Gender, Violence and Society

Feminist studies on violence, in its many forms, sit at the historical core of gender studies and a multitude of feminist movements (academic, civil societal, political) have actively contributed to this large, heterogeneous and contested research field. Violence continues a very long feminist tradition on the multiple historical linkages between practice, policy and theory and interrogates the relationship between theorizing, activism and the politics of and around the domain of violence.

The aim of Violence is to conduct excellent research to develop feminist theories and conceptualisations of violence, to develop methodologies and indicators to measure and compare the extent of violence, to develop tools and terminologies to evaluate the quality of policy on violence and to inform policy, practice and action against violence,

Violence takes into consideration the wide range of approaches within different academic disciplines to the concept of violence, the difference between forms of violence, the distinctions and boundaries between violence and non-violence, and the significance of multiple inequalities to the conceptualization of violence.

Focus is placed on how analysis can be a starting point for assessing if, how and to what extent the inclusion of multiple inequalities could increase both quality of policy and methods for data collection and comparisons across the domain of violence, as for both reducing and stopping violence and for assisting those subject to violence, to violent acts, and to violations. The field also addresses the question of how and to what extent violence and violation figure in contemporary theorizing on gender and intersectionality. 

A long term and overarching goal is to mainstream gender into the overall theory and analysis of violence to integrate the often fragmented and dispersed analyses of various forms of violence, so as better to explain changes and variations in violence and to build the knowledge base for policies to reduce violence.

To these ends, violence is treated as a trans-disciplinary research field in its own right and the GEXcel Research Field includes and welcomes collaborations between trans- multi- and interdisciplinary research and researchers, practitioners, activists and politicians. The objective of Violence is to promote an inclusive view of feminist research interests in the study of violence.

The field Violence includes three GEXcel research strands: The Politics of Violence; Feminist Theories of Violence; Violent Mobilities; and links to The Feminist Restructuring of the Gender Equality Architecture, and The Theorising of Men and Masculinities.

Violence includes several on-going research projects, which are currently funded by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), the European Commission’s (EC) DAPHNE III Programme, the Swedish Research Council (VR), the European Parliament (EP) and the European Science Foundation (ESF).

Violence is explicitly linked to three other GEXcel Research Fields: Politics and Feminism, Intersectionality, Culture and Society, and Critical Studies on Men and Masculinities.

  • This field covers the following established research strands:

    The Politics of Violence: Policy, Practice and Action

    Strand chair: Sofia Strid

    This research strand examines the relationship between theorizing on violence and policy on violence and the implications of the institutionalisation of intersectionality for the quality of policy on violence. The projects within this research strand develop tools and terminologies to inform, and to be informed by, policy, practice and action against violence. One focus of the strand is on how analysis can be a starting point for assessing if, how and to what extent the inclusion of multiple inequalities could increase the quality of policy, both for reducing and stopping violence, and for assisting those subject to violence and violations. A second focus is to in multi-sector collaborations, develop knowledge production processes and feminist innovative tools and practices to help prevent violence against women and violence linked to harmful traditional practices.

    Ongoing projects: Stopping Rape: Worldwide Best Practices for Rape Prevention (funded by the EP); Enhancing the Quality of Policy Through Intersectional Analysis? Intersectionality, Multiple Inequalities and the Case of Gender-based Violence (funded by VR); FATIMA: Preventing Honour Related Violence by Education and Dialogue Through Minority NGO:s (funded by the EC).

    Key researchers: Renée Andersson (Örebro University), Jo Armstrong (Lancaster University), Yevgenia Averhed (Uppsala University), Dag Balkmar (Örebro University), Umme Imam (Angelou Centre, Newcastle), Andrea Krizsá (Central European University, Budapest), Raluca Popa (the Council of Europe), Hannana Siddiqui (Southall Black Sisters, London), Jude Towers (Lancaster University), Mieke Verloo (Radboud University), Sylvia Walby (Lancaster University).

    Recent publications

    This strand also relates to GEXcel research fields Politics and Feminism, Intersectionality, Culture and Society, and Feminist Studies and Education.

  • Feminist Theories of Violence: Methodologies, Indicators and Tools

    Strand chair: Sofia Strid

    This research strand develops concepts, methodologies, indicators and tools to measure and compare the extent of violence and to evaluate and inform measures to reduce levels of violence. It aims to inform policy, practice and action against violence, and to use the developed methodologies and indicators to contribute towards the advancement of comprehensive theorizings on violence. In so doing, the projects in this strand reflect the wide range of approaches within different academic disciplines to the concept of violence, the difference between forms of violence and the distinctions and boundaries between violence and non-violence.

    Ongoing projects: Terminology and indicators for data collection on rape, femicide and intimate partner violence (funded by EIGE); Collection of good practices on administrative data collection on violence against women (funded by EIGE); Estimation of girls at risk of female genital mutilation in the European Union (funded by EIGE); Feminist theorizings of intersectionality (Strand 4) (funded by VR)

    Key researchers: Sofia Strid (Örebro University), Jo Armstrong (Lancaster University), Catarina Arnaut (Yellow Window, Antwerp), Dag Balkmar (Örebro University), Lut Mergaert (Yellow Window, Antwerp), Jude Towers (Lancaster University), Sylvia Walby (Lancaster University).

    Recent publications

    This strand also relates to GEXcel research fields Politics and Feminism, and Intersectionality, Culture and Society.
  • Violent Mobilities

    Strand chair: Dag Balkmar

    In societies where car normativity needs to be challenged in favour of more sustainable modes of travel, conflicts due to power relations between different forms of mobility are becoming increasingly important to investigate. This research strand examines violence(s) in traffic space: in part by studying current inequalities and vulnerabilities stemming from the power asymmetry between different groups of road users in urban and rural places (for example children or adult cyclists), in part by highlighting the resistance, activism or other forms of critiques of the current dominant automobility system that also takes place. It aims to address empirical, theoretical, conceptual, political and policy related questions relating to (unequal and conflictual) mobilities. The projects in this strand situate violence and violations in contexts of unequal power distribution within the automobility regime. In so doing, they reflect a broad approach to violence(s), emphasising it’s multiple and varied forms and expressions on different levels (interpersonal, group-level and systemic).

    Ongoing projects: Feminist theorizings of intersectionality (Strand 4) (funded by VR); Violent traffic: towards an intersectional approach to road conflicts and (un)sustainable mobility (funded by VR). Children on the move – Children’s everyday mobility and risk management in a car-normative society (funded by Uppsala University)

    Key researchers: Dag Balkmar (Örebro University), Tanja Joelsson (Uppsala University)

    Recent publications

    This strand also relates to GEXcel research fields Critical Studies on Men and Masculinities; Politics and Feminism; Intersectionality, Culture and Society.