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Annika Björkdahl

Annika Björkdahl


Annika Björkdahl

Advancing Women Agency in Transitional Justice


  • Annika Björkdahl
  • Johanna Mannergren

Summary, in English

This paper explores the participation, presence and agency of women in the transitional justice processes. We are

concerned with the critical questions of how women agency is enabled and/or constrained in contemporary

transitional justice and peacebuilding processes and how the gendering of agency may affect transformations

towards a gender-just peace. Gendered hierarchies in peacebuilding and transitional justice processes result in

gendered peace gaps and a peace that does not resemble a gender-just peace. Transitional justice enjoys a

particular appeal due to the opportunities it offers to address human rights abuses committed against women and its potentially transformative effect on gender-relations in post-conflict societies. Thus, this paper explores where women are located in the various transitional justice processes and maps what set of dispositions exist in these processes that incline women agents to act/react. More specifically, it investigates the accountability gap, the acknowledgement gap and the reparation gap in post-conflict Bosnia-Herzegovina from a genderperspective. Consequently, the analysis captures attempts by women to exercise creative, critical agency to address these gaps – agency which can be regarded as “transitional justice from below”. Through this analysis we attempt to address blind spots in the critical peacebuilding literature and advance critical thinking about the multifaceted practices of (critical) agency within the gendered hierarchies of transitional justice mechanisms. We conclude that women’s participation in transitional justice and peacebuilding processes is complex, multilayered, and constrained, yet creative.


  • Department of Political Science

Publishing year






Document type

Conference paper


  • Political Science


  • gender
  • peacebuilding
  • transitional justice
  • agency
  • gender-just peace

Conference name

General Convention International Studies Association, 2013

Conference date

2013-04-03 - 2013-04-06

Conference place

San Francisco, United States