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Political Science in Europe

How Political is Sexual Violence? Debates on Causes

Political Violence
Panel Number
Panel Chair
Carlo Koos
Universität Konstanz
Panel Discussants
Richard Traunmüller
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Anne Menzel
Philipps-Universität Marburg

24/08/2018 14:00 - 15:40
Building: VMP 9 Floor: 2 Room: 29
Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), both in times of conflict and in civilian settings, has long been considered collateral damage or a private affair. In recent years, however, public debate has increasingly "politicized" SGBV. In this panel, we would like to discuss different approaches in political science and related disciplines towards SGBV and conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV). We invite papers that speak to causes, consequences, public discourses and policy approaches towards SGBV/CRSV. We are equally interested in papers that introduce innovative methods to measure SGBV/CRSV in the context of both peace and war.
In conflict studies, the discussion presently revolves around the causes of CRSV. While in the 1990s, a rational-choice explanation of "rape as a weapon of war" has become popular, more recently the explanatory power of this approach has been put into question. Perhaps, it is argued, conflict-related sexual violence should rather be seen as a continuum of civilian gender relations. Such approaches would relate CRSV more closely to debates on SGBV in more peaceful settings. In countries such as the United Kingdom, India, Germany and the USA, debates have primarily centered on culturally determined gender relations.
However, how political are such cultural explanations? Which political strategies result from these debates? Which contribution can the social sciences make in these debates?

Paper List

Title Details
Gender-Based Violence as Political Violence. Empirical Evidence from Mexico. View Paper Details
How Do Women Make Sense of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence? View Paper Details
On the Political Dimension of the Cologne Sexual Assaults View Paper Details
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