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Palgrave Macmillan

Sexual Violence during War and Peace

Gender, Power, and Post-Conflict Justice in Peru

ISBN 9781137383440
Publication Date April 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Studies of the Americas

The idea that rape is widely used as a weapon of war has taken root in international institutions, influencing how post-conflict justice and transitional justice are perceived and pursued. Despite this global attention, there has been no progress eradicating or even mitigating sexual violence in war or in peace and very little progress prosecuting crimes of sexual violence. With particular reference to post-conflict justice, this book asks what sexual violence means from a socio-political perspective and in what ways contemporary "peacetime" violence is linked to wartime rape. Evidence from Peru and the internal armed conflict of 1980-2000 shows that acts of wartime rape are deeply embedded in existing configurations of gender and power and that sexual violence serves not only wartime terror but also peacetime hierarchies.

  • Winner of the Flora Tristan Book Award

Jelke Boesten is Senior Lecturer in International Development and Emerging Economies at the International Development Institute, King's College London, UK. She has published extensively on gender-based violence in Peru and teaches a wide range of courses related to gender and development. Her previous book, Intersecting Inequalities: Gender and Social Policy in Per u, reflects on how policy often reproduces the inequalities it aims to challenge.

1. Introduction
2. Sexual Violence in War
3. Sexual Violence and the Reproduction of Inequalities
4. Transitional Justice, Truths, and Narratives of Violence
5. Impunity
6. Peacetime Violence
7. Sexual Violence and Post-conflict Justice

Reviews

'Sophisticated, accessible, and enriching, this fascinating book weaves together complex theoretical debates about sex, sexuality, sexual identity, power, domination, and violence with moving personal histories of both victims and perpetrators of sexual violence during Peru's internal armed conflict (1980-2000). Drawing on her empirical research, Boesten complicates the 'rape as a weapon of war' narrative that has become predominant in much of the literature on gender, violence, and war by distinguishing between different 'rape regimes,' including rape as a weapon of war but also as a commodity for the pleasure of soldiers, used to reinforce military masculinities and complicities. Boesten also complicates the narrative of gender-based violence by exploring how such violence is often underpinned by other hierarchies of difference, including race and class. In this sense, the Peruvian case is particularly relevant, and Boesten's discussion of it is fascinating and novel.' - Jo-Marie Burt, George Mason University, USA
"There is a sense of urgency about this book. How can we understand sexual violence? Why is it neglected by the courts and politicians? What can be done about it? Jelke Boesten helps us think differently about transitional justice." - Joanna Bourke, Birkbeck, University of London, UK
"This book is a timely contribution to a new wave of research on sexual violence and its legacies. Boesten's detailed account of transitional and post-transitional justice in Peru underscores the challenges of addressing sexual and gender-based violence, and provides insights into how practitioners may achieve a greater measure of gender justice in Peru and beyond." - Kimberly Theidon, Harvard University, USA
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