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The workshop “International interventions against sexual and gender-based violence in conflict”, organised by Alex Veit and Lisa Tschörner from 21-23 June 2017 at the University of Bremen, brought together scholars working on questions related to causes and consequences of CRSV, intervention discourse and practices, and evolving relations between intervention organisations, host states and societies. The workshop was divided into three sections: In a first part, the causes and consequences of CRSV and the practice of intervention were discussed. The second section focused on gendered interventions as well as gendered outcomes of interventions. In a third section, the links between CRSV, peacebuilding and state formation practices have been scrutinised.
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Three major topics crystallized during the presentations and discussions. The first revolved around academic discussion and diplomatic/media representations of causes of CRSV: while on the diplomatic and media level, rape in conflict-settings is very often presented as a strategic, rational choice of non-state armed groups, academic discussion has moved on towards gender-theoretic approaches and military sociology. A move which is, secondly, partly reflected in policy approaches of implementing organisations. However, as CRSV interventions primarily aim at supporting CRSV victims, they tend to neglect the political and structural conditions underlying these forms of violence. A number of victim groups are neglected, while projects at the same time promote heteronormative norms, reproduce unequal gender divisions, and undervalue the agency of survivors. To reduce CRSV, peacekeepers meanwhile focus on military approaches, even while being aware of their non-appropriateness. A third topic has been unintended consequences of the CRSV hype, such as the neglect of other forms of suffering and the diversion of resources towards the abolishment of underage sexual relations.

Cover Highlight 35 - Winter 2017/18Cover Highlight 35 - Winter 2017/18
Highlights - Forschungsmagazin der Universität Bremen

Highlights, das Forschungsmagazin der Universität Bremen, berichtet in seiner neuen Ausgabe 35 (Winter 2017/2018) über das InIIS-Forschungsprojekt "Internationale Interventionen gegen sexualisierte Gewalt in Konfliktgebieten". An dem Forschungsprojekt arbeiten Dr. Alex Veit und Lisa Tschörner.

Die Demokratische Republik Kongo zählt zu den ärmsten Ländern der Welt. Ein schweres koloniales Erbe und jahrzehntelange Kriege und Krisen haben die Zivilbevölkerung zermürbt. In den vergangenen zehn Jahren kam das zentralafrikanische Land in die Schlagzeilen, weil Rebellengruppen, bewaffnete Milizen und die kongolesische Armee viele Vergewaltigungen an Frauen und Kindern begehen. Seitdem schaut die Weltöffentlichkeit genauer hin.

Zur Ausgabe 35 (Winter 2018/18) der Highlights

Prof. Elisabeth Jean WoodProf. Elisabeth Jean Wood
Öffentlicher Vortrag am 21.06. von Prof. Elisabeth Jean Wood (Yale University)

21. Juni 2017, 18 Uhr,
Gästehaus der Universität Bremen,
Auf dem Teerhof 58, 28199 Bremen
Die Einladung als PDF.

Much of the literature whether academic, policy or journalism holds that when rape occurs frequently on the part of an armed organization, it is a strategy (or tactic or weapon) of war. But this presumption does not explain the well-documented variation in conflict-related rape. In particular, some cases of conflict-related rape are better understood as a practice: it has not been purposefully adopted as policy for group objectives at some level of command but is nonetheless tolerated by commanders and driven by social interactions among combatants. Departing from principal agent models of political violence, I emphasize the horizontal, social interactions between combatants in addition to the usual vertical relationship between the combatant and commander to develop a typology of conflict-related rape that distinguishes between rape as a practice and as organizational policy. I analyze when rape is likely to be prevalent as a practice and as a strategy, emphasizing not only the gendered norms and beliefs of the society from which combatants come but also those of combatants and commanders as re-shaped by socialization processes within the organization. I conclude with a brief assessment of the argument’s implications and suggest that the typology is relevant for analysis of political violence in general.

Elisabeth Jean Wood is Professor of Political Science, International and Area Studies at Yale University and a member of the External Faculty of the Santa Fe Institute. She is the author of Forging Democracy from Below: Insurgent Transitions in South Africa and El Salvador and Insurgent Collective Action and Civil War in El Salvador. Among her recent articles and book chapters are “Ideology and Civil War: Instrumental Adoption and Beyond,” “Multiple Perpetrator Rape during War,” “Transnational Dynamics of Civil War,” “Rape during War Is Not Inevitable: Variation in Wartime Sexual Violence”.

The presentation takes place in the framework of the workshop “International Interventions against Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Conflict”, organized by Alex Veit and Lisa Tschörner. Admission to the general public is free of charge. To register please send an email to veit@uni-bremen.de.

 

 

 

Sweatshirtaufdruck in Goma: Zusammen können wir sexualisierter Gewalt ein Ende setzen.Sweatshirtaufdruck in Goma: Zusammen können wir sexualisierter Gewalt ein Ende setzen.
Workshop vom 21.-23.06.2017 im Gästehaus Teerhof der Universität Bremen

In recent decades, political and academic discussions of conflict-related sexualised and gender based violence (CRSV) have made important advances. CRSV has been recognised on the international stage as an important social and security problem. International organisations and NGOs commit large resources to reduce CRSV and to alleviate its effects. Their projects seek to change social conceptions of gender and violence in local contexts in ways that previously have not been envisaged by humanitarian and military interventions. At the same time, a lively academic discussion has highlighted the complex reasons behind CRSV. Moreover, practices of intervention have been critically scrutinized in important ways.

Despite increasing attention to the subject, scholars and practitioners are still far from finding common grounds when it comes to defining causes and consequences of CRSV or the appropriate ways of tackling the problem. Research has sometimes produced contradictory results and continues to struggle with the problem of data collection in this sensible field. Without empirically-based knowledge of the problem, interventions run the risk of generating undesired effects. Also the international focus on CRSV may have led to unintended consequences of intervention.

The aim of the workshop is to bring together scholars from different fields working on questions related to causes and consequences of CRSV, intervention practices, and evolving (gendered) power relations between intervention organizations, host states and societies.

The workshop is funded by the DFG.

DFG-Logo_(Quelle: http://www.dfg.de)DFG-Logo_(Quelle: http://www.dfg.de)
Internationale Interventionen gegen sexualisierte Gewalt in Konfliktgebieten

In diesem Projekt werden die sozialen und politischen Effekte internationaler Projekte und Programme gegen sexualisierte Gewalt in Konfliktgebieten untersucht. In den nächsten drei Jahren untersuchen die InIIS-ForscherInnen Alex Veit und Lisa Tschörner, wie Interaktionen zwischen internationalen und lokalen Akteuren neue politische und soziale Realitäten produzieren. Erreichen internationale Interventionen ihre selbstgesteckten Ziele? Zeigen sich nicht-intendierte Konsequenzen? Die Untersuchung, finanziert von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), untersucht vergleichend und mit qualitativen Methoden zwei Regionen in der Demokratischen Republik Kongo.