Winning the Battle but Losing the War on Violence: A Feminist Perspective on the Declining Global Violence Thesis


True, Jacqui. 2015. “Winning the Battle but Losing the War on Violence: A Feminist Perspective on the Declining Global Violence Thesis.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 17 (4): 554–72. doi:10.1080/14616742.2015.1046269.

Author: Jacqui True


Scholars have recently claimed that global violence – defined largely as homicide and casualties from war – is in steep decline. However, research dedicated to using data to prove the decline of violence, in particular Steven Pinker's book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, almost completely neglects evidence of gendered violence within and across states. This methodological and analytical failure results from flawed theoretical assumptions about what violence is and how to count violent incidences. While prevalence surveys show that a large proportion of women and girls (not to mention men and boys) experience sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), it does not appear in declinist analyses. This is especially problematic given the burgeoning evidence of SGBV's scale and significance in current conflicts, often as a “tactic of war” targeting civilians. Analyzing global violence from a feminist perspective thus radically challenges declinist views about trends of violence. The explicitly feminist perspective on international relations in this article provides a more universal accounting of global violence, and the contemporary changes in the nature and forms of violence.

Keywords: global violence, war, gender violence, sexual violence, feminist international relations

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Sexual Violence, SV against Women

Year: 2015

© 2024 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at