Towards intimate geographies of peace? Local reconciliation of domestic violence in Cambodia

Abstract

This paper addresses the dearth of writing in geography on domestic violence and its misplaced absenteeism in dialogues on geographies of war and peace. It challenges a preoccupation with (inter)-national landscapes of war and militarism through its focus on the (im)possibilities of (liberal) peace within the home. The paper attends to the everyday politics of efforts to reduce spousal violence via local reconciliation – a customary practice of conflict resolution that has attracted criticism from the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. On the basis of 120 interviews and a quantitative household survey in two provinces of Cambodia (2012–2014), the paper argues that political economy considerations are crucial to understanding the path and outcome of various domestic violence interventions. By analysing the situated beliefs and experiences of domestic violence victims, legal professionals, NGO workers, police officers and other authority leaders, it also stresses the importance of questioning what peace equates to for different stakeholders.

Citation

Brickell, K. Towards intimate geographies of peace? Local reconciliation of domestic violence in Cambodia. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (2015) 40 (3) 321-333. [DOI: 10.1111/tran.12086]

Towards intimate geographies of peace? Local reconciliation of domestic violence in Cambodia

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