Masculinity, Post-Conflict Police Reform & Gender-Based Violence in Northern Ireland & Bosnia Herzegovina


Melia, Jan. 2018. "Masculinity, Post-Conflict Police Reform & Gender-Based Violence in Northern Ireland & Bosnia Herzegovina." PhD diss., University of Aberdeen.

Author: Jan Melia


This dissertation aims to examine masculinities and transitional police reform, considering policy and processes, and investigating the policing of gender-based violence in post-war societies. Drawing upon current feminist theory in the field of transitional justice, it focuses on masculinities in formal post-conflict police reform processes, an area that has been much under-researched in the academic literature. More specifically, the dissertation examines international processes focused on police reform advocacy relating to gender-sensitive reform, and local level police reform relating to gender-based violence (GBV). To examine local level reforms, two post-conflict case sites, Bosnia Herzegovina (BiH), and Northern Ireland (NI) were selected for investigation. My research understands gender as a discursive construct and investigates the gendered conceptions built into police reform policy, process, and practice. How these conceptions come to be part of police reform texts and how they manifest in post-conflict policing responses to gender-based violence (GBV) is the focus of the dissertation. Overall, my research identifies masculinity as an unstated norm in police reform, and case study findings indicate that hegemonic masculinities shape police reform policy and practice relating to GBV in particular ways, reiterating conventional gender norms, and limiting the potential for transformative change. Findings suggest that current reforms in post-conflict transitions contribute to, and constitute a process of remasculinisation.

Keywords: masculinity, police, police administration, women

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Justice, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict, Security Sector Reform Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, United Kingdom

Year: 2018

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