Human Security

2016 Sep 22

Book Talk: 'Rape During Civil War'

4:00pm to 6:00pm

Location: 

124 Mt Auburn St, Suite 200 North

Join us for a book talk with Dara Kay Cohen, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School as she presents findings from her recently published work Rape During Civil War.

Panelists:

Dara Kay Cohen, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, Author of Rape During Civil War

Elisabeth Wood, Professor of Political Science & International and Area Studies,...

Read more about Book Talk: 'Rape During Civil War'
In India, Dying to Go: Why Access to Toilets is a Women’s Rights Issue
Sharmila Murthy. 2014. “In India, Dying to Go: Why Access to Toilets is a Women’s Rights Issue.” WBUR Cognoscenti. See full text.Abstract
Access to clean, safe and private toilets is a women’s issue.
 

In May, two young women in rural India left their modest homes in the middle of the night to relieve themselves outside. Like millions in India, their homes had no bathrooms. The next morning, their bodies were found hanging from a mango tree. They had been attacked, gang-raped and strung up by their own scarves. Eighteen months after a gang-rape on a Delhi bus, this incident and others since have galvanized nationwide protests to end violence against women and highlighted caste-related discrimination. The tragic story also underscores the need to talk about another taboo topic: open defecation.

Violence Against Women Middle East and North Africa
Hayat Bearat. 2014. “Violence Against Women Middle East and North Africa”. See full text.Abstract

Hayat Bearat discusses violence against women in the Middle East and North Africa through legal framework. 

Many women in MENA states fear reporting violence because of the repercussions they may face from their families, communities and legal system upon doing so. An example is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), women who report rape can be threatened with criminal charges instead.20 In Libya,inadequate laws and services, coupled with Libya’s conservative society deter women from reporting rapes or domestic violence as they fear stigma and additional dangers from reporting the crimes.

Rape Myths and the Cross-Cultural Adaptation of the Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale in China
Jia Xue. 6/5/2016. “Rape Myths and the Cross-Cultural Adaptation of the Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale in China.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence. See full text.Abstract
The study examines the similarities and differences between China and the United States with regard to rape myths.

 

We assessed the individual level of rape myth acceptance among Chinese university students by adapting and translating a widely used measure of rape myth endorsement in the United States, the Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance (IRMA) scale. We assessed whether the IRMA scale would be an appropriate assessment of attitudes toward rape among young adults in China. The sample consisted of 975 Chinese university students enrolled in seven Chinese universities. We used explorative factor analysis to examine the factor structure of the Chinese translation of the IRMA scale. Results suggest that the IRMA scale requires some modification to be employed with young adults in China. Our analyses indicate that 20 items should be deleted, and a five-factor model is generated. We discuss relevant similarities and differences in the factor structure and item loadings between the Chinese Rape Myth Acceptance (CRMA) and the IRMA scales. A revised version of the IRMA, the CRMA, can be used as a resource in rape prevention services and rape victim support services. Future research in China that employs CRMA will allow researchers to examine whether individual’s response to rape myth acceptance can predict rape potential and judgments of victim blaming and community members’ acceptance of marital rape.

Psychological Consequences of Becoming a Child Soldier
Federica D’Alessandra. 2014. “Psychological Consequences of Becoming a Child Soldier”. See full text.Abstract
As the civilian population is increasingly targeted in wars, children constitute an increasing quota among the victims of each conflict.
 

More often than not, the horrific practice of targeting civilians during conflict is seconded by the deplorable active use of child soldiers. In some countries, a whole generation of children seems to have grown up without knowing peace. A lot has been written about war-affected people, and the psychological consequences that they bear as a result of these traumatic experiences; yet, a literature that focuses specifically on the psychological burden of child soldiers is only now slowly emerging. While it might be intuitive that war and widespread violence leave deep psychological scars, it is essential to understand what shape these scars take on children. The relevance of the topic is striking at both a humanitarian and a developmental level as ‘lost education can take years to regain, and physical and psychological trauma may be long lasting’. 

United States Law and Policy on Transitional Justice: Principles, Politics and Pragmatics
Zachary D. Kaufman. 4/7/2016. United States Law and Policy on Transitional Justice: Principles, Politics and Pragmatics, Pp. 382 pages. New York: Oxford University Press. See full text. Abstract
In United States Law and Policy on Transitional Justice: Principles, Politics, and Pragmatics, Zachary D. Kaufman, J.D., Ph.D., explores the U.S. government’s support for, or opposition to, certain transitional justice institutions.

 

By first presenting an overview of possible responses to atrocities (such as war crimes tribunals) and then analyzing six historical case studies, Dr. Kaufman evaluates why and how the United States has pursued particular transitional justice options since World War II. This book challenges the “legalist” paradigm, which postulates that liberal states pursue war crimes tribunals because their decision-makers hold a principled commitment to the rule of law. Dr. Kaufman develops an alternative theory—“prudentialism”—which contends that any state (liberal or illiberal) may support bona fide war crimes tribunals. More generally, prudentialism proposes that states pursue transitional justice options, not out of strict adherence to certain principles, but as a result of a case-specific balancing of politics, pragmatics, and normative beliefs. Dr. Kaufman tests these two competing theories through the U.S. experience in six contexts: Germany and Japan after World War II, the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103, the 1990-1991 Iraqi offenses against Kuwaitis, the atrocities in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, and the 1994  genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Dr. Kaufman demonstrates that political and pragmatic factors featured as or more prominently in U.S. transitional justice policy than did U.S. government officials’ normative beliefs. Dr. Kaufman thus concludes that, at least for the United States, prudentialism is superior to legalism as an explanatory theory in transitional justice policymaking.

Israel’s Associated Regime: Exceptionalism, Human Rights and Alternative Legality
Federica D’Alessandra. 2014. “Israel’s Associated Regime: Exceptionalism, Human Rights and Alternative Legality.” Utrecht Journal of International and European Law. See full text.Abstract
In the context of Israel’s declared permanent state of exception, this article focuses on the legal protection awarded to the Palestinian populations under Israeli control.
 

To broaden the discussion over Palestinian people’s rights, which generally focuses on the confiscation of land and the right to return, the author consciously focuses on anti-terrorism and security measures, which contribute to the creation of what the International Court of Justice has defined as an ‘associated regime’ of occupation. The article is divided into three parts. In the first part, the author discusses Israel’s domestic obligations towards Palestinians (arguing the case of both Palestinian citizens of Israel, and Palestinian residents) and their de jure and de facto discrimination. The second part discusses the applicability of humanitarian law, specifically the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention. This section discusses the applicability of the Convention to both territories and people under Israeli control. The third part discusses the applicability of international human rights law to all territories under Israeli control and delves into the issue of the mutual relationship between the two international legal regimes in the territories under occupation. The article posits that Israel’s rationale for the non-applicability of such legislation to the Palestinian territories and populations it controls constitutes a form of ‘alternative legality’. The article concludes that Israel’s disproportionate application of security practices and anti-terrorism measures to the Palestinian segment of its population violates Palestinian rights protected under Israel’s domestic and international legal obligations.

Jus ad bellum in Syria: The Meaning of the US Airpower Campaign
Federica D’Alessandra. 3/2015. “Jus ad bellum in Syria: The Meaning of the US Airpower Campaign.” International Bar Association: Human Rights Law Newsletter, Pp. 37-41. See full text.Abstract
Jus ad bellum in Syria: The Meaning of the US Airpower Campaign:

 

Operation Inherent Resolve is the name of the air campaign carried out by a Combined Joint Task Force of US-led coalition forces against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.1 Repeatedly, the campaign has been engaged to ‘degrade and ultimately destroy’ Daesh. The group is a terrorist-designated organisation3responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity – arguably even genocide (against the Yazidis minority of Iraq) – underthe Rome Statute. The group is at war with more than 60 nations or groups: coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Iraq includeAustralia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States; coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Syria include Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

Response to Arneson, de Bres, and Stilz
Mathias Risse. 12/12/2014. “Response to Arneson, de Bres, and Stilz.” Ethics & International Affairs, 28, 4, Pp. 511-522. See full text.Abstract
Common humanity is one ground of justice.
 

The distinctively human life generates claims, and their form is that of natural rights. However, explorations of how the distinctively human life generates obligations lead only to a rather limited set of rights—basic security and subsistence rights. Inquiries into another nonrelational ground also produce rather limited results. That ground is humanity's collective ownership of the earth. The principle of justice associated with it merely requires an equal opportunity to use natural spaces and resources for the satisfaction of basic needs. In particular, this result is incompatible with any kind of welfarist commitment. The sheer fact that anybody's welfare as such would be lowered or raised is not a matter of justice. If people share associations with each other (membership in a state, or being connected by trade, say) we can derive obligations from their shared involvement with these associations. But unless people do indeed share such associations, the obligations that hold among them will be rather limited.

Child Migration and Human Rights in a Global Age (Human Rights and Crimes against Humanity)
Jacqueline Bhaba. 2016. Child Migration and Human Rights in a Global Age (Human Rights and Crimes against Humanity). Reprint Edition. Princeton University Press. See full text.Abstract
Jacqueline Bhabha's book, Child Migration and Human Rights in a Global Age, offers the first comprehensive look at the global dilemma of child migration. 

 

Why, despite massive public concern, is child trafficking on the rise? Why are unaccompanied migrant children living on the streets and routinely threatened with deportation to their countries of origin? Why do so many young refugees of war-ravaged and failed states end up warehoused in camps, victimized by the sex trade, or enlisted as child soldiers? This book provides the first comprehensive account of the widespread but neglected global phenomenon of child migration, exploring the complex challenges facing children and adolescents who move to join their families, those who are moved to be exploited, and those who move simply to survive. Spanning several continents and drawing on the stories of young migrants, Child Migration and Human Rights in a Global Age provides a comprehensive account of the widespread and growing but neglected global phenomenon of child migration and child trafficking. It looks at the often-insurmountable obstacles we place in the paths of adolescents fleeing war, exploitation, or destitution; the contradictory elements in our approach to international adoption; and the limited support we give to young people brutalized as child soldiers. Part history, part in-depth legal and political analysis, this powerful book challenges the prevailing wisdom that widespread protection failures are caused by our lack of awareness of the problems these children face, arguing instead that our societies have a deep-seated ambivalence to migrant children–one we need to address head-on. Child Migration and Human Rights in a Global Age offers a road map for doing just that, and makes a compelling and courageous case for an international ethics of children’s human rights.

The Human Right to Water and Common Ownership of the Earth
Mathias Risse. 2014. “The Human Right to Water and Common Ownership of the Earth.” Journal of Political Philosophy, Pp. 178-203. See full text.Abstract

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), each human being requires at least 20 liters of clean water for daily consumption and basic hygiene.2 However, many countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East lack sufficient water resources or have so far failed to develop these resources or the necessary infrastructure.

Thousands have lived without love, not one without water,” so W. H. Auden finished his poem “First Things First." And right he was. Only oxygen is needed more urgently than water at most times. But a key difference that makes water a more immediate subject for theorists of justice is that, for now, oxygen is normally amply available where humans live. Historically, the same was true of water since humans would not settle in places without clean water. Nowadays, however, water treatment plants and delivery infrastructure have vastly extended the regions where humans can live permanently. Population increases have prompted people to settle in locations where access to clean water is precarious.

Rhetoric, Ideology, and Organizational Structure of the Taliban Movement
Michael Semple. 1/5/2015. Rhetoric, Ideology, and Organizational Structure of the Taliban Movement. Peaceworks. 102nd ed. Washington DC: United States Institute of Peace. See full text.Abstract
This report examines the evolution of the Taliban case for armed struggle and the minimal adjustments Taliban rhetoricians made to cope with the impending political change in Afghanistan in 2014. It considers how the Taliban might make a case for peace, should they take the political decision to engage in negotiations. 

 

The Taliban movement commands the loyalty of thousands of Afghans and applies resources and men to the pursuit of political objectives, guided by doctrine and inspired by rhetoric. Taliban rhetoric consists of religious and historical references, narratives of recent events, and guidance for Taliban sympathizers. The rhetoric asserts that the Taliban are engaged in a righteous jihad aimed at establishing a divinely ordered Islamic system in Afghanistan. Taliban doctrine focuses on internal affairs and in particular on maintaining cohesiveness. The Taliban are ruthless in enforcing their doctrine of obedience to the amir, or leader. The movement has retained a narrow social base, and its power is concentrated in the hands of mullahs from the Kandahari Pashtun tribes. Any project to build a plural Afghanistan is likely to include an appeal to the Taliban or the constituency they have mobilized. The Taliban’s own attempts to regain power rest on a negation of pluralism, rejection of a popular mandate, and assertion of the divine right vested in their Islamic emirate. A Taliban rhetoric of peace would require addressing the position of the Taliban’s amir, peace as a desirable state, the need for cohesiveness and unity in support of peace, celebration of the withdrawal of foreign troops, Islamic credentials of the government in Kabul, protection of those who sacrificed for the Taliban, peace as conclusion of the jihad, and the new role for the Taliban’s cadres. After 2014, the Taliban leadership is vulnerable to a hard-line challenge arguing that the political system in Kabul is irredeemably compromised by its collaboration with unbelievers.

Alfredo Zamudio

Alfredo Zamudio

Fellow

Alfredo Zamudio is the Director of the Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue, based in Norway. Previously, he was the Director of the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, the leading international body monitoring internal displacement worldwide. Zamudio has been working on human rights and humanitarian issues at a management level both nationally in Norway and internationally. Zamudio has worked for the Norwegian Refugee Council as country director in Timor Leste, in Darfur and Sudan and in Colombia, where he was international expert for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. He was a Carr Center Fellow from 2016 - 2018. 

Pages