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30 Hum. Rts. Q. 561 (2008)
The Politics of Identity and Sexual Violence: A Review of Bosnia and Rwanda

handle is hein.journals/hurq30 and id is 569 raw text is: HUMAN RIGHTS QUARTERLY
The Politics of Identity and Sexual
Violence: A Review of Bosnia and
Rwanda
Patricia A. Weitsman*
ABSTRACT
This article argues that particular assumptions about biology, ethnic-
ity, genetics, and gender create a permissive environment for policies of
sexual violence during war. It further asserts that the children born as a
consequence of these policies become a prism for identity politics. The
arguments regarding identity and war and the consequences on policies
of sexual violence during wartime are illustrated through analyses of the
Serbian militia's rape campaigns in Bosnia in the early 1 990s and the mass
rape and killing of Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994.
I. INTRODUCTION
Being born with an identity formed in a wartime political environment often
handicaps children for life. This is especially true if these children are born as
a consequence of government-orchestrated rape campaigns, thus represent-
ing the legacy of violence a country has experienced. Although wars always
Patricia A, Weitsman is Professor of Political Science at Ohio University. She received her
Ph.D. from Columbia University and has been a fellow at the Graduate Institute of Inter-
national Studies in Geneva, Switzerland and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
She is co-author of The Politics of Policy Making in Defense and Foreign Affairs (1993), and
co-editor of Towards a New Europe (1995) and Enforcing Cooperation (1997). Her most
recent book, Dangerous Alliances: Proponents of Peace, Weapons of War, was published
by Stanford University Press in 2004. She is also the author of numerous articles and book
chapters published in prominent books and journals in the field of international relations.
Her work has been published in newspapers such as The New York imes and the Interna-
tional Herald Tribune. She is currently working on a short monograph on coalition warfare,
as well as a larger project on war and identity.
Human Rights Quarterly 30 (2008) 561-578 0 2008 by The Johns Hopkins University Press

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