How is rape a weapon of war?: feminist international relations, modes of critical explanation and the study of wartime sexual violence

Kirby, Paul (2012) How is rape a weapon of war?: feminist international relations, modes of critical explanation and the study of wartime sexual violence. European Journal of International Relations. pp. 1-25. ISSN 1354-0661

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Abstract

Rape is a weapon of war. This now common claim reveals wartime sexual violence as a social act marked by gendered power. But this consensus also obscures important, and frequently unacknowledged, differences in ways of understanding and explaining it. This article opens these differences to analysis. It interprets feminist accounts of wartime sexual violence in terms of modes of critical explanation and differentiates three modes – of instrumentality, unreason and mythology – which implicitly structure different understandings of how rape might be a weapon of war. These modes shape political and ethical projects and so impact not only on questions of scholarly content but also on the ways in which we attempt to mitigate and abolish war rape. Exposing these disagreements opens up new possibilities for the analysis of war rape.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Online First Publication
Keywords: wartime sexual violence, rape, war, feminism, explanation, social theory, philosophy of social science, international relations
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations > JZ6385 The armed conflict. War and order
Depositing User: Paul Kirby
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2012 13:48
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 16:16
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/40547

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