In the 1990s, feminist scholars on the politics of rape experienced a sudden surge of interest in their, until then, marginal field. Why was the 1990s the right time for rape to become an international security problem? Furthermore, why suddenly in the 1990s did rape become problematized as an international issue not just by the feminist fringes of protest movements but also by intergovernmental bureaucracies? To explore these questions, Carol Harrington traces the historical change in the politicization of rape as an international problem and explains how early international women's organizations gained expert authority on rape by drawing on abolitionist rhetoric of bodily integrity. She discusses why they abandoned their politicization of rape in the inter-war period and why rape only reappeared as an international security question requiring gender expertise on trauma after the Cold War.
'The important contribution that Politicization of Sexual Violence makes is in revealing exactly how sexualized violence perpetrated by men against women during wartime has been turned into not just a political issue, but into an internationalized political issue. There has been nothing automatic about this issue-creating process. Carol Harrington reveals here how it has happened.' Cynthia Enloe, Clark University, USA, and author of The Curious Feminist ’As a historical account, this book is indispensible. As a theoretical contribution, it is innovative, interesting, and complex...Highly recommended.’ Choice ' ...comprehensive study of the politicisation of sexual violence within the international context... The book is written in an accessible, engaging style. Although it will be of interest predominantly within feminist scholarship, its appeal is much broader, and readers of international history and politics will find this book informative and thought-provoking.... the book provides an important reminder to academics and practitioners alike about the agenda that one brings when promoting public awareness of sexual violence.' Gender & Development