Eastern Europe

Forced Pregnancy: Codification in the Rome Statute and its Prospect as Implicit Genocide


Jessie, Soh Sie Eng. 2006. “Forced Pregnancy: Codification in the Rome Statute and Its Prospect as Implicit Genocide.” New Zealand Journal of Public and International Law 4 (2): 311.

Author: Soh Sie Eng Jessie


The Bosnia–Herzegovina political conflict between 1992 and 1995 shone international light on the use of forced pregnancy campaigns as tools in ethnic conflicts. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is the first international treaty to explicitly define the crime of forced pregnancy, but its enactment was controversial. This article discusses the intensive opposition to its inclusion in the Rome Statute, from religious, cultural and political perspectives. It also suggests that domestic antiabortion laws and control over women's reproductive rights raise different issues from a forced pregnancy provision, and that there was a need for the express codification of forced pregnancy as a separate offence, given that it is neither novel nor rare. The Rome Statute lists forced pregnancy as a separate offence, but it is not expressly criminalised as genocide. However, this article argues that forced pregnancy is implicit genocide. It involves attacking women in the targeted group for the purpose of their impregnation through rape, and their detention to facilitate the birth of resulting babies. Forced pregnancy campaigns infiltrate the targeted community through gene pool pollution and manipulation of cultural beliefs.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Genocide, Health, Reproductive Health, International Law, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, Sexual Violence Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2006

Muscular Interventionism: Gender, Power and Liberal Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Bosnia-Herzegovina


O’Reilly, Maria. 2012. “Muscular Interventionism: Gender, Power and Liberal Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Bosnia-Herzegovina.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 14 (4): 529–48. doi:10.1080/14616742.2012.726096.

Author: Maria O'Reilley


This article highlights the centrality of gender to the liberal peacebuilding agenda in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It examines the discourses and practices of liberal interventionism, focusing on the Office of the High Representative (OHR) as a crucial site for the constitution of gendered subjects and agents in this post-conflict zone. Drawing on poststructural theories and representations of Balkan identity, it explores the gendered articulations of Paddy Ashdown, first during his wartime visits to Bosnia-Herzegovina, and second, during his tenure as High Representative. A discourse-theoretical analysis highlights how Ashdown rationalized his involvement in wartime Bosnia-Herzegovina through a powerful self-identification with an ‘interventionist model of masculinity’ which equates manliness with a responsibility to protect a vulnerable/backward/feminized Balkan ‘other’ from violence and harm. Moreover, gendered discourses helped to conceptualize and legitimate the peace implementation role of the OHR, allowing the organization to position coercive strategies and policies as appropriate and necessary for creating sustainable peace. Overall, this article highlights how gender is mobilized to promote and impose liberal policies and norms, with significant implications for the quality of peace being (re)constructed.

Keywords: Balkanism, Bosnia, dicourse, gender, identity, liberal peace, masculinities, peacebuilding, statebuilding

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2012

Silence as Possibility in Postwar Everyday Life


Eastmond, Marita, and Johanna Mannergren Selimovic. 2012. “Silence as Possibility in Postwar Everyday Life.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 6 (3): 502–24. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijs026.

Authors: Marita Eastmond, Johanna Mannergren Selimovic


Silence is a form of communication as multifaceted as speech and as such conveys a broad range of contextually situated social meanings. Often silence is understood as a form of denial and inherently detrimental to processes of reconciliation, but it may help create a sense of ‘normality’ and facilitate encounters between former foes. This article enquires into the role and meanings of silence as tacit forms of communication in postwar social processes and everyday life among people of different ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly as used by the displaced and returnees. It argues that in these contentious settings, everyday social interaction employs silence in ways that empower by communicating respect and even trust, thus forming and sustaining relations important to viable local life. Silence can be used to affirm family continuity and protect close relationships. Silent claims may also ‘speak’ from a marginalized position in relation to hegemonic narratives and make moral claims. Silence may thus be understood as a pragmatic and at times successful strategy for coexistence even when reflecting continued division in the larger society.

Keywords: Bosnia and Herzegovina, silence, memory, displacement, returnees

Topics: Class, Gender, Women, Men, Justice, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2012

‘One Pair of Shoes, One Life’: Steps towards Accountability for Genocide in Srebrenica


Simić, Olivera, and Kathleen Daly. 2011. “‘One Pair of Shoes, One Life’: Steps towards Accountability for Genocide in Srebrenica.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 5 (3): 477–91. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijr020.

Authors: Olivera Simić, Kathleen Daly


On 15 July each year, Women in Black, an antimilitarist and feminist organization based in Belgrade, organize or participate in events in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to mark the anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica. In 2010, in collaboration with a number of artists, Women in Black blocked the main pedestrian mall in Belgrade and, under police protection, laid out about 500 pairs of shoes given to them by Serbian citizens. Each pair represented the life and death of a person killed in the massacre, and each carried a handwritten message from the person who gave it. We analyse the meaning and significance of this campaign as a civil society mechanism of accountability and moral reparations. Although criminal prosecutions for war crimes in the Balkans have been taking place for nearly two decades, they have not been able to address the conflicts and animosities that persist in the region. We argue that by participating in ‘One Pair of Shoes, One Life,’ Serbian citizens have begun to take steps towards publicly accepting responsibility for failing to prevent the crime of genocide perpetrated in their name.

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Women, Genocide, Justice, Reparations, Transitional Justice Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2011

Toward Gender and LGBT Equality in the Serbian Armed Forces


Rokvić, Vanja, and Svetlana Stanarević. 2016. “Toward Gender and LGBT Equality in the Serbian Armed Forces.” Women’s Studies International Forum 55 (March): 26–34.

Authors: Vanja Rokvić , Svetlana Stanarević


This article focuses on gender equality in the Serbian Armed Forces (SAF), discussing both gender equality and sexual orientation equality (LGBT equality). Based on the examination of researches and other data, this article concludes that despite the positive shifts granting women the right to military education and professional military service, women continue to be a minority in the SAF. The article further concludes that while there is no official discriminatory policy as regards the admission of members of the LGBT population to the armed forces in Serbia, the few researches into this issue have revealed deeply ingrained views according to which the presence of homosexuals in the armed forces compromises cohesion and leads to unit conflict and division. Finally, the article concludes that a social context ruled by stereotypes and negative attitudes is not conducive to creating conditions for equal opportunity for all, regardless of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, and that it will take a time before complete equality and diversity are attained in the SAF -Elsevier

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Gender Roles, LGBTQ, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Sexuality Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Serbia

Year: 2016

Defying Victimhood: Women and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding


Schnabel, Albrecht and Amara Tabyshalieva, eds. 2012. Defying Victimhood: Women and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding. Tokyo and New York: United Nations University Press.

Authors: Amara Tabyshalieva, Albrecht Schnabel


Women are among the most competent, yet marginalized, unnoticed and underutilized actors in efforts to rebuild war-torn societies. Opportunities for sustainable peacebuilding are lost - and sustainable peace is at risk - when significant stakeholders in a society's future peace and conflict architecture are excluded from efforts to heal the wounds of war and build a new society and a new state. The contributors to this book draw on comparative case and country studies from post-conflict contexts in different parts of world to offer their insights into frameworks for understanding women as both victims and peacebuilders, to trace the road that women take from victimhood to empowerment and to highlight the essential partnerships between women and children and how they contribute to peace. The authors examine the roles of women in political and security institutions.



1 Forgone opportunities: The marginalization of women’s contributions to post-conflict peacebuilding; Albrecht Schnabel and Anara Tabyshalieva

2 Frameworks for understanding women as victims and peacebuilders; Lisa Schirch

Part I: From victimhood to empowerment: Patterns and changes

3 Mass crimes and resilience of women: A cross-national perspective;  Krishna Kumar

4 Victimization, empowerment and the impact of UN peacekeeping missions on women and children: Lessons from Cambodia and Timor-Leste; Sumie Nakaya

5 Frontline peacebuilding: Women’s reconstruction initiatives in Burundi;  Rose M. Kadende-Kaiser

Part II: Women and children: Essential partnership of survival and peace.

6 Women and children in the post-Cold War Balkans: Concerns and responses; Constantine P. Danopoulos, Konstantinos S. Skandalis and Zlatko Isakovic

7 Emerging from poverty as champions of change: Women and children in post-war Tajikistan; Svetlana Sharipova and Hermine De Soto

8 Young mothers as agents of peacebuilding: Lessons from an early childcare and development project in Macedonia; Deborah Davis

Part III: Putting good intentions into practice: National and global efforts to right past wrongs.

9 Gender and transitional justice: Experiences from South Africa, Rwanda and Sierra Leone; Lyn S. Graybill

10 Empowering women to promote peace and security: From the global to the local – Securing and implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1325; Ancil Adrian-Paul

Part IV: Deconstructing victimhood: Women in political and security institutions.

11 State-building or survival in conflict and post-conflict situations? A peacebuilding perspective on Palestinian women’s contributions to ending the Israeli occupation;  Vanessa Farr

12 Women’s participation in political decision-making and recovery processes in post-conflict Lebanon; Kari H. Karamé

13 Combating stereotypes: Female security personnel in post-conflict contexts; Kristin Valasek


14 Defying victimhood: Women as activists and peacebuilders; Anara Tabyshalieva and Albrecht Schnabel

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Political Economies, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, MENA, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe, Oceania Countries: Burundi, Lebanon, Macedonia, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste

Year: 2012

Gendered Transformations of State Power: Masculinity, International Intervention, and the Bosnian Police


Helms, Elissa. 2006. “Gendered Transformations of State Power: Masculinity, International Intervention, and the Bosnian Police.” Nationalities Papers 34 (3): 343–61. doi:10.1080/00905990600766651.


Author: Elissa Helms

Topics: Economies, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, International Organizations, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2006

How Do Women’s Rights Norms Travel? Peace-Building Operations as Opportunity Structures in Bosnia


Jenichen, Anne. 2013. “How Do Women’s Rights Norms Travel? Peace-Building Operations as Opportunity Structures in Bosnia.” In Feminist Strategies in International Governance. London: Routledge.

Author: Anne Jenichen

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Globalization, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2013

Reintegrating Veterans in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia: Citizenship and Gender Effects


Berdak, Oliwia. 2015. “Reintegrating Veterans in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia: Citizenship and Gender Effects.” Women’s Studies International Forum 49 (March): 48–56. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2014.07.001.


Author: Oliwia Berdak


This article explores the ways in which the 1991–1995 Yugoslav Wars and the policies of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) have affected gender relations and citizenship in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. DDR policies, and particularly the reintegration component, have come with a number of ‘side effects’. Rather than being a short-term solution to make combatants put down their weapons and become ‘normal’ citizens, they have valorised the citizen–soldier and created powerful identities and interest groups. Because this war was masculinised in both discourse and practice, this has resulted in highly gendered social citizenship, with the bulk of state resources now claimed by male war veterans. This study points to the need for greater contextualisation of any post-conflict policies. In the context of state- and nation-building, DDR policies are likely to become a tool of nationalist politics, entrenching hierarchical citizenship and hampering critical reflection about the conflict and militarised masculinity.


Topics: Citizenship, Combatants, DDR, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Post-Conflict Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia

Year: 2015

The Securitization of Rape: Women, War and Sexual Violence


Hirschauer, Sabine. 2014. The Securitization of Rape: Women, War and Sexual Violence. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK. http://link.springer.com/10.1057/9781137410825.

Author: Sabine Hirschauer


This book uniquely applies securitization theory to the mass sexual violence atrocities committed during the Bosnia war and the Rwandan genocide. Examining the inherent links between rape, war and global security, Hirschauer analyses the complexities of conflict related sexual violence.
(Palgrave Macmillan)

Keywords: military and defence studies, human rights, terrorism and political violence, political science, sociology

Topics: Gender, Women, Rights, Human Rights, Security, Human Security, Rape, SV against Women, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Rwanda

Year: 2014


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