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dc.contributor.authorMehsen, Nora
dc.date.accessioned2015-08-14T22:00:31Z
dc.date.available2015-08-14T22:00:31Z
dc.date.issued2015
dc.identifier.citationMehsen, Nora. Preventing Sexual Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo: A Study of a Western Development Project Targeting Soldiers in the Congolese State Military. Master thesis, University of Oslo, 2015
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10852/44791
dc.description.abstractThe changing landscape of development and security has created new operational spaces for Western development NGOs addressing occurrences of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This thesis is devoted to an exploration of those new spaces through in-depth analysis of a development project targeting acts of sexual violence committed by the Congolese state military (FARDC). The development project in question is called the mobile cinema tool (MCT), jointly created by a Dutch film production team, a Western development NGO called Search for Common Ground (SFCG) and the FARDC. Distinguishable from the majority of Western development efforts focused on sexual violence in the DRC – which are often oriented toward post-perpetration victim-support – the MCT has a perpetrator focus with a preventive ambition. By screening thought-provoking short films to FARDC soldiers and inviting them to reflect on the detrimental consequences of sexual violence, the MCT aims to educate its audience in refraining from perpetration. Based on interviews with the film production crew, SFCG and targeted soldiers, as well as observations during MCT sessions in various military camps in the eastern part of the DRC, the thesis research questions are as follows: How did the film production team and SFCG envision the MCT contributing to sexual violence prevention? And how was the project received by the targeted soldiers? Drawing on the Foucauldian concepts of power/knowledge, discourse and governmentality, as well as postcolonial theory, the thesis demonstrates the complexities involved in the interface between the MCT s envisioned strategy and its on-the-ground employment. Inspired by a genealogical approach, I approached the aforementioned research questions by contextualizing the wider discursive space the MCT was operating within. While the MCT s targeting of FARDC soldiers as a (perceived) perpetrator group is rare in the DRC context, I argue that the project must be understood as part of larger processes connected to the changing landscape of development and security. One major process I identified is the evolution from the Belgian colonizers sovereign approach of molding the sexual conduct of the Congolese to the approach I consider most widespread in contemporary Western-led development efforts in the Global South – developmentality. Developmentality, an adaptation of governmentality, refers to development agents utilization of technologies of freedom to achieve a desired behavior change among beneficiaries. The second major process I found influential is the securitization of conflict-related sexual violence. With the international community s application of the development/security approach, large-scale manifestations of sexual violence are increasingly seen as a security issue stemming from underdevelopment, state fragility and lack of good governance. As a result, a space has been created in which Western development NGOs like SFCG can engage in efforts previously considered a part of the traditional security realm. In my analysis of the film production team and SFCG s envisioned preventive strategy in the MCT, I located a myriad of different discourses. While some discourses evolved around educating, sensitizing and motivating the soldiers to alter their conduct, others addressed a need to confront the soldiers with the negative consequences of sexual violence by scaring, breaking and deterring them. Ultimately, a key finding was the intersection of these discourses, meaning that the knowledge provided by the MCT was meant to scare the soldiers into altering their conduct by their own free will. Rather than relying on a hierarchal power exercise to change soldiers behavior, the Western development agents utilized developmentality. This developmentality approach could be traced both on an institutional level – transferring responsibility for execution of the MCT sessions to the FARDC itself, and on an individual level – encouraging soldiers to self-govern. An important finding derived from my fieldwork in the DRC was that the relationship between the film production crew and SFCG s visions and the implementation of the MCT was marked by a number of discontinuities. Rather than merely absorbing the film production team and SFCG s discourses or actively resisting, the soldiers decoded them in a range of different ways. Among these decodifications were adaptations, appropriations, subversions and contestations. Consequently, the Western development agents envisioned strategy often became fragile when presented to the soldiers, making the successful enactment of developmentality a complex endeavor on a practical level.eng
dc.language.isoeng
dc.subjectgovernmentality
dc.subjectFoucault
dc.subjectMichel
dc.subjectFoucault
dc.subjectdevelopmentally
dc.subjectNGO
dc.subjectdevelopment
dc.subjectsecurity
dc.subjectcriminology
dc.subjectgenealogy
dc.subjectethnography
dc.subjectCongo
dc.subjectThe
dc.subjectDemocratic
dc.subjectRepublic
dc.subjectof
dc.subjectCongo
dc.subjectsexual
dc.subjectviolence
dc.subjectprevention
dc.subjectFARDC
dc.subjectmilitary
dc.subjecthumanitarian
dc.subjectdiscourse
dc.subjectpower
dc.subjectknowledge
dc.subjectsecuritization
dc.subjectdevelopmentalization
dc.subjectpostcolonial
dc.subjectsoldiers
dc.titlePreventing Sexual Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo: A Study of a Western Development Project Targeting Soldiers in the Congolese State Militaryeng
dc.typeMaster thesis
dc.date.updated2015-08-14T22:00:31Z
dc.creator.authorMehsen, Nora
dc.identifier.urnURN:NBN:no-49070
dc.type.documentMasteroppgave
dc.identifier.fulltextFulltext https://www.duo.uio.no/bitstream/handle/10852/44791/1/Mehsen-Masteroppgave-2015.pdf


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