Theory and practice of gender transformative justice: the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Demir, Ebru (2019) Theory and practice of gender transformative justice: the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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This thesis critically evaluates the extent to which the transitional justice process in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been gender transformative. Drawing upon conflict transformation and nascent transformative justice theories, the thesis suggests certain principles which should be used in order to remould the transitional justice mechanisms (trials, truth initiatives, reparations, and institutional reforms) for a gender transformative justice. The thesis offers two hypotheses. First, the thesis underlines the necessity of a gender transformative justice agenda in post-conflict reconstruction periods by claiming that only such an approach can challenge the reinforcement of patriarchal norms and traditional gender stereotypes in post- conflict societies. Second, the thesis suggests that the gender-neutral transitional justice process in Bosnia and Herzegovina still causes women’s human rights violations today. The thesis finds that the transitional justice process has neglected many forms of gender-based violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina; these unaddressed and neglected acts of violence still continue today in different forms and to different extents.
Gender transformative justice aims to address gender inequalities during post-conflict reconstruction periods and to address the continuum of violence against women. The thesis evaluates whether both international and domestic legal frameworks in Bosnia and Herzegovina comply with this aim. Alongside legal and doctrinal analysis, I conducted interviews with both elites (representatives of local and international NGOs, lawyers, legal scholars, politicians, psycho-therapists, and human rights activists) and survivors of wartime violence (genocide survivors and war-trauma survivors). The research finds that the transition period in Bosnia and Herzegovina has failed to provide gender justice. By illustrating the ways in which peace and justice are defined and conceptualised by the interviewees in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the thesis illustrates the disparity between women’s own understandings of justice and ‘the understanding of justice’ provided under international and domestic law. Synthesizing John Paul Lederach’s conflict transformation theory with transformative justice theory through a gendered lens, this research argues that transformative justice theory needs to be further developed to address gender and to challenge the exclusion of women and of women’s understandings of peace and justice from the scope of international law

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The Family. Marriage. Women > HQ1101 Women. Feminism
J Political Science > JC Political theory. The state. Theories of the state > JC501 Purpose, functions, and relations of the state > JC0571 State and the individual. Human rights. Civil rights
J Political Science > JC Political theory. The state. Theories of the state > JC328.6 Violence. Political violence
K Law
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2019 14:44
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2022 09:40

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