Virtual Violence and Protection from Participation
Sammanfattning: This thesis studies protection as integral to security. Protection has been used to keep women from the ‘public sphere’ and abused by peacekeepers and patriarchs alike, suggesting that being protected is not synonymous with being safe but can cause violence and exclusion. From that contradiction, I ask how the concepts of protection and security are produced, and to what effects for (gender) equality. The main endeavour in this text is theoretical; finding gender and security theories insufficient to understand life as embodied without being deterministic, I turn to posthumanist feminist theory. Combining theory by Karen Barad and Gilles Deleuze, I assemble a framework renouncing a division between the social and material, focusing on immanent intra-actions as productive of the world. Everything is material-discursively constructed phenomena, providing means for understanding the apparent discrepancies between the well-intended and actually violent effects of protection. Studying National Action Plans for UNSCR1325, which propose women’s increased protection and participation to promote peace and security, I find that the suggested actions rely on protection as a capacity for violence, indicating that protection as violence aimed at a potential perpetrator simultaneously exposes the protected to what I call virtual violence, impeding equal participation, peace and security.
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