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Violence

Are War and Violence Really in Decline?

Citation:

True, Jacqui. 2014. “Are War and Violence Really in Decline?” Australian Journal of International Affairs, 68 (5): 487–94.

Author: Jacqui True

Annotation:

Summary:
"A powerful thesis—that we have won the war on war, and that war and violence have never been as low as they are today—has emerged recently in the realm of popular non-fiction, the type that frequent flyers purchase in airport bookstores. It includes Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker’s (2011) The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence in History and Its Causes, Joshua Goldstein’s (2011) Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide, Ian Morris’s (2014) War! What Is It Good For? Conflict and the Progress of Civilisation from Primates to Robots, and Jared Diamond’s (2012) The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? For international relations scholars and specialists, this literature has major implications since it takes on, in broad-brush, central questions about the causes and consequences of global violence. Here, I engage mainly with Pinker’s tome in this genre, and show it to be not only wrong, but both methodologically flawed and morally troubling. The declinist thesis diverts our attention from noticing and analysing violence which is often not publically reported, recorded or counted, and which is a large part of the violence being perpetrated today" (True 2014, p. 487).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Violence

Year: 2014

Women, PMSCs and International Law: Gender and Private Force

Citation:

Vrdoljak, Ana F. 2015. “Women, PMSCs and International Law: Gender and Private Force.” In Gender and Private Security in Global Politics, edited by Maya Eichler, 187-207. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Author: Ana F. Vrdoljak

Abstract:

The application of international law norms and shortcomings of existing regulatory regimes covering PMSCs reinforce concerns about transparency and accountability in respect of gender-related violence, harassment, and discrimination. This chapter focuses on the main issues and legal concerns raised by the impact of the privatization of war on women. The first part examines current initiatives at the international level to provide a regulatory framework for PMSCs and encompasses the obligations of states (and international organizations) in respect of international humanitarian law, human rights law, and use of force. The second part outlines the influence of civil society participation (including feminist academics, women’s NGOs, and so forth) in breaking the “silence” within international organizations and international law concerning violence against women and girls and its potential influence upon the regulation of PMSCs.

Keywords: women, private military and security companies, international law, human rights law, International Humanitarian Law, United Nations, PMSCs

Topics: Civil Society, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Privatization, Violence

Year: 2015

Women and Private Military and Security Companies

Citation:

Vrdoljak, Ana F. 2010. “Women and Private Military and Security Companies.” In War By Contract: Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law and the Regulation of Private Military and Security Companies, edited by Francesco Francioni and Natalino Ronzitti, 1-25. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Author: Ana F. Vrdoljack

Abstract:

Lack of clarity about the application of international law norms and inadequacies of existing regulatory regimes covering private military and security companies have reinforced concerns about transparency and accountability in respect of gender-related violence, harassment and discrimination. This chapter focuses on the main issues and legal concerns raised by the impact of the privatisation of war on women, both as PMSC employees and civilians. Part I highlights how armed conflict, civil unrest, occupation and transition have a detrimental effect upon the lives of women with particular reference to safety, displacement, health and economic disadvantage. Part II provides a summary of existing international humanitarian law and human rights provisions relating to women. Part III examines recent developments within the United Nations, the work of the ICRC, and international criminal law jurisprudence shaping these legal norms. Part IV considers the key recommendations of recent international and international initiatives covering PMSCs and women.

Keywords: women, private military and security companies, gender, sexual assault, forced prostitution, human trafficking, sexual harassment, discrimination, international law, International Humanitarian Law, human rights

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Displacement & Migration, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Health, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Privatization, Rights, Human Rights, Violence

Year: 2010

Gender and the Privatization of Security: Neoliberal Transformation of the Militarized Gender Order

Citation:

Eichler, Maya. 2013. “Gender and the Privatization of Security: Neoliberal Transformation of the Militarized Gender Order.” Critical Studies on Security 1 (3): 311-25.

Author: Maya Eichler

Abstract:

The increasing reliance on private military and security companies (PMSCs) in contemporary military conflict marks a historic shift in the state’s organization of military violence. This transformation has gendered underpinnings and entails gender-specific outcomes, at the same time as it reveals a gendered continuum between public and private military and security organizations. As the US example illustrates, security privatization was facilitated by the broader neoliberal transformation of the militarized gender order and itself has had negative implications for gender equality in the military and security sphere. Based on original research, this article argues that PMSCs are deeply gendered organizations whose employment practices tends to intensify the gendered division of labour that is characteristic of public militaries. While business and operational needs may allow for temporary disruptions of gender norms, masculinism remains not only vital but is reinvigorated by privatization. Political goals such as gender equality are sidelined in a sector premised on de-regulation and free markets. In contrast to problem-solving approaches that view gender as a problem of accountability or operational effectiveness in regards to PMSCs, this article shows that gender is deeply implicated in the expansion and organization of private force at the turn of the twenty-first century.

Keywords: private security, privatization of military security, PMSCs, gender, feminist security studies, neoliberalism, militarization, United States

Topics: Armed Conflict, "New Wars", Economies, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Masculinism, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Militarization, Privatization, Violence Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2013

Prevention in Pieces: Representing Conflict in the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

Citation:

Basu, Soumita, and Laura J. Shepherd. 2018. "Prevention in Pieces: Representing Conflict in the Women, Peace and Security Agenda." Global Affairs 3(4-5): 441-453.

Authors: Soumita Basu, Laura J. Shepherd

Abstract:

The Women, Peace and Security agenda is often operationalized across three priority areas: the participation of women in peace and security governance; the protection of women’s rights and bodies (specifically, but not limited to, conflict-related sexual violence); and the prevention of conflict. In this short paper, we explore violence prevention in more detail, and argue that it is of critical importance to define conflict as well as prevention. We draw on the illustrative examples of Australia, the UK and India to explain how this definitional work happens within the machinery of the state and the networks of civil society. Understanding how conflict is theorized by different actors in different locations not only gives insight into the tendency towards militarization in the WPS agenda but also can be interpreted as a manifestation of contestation over ownership of the WPS agenda and its location between the state and civil society.

Keywords: women, peace and security, UNSCR 1325, National Action Plans

Topics: Civil Society, Conflict Prevention, Gender, Women, Conflict, Peace and Security, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Sexual Violence, SV against women, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia, Europe, Northern Europe, Oceania Countries: Australia, India, United Kingdom

Year: 2018

Patrimonial Violence: A Study of Women's Property Rights in Ecuador

Citation:

Deere, Carmen Diana, Jacqueline Contreras, and Jennifer Twyman. 2o14.  “Patrimonial Violence: A Study of Women’s Property Rights in Ecuador.” Latin American Perspectives 41 (1): 143–65.

Authors: Carmen Diana Deere, Jacqueline Contreras, Jennifer Twyman

Abstract:

Patrimonial violence, defined minimally as the violation of women’s property rights, is increasingly recognized as a form of gender violence, along with physical, psychological, and sexual violence. Research in Ecuador on the extent to which women are aware of their property rights and the situations in which patrimonial violence is most likely to occur shows that, while most women seem to be aware of certain fundamentals, there are many misconceptions, particularly regarding the status of individual property. Women’s lack of legal knowledge often undermines their ability to obtain their rightful share of the division of property upon separation, divorce, or widowhood. Moreover, patrimonial violence is often aggravated by the presence of other forms of violence against women.

Keywords: gender violence, women's property rights, assets, Ecuador

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Rights, Property Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against women, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Ecuador

Year: 2014

'Women and Peace': A Human Rights Strategy for the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

Citation:

Renzulli, Isobel. 2017. "'Women and Peace': A Human Rights Strategy for the Women, Peace and Security Agenda." Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights 35 (4): 210-29.

Author: Isobel Renzulli

Abstract:

UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the successive thematic resolutions together with a variety of reports have shaped the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. The ensuing policies and institutional responses try to deal with a variety of issues including women’s participation in peace-making initiatives and protection from sexual violence during armed conflict and in its aftermath. As such these responses are underpinned by a reactive approach with a focus on conflict and post-conflict gender-sensitive areas of intervention. While these remain worthwhile interventions, the WPS agenda, in spite of its name, inadequately addresses gender-sensitive areas in peace situations, regardless of the existence of conflicts. Building on feminist critiques of the WPS agenda and the findings and recommendations of the 2015 UN Global study on the implementation of Resolution 1325, the article argues that the WSP agenda and its prevention limb need to elaborate and integrate more explicitly and comprehensively a human rights strategy that shifts the focus from a reactive to a proactive model, one which pursues gender equality and women’s human rights in its own right, irrespective of whether conflicts erupt or not. A human rights infused WPS preventive agenda should be premised, on the one hand, on a clear understanding and endorsement of the meaning of gender equality, on the other hand, on the creation of mechanisms and process bolstering the role of international and regional human rights regimes. In particular, robust regional human rights systems have the potential to create fora for the participation of and interaction with domestic constituencies in the region. This in turn could lead to the elaboration of context sensitive, participatory solutions, grounded in international human rights law, to existing forms of discrimination against women, which during conflicts may be exacerbated, for example, in the form of sexual enslavement and abductions as reported in recent and less recent conflicts.

Keywords: women, peace and security, feminist activism, human rights, UN, African Union, Arab League

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peace and Security, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, SV against women, Violence

Year: 2017

Women, Gender and Peacemaking in Civil Wars

Citation:

Potter, Antonia. 2008. “Women, Gender and Peacemaking in Civil Wars.” In Contemporary Peacemaking: Conflict, Peace Processes and Post-War Reconstruction, edited by John Darby and Roger Mac Ginty, 2nd ed., 105–19. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Author: Antonia Potter

Annotation:

Summary: 
"While this chapter is located in Part II (Negotiations) of this book, the issues it addresses are cross cutting, therefore it will briefly scan the spectrum of the broadly defined peace process ‘stages’, namely violence, pre-negotiations, negotiations, peace accords, and peacebuilding. Across these it examines two strands: first, the presence or representation of women as actors in these stages from conflict to peace; second, the approaches to addressing gender issues and perspectives that are employed by those that have a hand in peace processes, together with successes and failures in implementing them.
 
"It draws attention to changed perceptions of women’s roles in these phases, and to the special challenges and opportunities which armed conflict and its resolution can present for women. It suggests where there are gaps in research, literature, and actual practice arguing that much of this is due to ongoing problems of women’s exclusion from agency and decision making at certain levels (especially the more senior or official ones) of peacemaking and peace- building, and a continuing failure of those at the highest levels to understand properly and take seriously the implications of that exclusion. Throughout, it draws on recent or contemporary examples of peace agreements and processes including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Eritrea, Guatemala, Kosovo, Nepal, Northern Ireland, Somalia, Sudan, and Timor–Leste.
 
"The chapter concludes by reiterating that reality lags far behind rhetoric on women’s involvement in peace processes, to the great detriment of both. It argues that the process and substance of peace negotiations and agreements would be richer, subtler, stronger, and more firmly rooted in the societies whose problems they aim to solve with increased participation of women and the issues which are important to them; but that until those that organize these processes actually make this happen, it will be obviously be hard to make this case with empirical evidence. Thus it calls for political leaders, especially the most visible and powerful, to stop talking and start acting on this issue. Finally, it stresses the basic but often forgotten fact that gender is a concept which embraces both women and men, and exhorts more men to swell the ranks of those working at all levels of peacemaking in the causes of equality and practical sensitivity to gender issues" (Potter 2008, 105-6).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Conflict, Peace and Security, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Violence

Year: 2008

Sex and World Peace

Citation:

Hudson, Valerie M., Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli, and Chad F. Emmett. 2012. Sex and World Peace. New York: Columbia University Press.

Authors: Valerie M. Hudson, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli, Chad F. Emmett

Annotation:

Summary:
Sex and World Peace unsettles a variety of assumptions in political and security discourse, demonstrating that the security of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and its incidence of conflict and war. The authors compare micro-level gender violence and macro-level state peacefulness in global settings, supporting their findings with detailed analyses and color maps. Harnessing an immense amount of data, they call attention to discrepancies between national laws protecting women and the enforcement of those laws, and they note the adverse effects on state security of abnormal sex ratios favoring males, the practice of polygamy, and inequitable realities in family law, among other gendered aggressions. The authors find that the treatment of women informs human interaction at all levels of society. Their research challenges conventional definitions of security and democracy and shows that the treatment of gender, played out on the world stage, informs the true clash of civilizations. In terms of resolving these injustices, the authors examine top-down and bottom-up approaches to healing wounds of violence against women, as well as ways to rectify inequalities in family law and the lack of parity in decision-making councils. Emphasizing the importance of an R2PW, or state responsibility to protect women, they mount a solid campaign against women's systemic insecurity, which effectively unravels the security of all. (Summary from Columbia University Press)
 
Table of Contents
1. Roots of National and International Interests
2. What Is There to See
3. When We Do See the Global Picture
4. The Heart of the Matter: The Security of Women and the Security of States
5. Wings of National and International Relations
6. Wings of National and International Relations 
7. Taking Wing 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Conflict Prevention, Domestic Violence, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gender Balance, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peace and Security, Governance, Constitutions, Quotas, Political Participation, Rights, Reproductive Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Violence, Weapons /Arms

Year: 2012

What’s the Problem with the Concept of Military Masculinities?

Citation:

Zalewski, Marysia. 2017. “What’s the Problem with the Concept of Military Masculinities?” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 200-5.

Author: Marysia Zalewski

Abstract:

This think piece queries the value of the concept of military masculinities. This overly familiar and comfortable concept is perhaps falling short of its intended ambitions. Masculinized and militarized violence is rampant and no amount of ‘adding women’ (or other ‘others’) seems to make a difference. This begs the question of how much work we imagine concepts can do, as well as how much control we think we have over them.

Keywords: concepts, masculinities, violence, gender

Topics: Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Violence

Year: 2017

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