International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution

Article

Snaga Žene: Disrupting Discourses of Victimhood in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Keywords narrative, gender, conflict, violence, victimhood
Authors Jessica M. Smith
Author's information

314503 Jessica M. Smith
Jessica Smith is a PhD candidate at the School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution at George Mason University. Her research is focused on exploring the intersection of photography, narrative theory, and women’s postwar political agency as a point of inquiry for developing a richer understanding of how to meaningfully engage women in conflict transformation processes. Currently, she is a fellow for the Center for the Study of Narrative and Conflict Resolution and the Managing Editor of Narrative & Conflict: Explorations in Theory and Practice.
  • Abstract

      As the nature of global violence shifts and conflict becomes increasingly characterized by intrastate violence, theoretical underpinnings of violence and aggression based on Westphalian models have become insufficient. Contemporary warfare is no longer confined to acts of violence between states using large-scale weaponry where non-combatants are rarely at the front lines. Instead, small arms have allowed rebel groups to bring the front lines of conflict to villages, resulting in a much deadlier age of violence against civilians. This shift has led to an increase in attention to the impact of violent conflict on civilians, including a consideration of the gendered experiences of women, men, girls and boys.
      Of particular concern in this article is the way in which a discourse of victimhood, mobilized through international policy and intervention, can further marginalize and disempower women in postwar contexts. Drawing on ethnographic data from fieldwork with women in Bosnia-Herzegovina, this article will highlight the usefulness of a narrative framework for understanding how individuals make sense of violence, and the discursive politics at work in how these experiences are storied. To this end, the article endeavours to expand the theoretical base from which to understand women’s experiences of conflict in order to ensure postwar interventions do not confine women to the role of “victim,” but support a full range of their expression of agency.

Please sign in to access the article



Did you receive an activation code but no access yet? Please activate your code here.

Forgot your password? Request new password.

Purchase access

You can purchase online access to this article. You will receive 24 hrs access @ € 17,50 (excl. VAT).

24 hrs access € 17,50 (excl. VAT)

Activate your code

If you have an access code, please activate it here.