Subtitled 'Feminists Interventions in International Law' and Published in Stanford University Press (2020), 'The grip of sexual violence in conflict' is a monograph that traces three decades of feminist engagement with international law and institutions with a focus on how and why both feminist activism and international law became “gripped” by the issue of sexual violence in conflict.

'The Grip of Sexual Violence in Conflict' by Professor Karen Engle

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Subtitled 'Feminists Interventions in International Law' and Published in Stanford University Press (2020), 'The grip of sexual violence in conflict' is a monograph that traces three decades of feminist engagement with international law and institutions with a focus on how and why both feminist activism and international law became “gripped” by the issue of sexual violence in conflict.

It traces the impact that women’s human rights advocates have had on international law and vice versa, concentrating on their treatment of sexual violence in conflict.

It considers a variety of international institutional and legal sites and debates in which sexual violence in conflict has played a central role: those involving military intervention, international criminal law, and human peace and security.

Professor Engle reveals that as feminists from around the world began to pay an enormous amount of attention to sexual violence in conflict, they often did so at the cost of attention to other issues, including the anti-militarism of the women's peace movement; critiques of economic maldistribution, imperialism, and cultural essentialism by feminists from the global South; and the sex-positive positions of many feminists involved in debates about sex work and pornography.

Karen Engle

Karen Engle is Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law and Founder and Co-director of the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. As an affiliated faculty member of Latin American Studies and of Women's and Gender Studies, she teaches courses and specialized seminars in public international law, international human rights law, and legal theory. She writes on the interaction between social movements and law, particularly in the fields of international human rights law, international criminal law, and Latin American law.

She is author of numerous scholarly articles as well as The Elusive Promise of Indigenous Development: Rights, Culture, Strategy (Duke University Press, 2010), which received the Best Book Award from the American Political Science Association Section on Human Rights. She is co-editor of Anti-Impunity and the Human Rights Agenda (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and After Identity: A Reader in Law and Culture (Routledge, 1995).

Having received her J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and a B.A. with honors from Baylor University. Following law school, Professor Engle clerked for Judge Jerre S. Williams on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and then served as a post-doctoral Ford Fellow in Public International Law at Harvard Law School. She was Professor of Law at the University of Utah prior to joining the University of Texas in 2002.

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