Gender and conflict

Research at the Department related to the topic of gender and conflict.

Ending Atrocities: Third Party Interventions into Civil Wars

Project leader: Lisa Hultman l Project page

Project Period: 2015 - 2020

This project aims to explore the role of third parties in civil war, with a particular emphasis on evaluating a broad set of measures to end atrocities and violent conflicts with disastrous consequences for the civilian population. 

Inequality and insurgency in India: a disaggregated analysis of the link between gender inequality and armed conflict

Project leader: Erika Forsberg | Project Page

Project Period: 2015-2017

Does gender inequality explain subnational variations in the risk and magnitude of armed conflict? The purpose of this project is to address this question through statistical analysis of new micro-level data on India’s 640 districts and qualitative fieldwork in select districts. Prior research has found robust support for a relationship between gender inequality and violent conflict on the country-level. However, many propositions for why inequality would be related to the risk of violent conflict rely on notions about norms, grievances and capacity which operate at a local level and which, hence, may not be fully captured by country-level data.

Gender, politics and violence in Thailand

Project participants: Elin Bjarnegård, Karen BronéusErik Melander | Project Page

Project Period: 2012 -

Who decides to use violence in a political struggle? This important question has been the subject of surprisingly little systematic research. Most studies on the causes of collective violence within a state have used aggregate units of analysis, such as country-years or opposition movements. As a result, the explanations provided by these studies tend to be structural in character, for example pointing to poverty or economic dependency on natural-resource extraction. While such aggregate structural explanations help to identify societies at risk, they have little or no leverage when it comes to explaining who uses violence. We thus know very little about what distinguishes the small minority that engages in political violence from the large majority that does not. What sets participants in political violence apart from non-participants? This important puzzle is the focus of our research project. We investigate these issues using surveys in Thailand.

Masculinity, Nationalism and Military Service in a Conflict Zone: Surveys in Southern Thailand

Project leader: Erik Melander | Project Page

Project Period: 2017 - 2020

This project investigates the relationships between masculine honor ideology and nationalism on the one hand, and military service in a context of active armed conflict on the other. The study examines opposite causal directions, i.e., (1) how masculine honor ideology and nationalism influence propensity to volunteer for military service in an active conflict zone; and (2) how military socialization and experience of service in an active conflict zone influence masculine honor ideology and nationalism. Theory holds that individuals who more strongly embrace masculine honor ideology and nationalism are more likely to join a militant organization and participate in violence. However, other arguments posit that the experience of being a member of a militant organization, and experiencing violence, boost militarized masculinity and nationalism.

Project on Preventing Sexual Violence

Angela Muvumba Sellström, Louise Olsson

Project Period: 2016 – 2018

This project arises from the research initiative Disciplining Fighters: Understanding Armed Political Actors’ Control of Sexual Violence, funded by the Swedish Research Council. The ways that armed political actors prevent sexual violence remains an unresolved research puzzle. The main purpose of the project is to explore how different actors stop or stem the commission of sexual violence. We seek to contribute to our wider understanding of the direct and indirect internal factors that lead to wartime rape, sexual exploitation and similar abuses. The work of the project entails assessing how some actors are able to discipline their fighters and how different conflict resolution processes effectively shape these practices. A core aim is to study the variation in causes of prevention among different types of non-state armed political actors such as rebel armies and armed liberation movements. The project’s data collection techniques include interviews and focus group research.  The project on Preventing Sexual Violence will also explore the ways that the global women, peace and security agenda intersects with the prevention of sexual violence among armed political actors. A first step is to establish an understanding of how female mediation networks – a feature of increased efforts to involve women in conflict prevention and peacebuilding – has dealt with the problem of sexual violence. This is undertaken in the sub-project: Bands of Sisters: Mapping Female Mediator Networks, in collaboration with Folke Bernadotte Academy’s (FBA) project on Women in Peace Processes, within its Conflict Prevention Program.

Women, war trauma and peacebuilding

Project leader: Karen Brounéus | Project Page

Project Period: 2015-2018

In this project, we seek to investigate the challenges of post-conflict peace-building processes by studying the complex (and possibly gendered) relationships between war-related trauma and attitudes towards peace-building, trust and co-existence after war. More specifically, the project investigates whether gendered differences in war trauma may have a direct link to the prevalence of psychological health problems such as PTSD and depression, which – in turn – may become significant hurdles to peacebuilding in the post-conflict phase.

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