Violent Intersections: Dynamics of Societal and Political Elements of Collective Violence and Mass Crimes and Their Consequences – Yugoslav and Rwandan Case

  1. To build a theoretical and methodological framework, linking  different levels of conflict and of violence, and develop an empirically based understanding of these links through the study of the two cases – former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
  2. To explore the intersectional dimenstions of gender, ethnicity and religion in order  to better understand the dynamics and conditions under which ethnic, gender or religious identity constructs are used (singly or in combination) to legitimate violence, making it an acceptable or even necessary response to conflicts.
  3. To pilot innovative empirical methods to study the different levels of conflict and violence.
  4. To understand the various post-conflict steps, policies and measures to come to terms with the past (especially the paths of memorialisation) in the light of justice, social cohesion, political stability,
  5. conflict settlement, and conflict transformation –  including post-Yugoslav situation of post WW2 reconciliation debates in Slovenia.
  6. To analyse (successful) strategies in the process of coming to terms with the past by paying attention to the development of knowledge and communication with the new information technologies.
  7. To reflect on the implications of the research results for intervention and policy, both in the selected case studies, and wider.

Project leader: Vlasta jalušić
Project coworker: Jovana Mihajlović Trbovc

Project execution

The project will consist of conceptual and empirical part. Building theoretical framework  will part from (re)reading and elaboration of the set of major studies on the problem  gendered, racialised and ethnopoliticised conflicts,  political theory approaches to the issues of  massive atrocities, and approaches to justice, guilt and responsibility. The empirical part will be  based on the cases of former Yugoslavia and Rwanda which are selected by virtue of them having seen violent, “community” conflict (within a state or in the process of state dissolution and reformation), as well as forced displacement of population with the strong gender dimension in the process of preparation. They both  symbolically reflect the ideological claim that certain groups, constructed as essentially different cannot live together, each thus denying the “others” citizenship and the fundamental “right to have rights” (Arendt). The project will reconstruct these differentiation processes among groups, exploring how they were gendered and what role past individual or collective experiences with violence (or imagined past or possible future collective experiences of violence) played. It will use the social constructionist approach and trace the process of identity construction through ideological discourses and check how are they embedded in the biographical stories of individuals (both women and men, whether as victims, perpetrators, or bystanders) and in institutional trajectories. Different experiences of collective violence and of interpersonal violence – from the perspective of perpetrator, victim, bystander – will be examined through the method of “biographical trajectories”.

The research will include both intersectional and comparative approaches. A set of biographies (both for individuals and for relevant organizations and collectivities) will be collected through fieldwork using parallel research design. The project will examine how these dimensions interrelate with dynamics of violence whereby the impact of new communication and information technologies considering cultural, artist and documentary  production will be assessed  as well.


Slovenian Research Agency