Coercive Control, Displaced Syrians and the Failure to Act

  • Joanne Hopkins

Traethawd ymchwil myfyriwr: Traethawd Ymchwil DoethurolDoethur mewn Athroniaeth


This research project examines the concept of coercive control (psychological violence rooted in creating and sustaining fear through controlling behaviour) and applies it to the case study of Syrians displaced by political turmoil and conflict in their country (2011- present). While coercive control is established in the laws of individual states and recognised in cases of domestic violence, this thesis contributes to knowledge by applying the concept to behaviour at the levels of the state and international. The original material gathered about the Syrian case, and the feminist approach informing the methodology and analysis, further contributes to knowledge in two ways. Firstly, by amplifying marginalised voices of Syrians and those who support them, it reveals important aspects of the experience of Syrians displaced by this conflict. Secondly, it highlights the operation of coercive control as a weapon rooted in society and reinforced by structural inequality and oppression, during both war and peace. The thesis demonstrates that the concepts needed to explain the operation of coercive control at the state and international levels are present in the foundational texts of International Relations (IR). It argues that international legislative and non-legislative tools relating to peace and security exist to hold individuals and governments to account for coercive control. The thesis therefore asks why the international scholarly and policy communities fail to comprehend the nature of coercive control at the state and international levels and why they fail to use the full range of instruments at their disposal to punish perpetrators. The thesis argues that coercive control is normalised at both the state and international levels, which mutes responses by scholars and policymakers alike. It further argues that institutional ethical barriers constrain the ability of scholars to access people who challenge this constructed normality, rendering scholars complicit in reinforcing a narrative that silences those experiences.
Dyddiad Dyfarnu2023
Iaith wreiddiolSaesneg
Sefydliad Dyfarnu
  • Prifysgol Aberystwyth
GoruchwyliwrJenny Mathers (Goruchwylydd), Ayla Gol (Goruchwylydd), Huw Lewis (Goruchwylydd) & Gillian McFadyen (Goruchwylydd)

Dyfynnu hyn