Legitimizing military action through 'rape-as-a-weapon' discourse in Libya: critical feminist analysis

Kolmasova, S. and Krulisova, K. ORCID: 0000-0001-8065-188X, 2018. Legitimizing military action through 'rape-as-a-weapon' discourse in Libya: critical feminist analysis. Politics & Gender. ISSN 1743-923X

11427_Krulisova.pdf - Post-print

Download (1MB) | Preview


Contemporary discourse on sexual(ized) violence in armed conflicts represents a powerful source for legitimization of highly controversial military interventions. Recent outburst of gender-responsive security studies calls for enhanced protection of women and girls from widespread and systematic sexual(ized) violence. Yet, military operations reproduce the Western masculine hegemony rather than providing inclusive and apolitical assistance to victims of sexual assaults. The article aims to critically assess discourse on sexual violence in a case of military intervention initiated under the rubric of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), namely Libya. The case study indicates a set of discursive strategies exercised by Western political representatives, NGOs and even more expressively by the media to legitimize military campaign. Typically, sexual(ized) violence is presented as a weapon of war, used by one of the conflicting parties without an adequate response of the state. This is followed by urgent calls for international action, willingly carried out by Western powers. The simplified narrative of civilized protectors vs. savage aggressors must be challenged as it exploits the problem of sexual(ized) violence in order to legitimize politically motivated actions.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Politics & Gender
Creators: Kolmasova, S. and Krulisova, K.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press for The Women and Politics Research Section of the American Political Science Association
Date: 26 July 2018
ISSN: 1743-923X
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 27 Jun 2018 08:03
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2018 13:33
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/33917

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year