ISBN: 978-1-4399-2332-0

Kyle Beardsley

Duke University

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In this edited volume, Bjarnegård & Zetterberg have assembled a compelling set of contributions that synthesize and catalyze the study of the gendered nature of violence against political actors. Scholars and students of political violence – especially those with interests in the topics of women, peace and security (WPS) and electoral violence – would do well to engage with this volume, cover to cover. The contributions begin with an overview of theoretical concepts and explanations related to gender and violence, with an emphasis on violence against women in politics. They then develop a continuum of violence from psychological violence to physical violence, which is a unifying theme throughout. After establishing the conceptual framework, the chapters then turn to qualitative and quantitative empirical analyses of violence patterns in Papua New Guinea, Uganda, the UK, the USA, Sweden, and Israel. A series of chapters on lessons learned and policy responses conclude the book. This is a model for how to bring scholars from disparate approaches into coherent and productive conversation, as it is essential to consider multiple perspectives when examining gender dynamics on the continuum of violence. Correlational analyses related to the attributes of the victims and perpetrators most likely to be involved in political violence can only get us so far in understanding the perceived meanings of the violence. Discourse analyses and first-hand narratives can only get us so far in understanding systematic patterns of violence. When multiple perspectives can be assembled with a common conceptual framework, as has been done here, we get a full sense of the problems, potential policy solutions, and the need for more work like that found in this volume.