Gendering Violent Pluralism: Women’s Political Organizing in Latin America

Authored by: Kristin Bergtora Sandvik

Categories: Statebuilding, Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: Democratization and Political Participation
Region: Latin America and the Caribbean
Year: 2018
Citation: Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2018) Gendering violent pluralism: women’s political organising in Latin America, Third World Thematics: a TWQ Journal. DOI: 10.1080/23802014.2018.1477527.

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Executive Summary

As a theory on violent democracies, the theory of violent pluralism is silent on the gendered realities of this violence as it plays out in Latin America. To bridge that knowledge gap, this article begins to develop a theory of the ‘gender of violent pluralism’. The article builds on socio-legal research on displaced women’s political organizing in a violent context in Colombia (2010–2014) while also drawing on empirical examples of violence against women activists from Brazil, Central America and Mexico in the same period. The article proposes to unpack this concept as a three-pronged relationship between political organizing and gendered violence: political organizing as a response to gendered violence, gendered violence as an obstacle to organizing and finally, political organizing as a cause of further gender-based violence. Ultimately, the article is also an attempt to articulate a more general critique of the concept of violent pluralism – its conception of democracy, its possible erasure of the efforts of non-violent actors and how it calibrates the scope and intensity of political violence.