The increasing power of military weapons, combined with aerial surveillance, satellites, sensors and long-distance global communications, has dispersed the military battlefield. Resource-poor forces have responded, first with guerrilla tactics against isolated bases and supply lines; and then with terrorist tactics, hiding in the civilian population and attacking civilians as softer targets. Terrorism grows in symbiosis with high tech weapons and communications because the weaker side cannot win on conventional battlefields.
At the heart of a therapeutic process lies the temporality of healing, an expectation of, at least, a minimum of measurable improvement. What if, however, the trajectory of a life, or suffering, fail to move along this anticipation of a cure? Chronic pain, terminal, and life-long illnesses are part of a spectrum that challenges conventional medicine.
We know much about the pathology of wartime sexual violence, not why and how armies and rebellions constrain rape, assault and sexual harassment. This seminar introduces an alternative approach: the theory of prevention using an assessment of gendered, social, institutional dimensions of different non-state armed groups. The seminar is based on research in Burundi, and preliminary information from actors in Uganda and South Africa.
Much of the literature whether academic, policy or journalism holds that when rape occurs frequently on the part of an armed organization, it is a strategy (or tactic or weapon) of war. But this presumption does not explain the well-documented variation in conflict-related rape. In particular, some cases of conflict-related rape are better understood as a practice: it has not been purposefully adopted as policy for group objectives at some level of command but is nonetheless tolerated by commanders and driven by social interactions among combatants.