men, Torture, Sexual Torture, Violence Regions: Europe, Balkans Countries: Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2006


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