Feminist Scholarship in Transitional Justice: A De-politicising Impulse?

Authored by: Catherine O'Rourke

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Political Transitions, Transitional Justice
Region: No Region
Year: 2015
Citation: O'Rourke, Catherine. "Feminist Scholarship in Transitional Justice: A De-politicising Impulse?" Women's Studies International Forum 51 (2015): 118-27.

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Executive Summary

Gender and transitional justice is increasingly recognizable as a field of study in its own right. This essay identifies feminist scholarly priorities in transitional justice as, firstly, the inclusion of harms against women within the mandates of transitional justice mechanisms; secondly, the recognition of structural gender inequalities that makes women particularly vulnerable to these gender-specific harms; and finally, the participation of women in transitional justice processes and mechanisms. The essay recognises the important benefits of the coalescence of a feminist scholarly agenda in transitional justice, most notably the development of a relevant body of expertise, the ability to learn across transitional justice processes, and the growing policy traction of these scholarly priorities. The essay raises the question, however, as to whether there is a de-politicising impulse in feminist transitional justice scholarship, evidenced by a sustained reluctance to engage with the broader political dynamics that drive transitional justice in particular contexts.