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Who Are the Victims?: Scrutinizing the Discursive Representation of Victims in UN Measures Addressing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by Peacekeepers and Personnel
Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Global Political Studies (GPS).
2024 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 12 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the United Nations (UN) peace operations is to help states navigate a path towards stability and sustainable peace, yet sexual exploitation and abuse perpetrated by the peacekeepers and other personnel is often an unintended consequence of the missions. Though the UN has employed several victim-centred measures to address the issue, peacebuilding practices often employ a simplistic discourse about the victims that recognizes only certain type of ‘ideal’ victims. It risks disregarding the different conceptualisations of justice that victims have, along with their individual wants and needs. Leaning on van Dijk’s view on social power that deems institutions as locations producing dominant discourses and influencing people’s minds, it is crucial to study which discourses the UN engages with. Thus, through a methodological combination of critical discourse analysis and policy analysis, this study scrutinizes the discourses about the victims present in the resolutions and training materials that specifically apply a victim-centred approach. The findings indicate that the discourses entail characteristics of both ideal and complex political victim discourses, and that above all, the UN positions itself as the saviour of the victims. As this discourse is likely to continue reproducing power imbalances that place victims into a dependant position, this study emphasises a serious need for re-evaluation of the UN’s own discursive positioning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2024. , p. 39
Keywords [en]
critical discourse analysis, sexual exploitation and abuse, UN, victim-centred approach, victimhood
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-68424OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-68424DiVA, id: diva2:1866642
Educational program
KS GPS Peace and Conflict Studies
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2024-06-11 Created: 2024-06-07 Last updated: 2024-06-11Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
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