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"They needed sex to have better morale on the battlefield": A thematic analysis of the causes of rape during the Bosnian War

Walker, Annelise (2014) "They needed sex to have better morale on the battlefield": A thematic analysis of the causes of rape during the Bosnian War. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

Mass rape is the increased level of sexual violence that occurs during conflict in comparison to the levels carried out during times of peace. An increasingly prevalent phenomenon, mass rape affects thousands of women and men every year with damaging effects. Although many theoretical explanations of the causes of mass rape have been developed, very little empirical evidence has been created to provide support for these explanations. In this vein, this thesis aims to provide analyse which of the four main theoretical explanations most accurately explains the use of mass rape during the Bosnian War. Drawing on evidence from transcripts from trials conducted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), a thematic analysis was conducted with themes of rape as a war strategy aimed at displacing the Muslim population and communicating ethnic superiority being found. In this regard, it was seen that the strategy theory and theoretical model of violations of international law most accurately explained instances of mass rape during the Bosnian War. These findings provide support for the prosecutions carried out by the ICTY as they indicate that rape was carried out as a direct command from those in charge, signifying that those in positions of power should be predominantly prosecuted due to their role in the conflict. In order to fully understand the underlying causes of mass rape, further research into additional conflicts would need to be undertaken.

Publication Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Law
Supervisor: Field, Courtney
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/29097
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