Department of Justice is now the Department of Communities and Justice.  Find out more >

A theory of victimhood: politics, conflict and construction of victim-based identity

Author(s) Jacoby, Tami Amanda
Title A theory of victimhood: politics, conflict and the construction of victim-based identity
Source Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Jan 2015, Vol. 43, No. 2, pp. 511-530
Date 2015
Document type Journal article
Summary The blurred lines of victim and offender within political warfare in countries such as Israel, Bosnia, Palestine and many more contribute to the ambiguity of defining what a victim is within such unique circumstances. This article addresses the concept of victimisation as an act of harm perpetrated against a group of people and victimhood as a collective identity based on the harm. Part I of the article discusses victimhood as a multi-disciplinary subject within the social sciences and discusses the concept of victimhood by applying political theory in order to further develop on the idea of victimisation on an international level. Part II discusses five stage theory of victimhood starting from (1) structural conduciveness (2) political consciousness (3) ideological concurrence (4) political mobilisation and (4) political recognition. Part III serves as a conclusion on the implications of victim identities and provides some insight for future research in regards to the application of theories revolving around victimhood and victimisation.
Keywords Victim; identity; harm; rights; transitional justice; security; victimhood; conflict; definition
Topic Victimisation