Transition or Transformation

An Analysis of Before, During and Post-Conflict Violence Against Women in Northern Ireland, Liberia and Timor-Leste

Authored by: Aisling Swaine

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: International Law, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), Sexual and Reproductive Health
Country: Northern Ireland, Liberia, Timor-Leste
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Year: 2011
Citation: Swaine, Aisling. "Transition or Transformation: An Analysis of Before, During and Post-conflict Violence Against Women in Northern Ireland, Liberia and Timor-Leste." Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Ulster, 2003.

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The purpose of this thesis is to expand the overall analysis and understanding of the conflict-related violence that women experience, with a focus on contributing to the assessment of violence within the post-conflict phase. Drawing from an extrapolation of violence before, during and after armed conflict, the thesis examines the complexity of physical violence and how this complexity impacts on women’s experiences of gendered violence. A primary line of inquiry is whether and how international law grapples with the complexity and characteristics of violence which this study reveals. The research is a socio-legal theoretical qualitative study which draws together documentary and empirical work to assess violence against women in three conflict-affected jurisdictions – Northern Ireland, Liberia and Timor-Leste. Using the theory of ‘variations’, the thesis identifies a range of variables that inform a range of ‘violences’ that women experience during conflict. The ‘continuums’ theory is used to identify inter-relational connections between violences before, during and after conflict.  The third theory, ‘labelling’, is derived from the empirical research and is used to demonstrate that violence becomes re-labelled and redefined after conflict through law and through other formal and informal social and policy processes. Drawing upon these findings, the thesis concludes that it would be beneficial to envision a complex mosaic of pre and during conflict violences upon which to view the aftermath.