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Abstract

Episodes of sexual violence in warfare have been gaining increasing attention from policy and research in recent years. Still, a key aspect of these debates remains overlooked and undertheorized in such endeavors: sexual victimization of men in conflict settings. This dissertation unpacks the phenomenon of conflict-related sexual violence against men (SVAM), with an eye towards identifying different performances of violence and the complex links between sex, gender and violence across conflicts. This dissertation therefore addresses the following questions: What is sexual violence against men? How are acts of sex-related violence against men performed in different war theaters? And, how do performances of SVAM advance our understanding of the nexus between sex, gender and violence in warfare? Taken together, these questions will help us interrogate some of the prevailing assumptions related to the uses, displays and framings of sexual politics in warfare. Building on a performance-oriented framework, this dissertation illuminates the productive dimension of heteronormativity in international politics. Particularly, this research demonstrates how performances of SVAM are intimately entangled in heteronormative scripts of militarized violence that shape and percolate warfare practices.

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