United Nations Security Council Resolution 1820: Why sexual violence became framed as a threat to international security
Women have been victims of sexual violence during and in the aftermath of armed conflict through time. Through history, sexual violence has been framed in several ways until it eventually became framed by the United Nations Security Council in June 2008 ‘as a threat to international security’. It was at this particular moment that the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted United Nations Security Council Women, Peace and Security Resolution 1820. The status of sexual violence during and in the aftermath of armed conflict suddenly was a matter of international peace and security, whereas it first, was not (framed as such). This thesis investigates why sexual violence now did became framed as a threat to international security, a matter of international security and therefore insecurity. To give this thought a closer look, securitization theory is elaborated upon as the most logical explanation. However, it seems that although securitization can bring us to the understanding that security frames change, it does not shed light on why or at least how security frames change. This is where Finnemore & Sikkink’s theory on normative change steps in. It is claimed that because normative change theory gives insights in how security frames might change, it therefore can illuminate also why security frames change. Finnemore & Sikkink’s addition to securitization theory provides insight in how and why sexual violence became framed as a matter of international security in June 2008. The findings, nevertheless, suggest that the United Nations Security Council was not as much inspired to sign the draft resolution of UNSCR 1820 because of altruistic normative values, but seem to have been much more driven by the prominence of events in the DRC and the legitimation of the United Nations (Security Council) that thereafter was at stake.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen