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Sabrina Karim (Cornell): Rape After Civil Conflict: How United Nations Peacekeepers' Actions Shape Prevalence."

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Thursday, September 14, 2023
11:45 am - 1:15 pm

Sabrina Karim is the Hardis Assistant Professor in the department of Government at Cornell University. Her research focuses on conflict and peace processes, particularly state building in the aftermath of civil war.

Much of the scholarship on rape addresses variation in or legacies of wartime sexual violence. We pivot to focus on the legacies of post-conflict state building processes, and argue that masculine peace-building processes can contribute to rape. Specifically, when international peacekeepers engage in transactional sex, they alter local sex economies and fundamentally change expectations around romantic relationships in the host country. These changes make it more difficult for local men to enter into (sexual) relationships with local women, which may lead to rape. To test these intuitions, we use
novel, quantitative data on rape from One Stop Centers in Monrovia, Liberia collected between 2015-2019. We supplement these data with over one-hundred and seventy original interviews with perpetrators of rape and community leaders. Triangulating our data, we find support for our theory. The paper problematizes large-scale, masculine peace building projects as a means to promote gender equality in host countries.

Contact: Stephanie Wright