Human Rights Review

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 9–34 | Cite as

There Is a Crack in Everything: Problematising Masculinities, Peacebuilding and Transitional Justice

  • Brandon HamberEmail author


The study of masculinity, particularly in peacebuilding and transitional justice contexts, is gradually emerging. The article outlines three fissures evident in the embryonic scholarship, that is the privileging of direct violence and its limited focus, the continuities and discontinuities in militarised violence into peace time, and the tensions between new (less violent) masculinities and wider inclusive social change. The article argues for the importance of making visible the tensions between different masculinities and how masculinities are deeply entangled with systems of power and post-conflict social, political and economic outcomes. An analysis of masculine power within and between the structures aimed at building the peace in societies moving out of violence is considered essential. The article argues for an analysis that moves beyond a preoccupation with preventing violent masculinities from manifesting through the actions of individuals to considering how hidden masculine cultures operate within a variety of hierarchies and social spaces.


Masculinity Peacebuilding Transitional justice Gender Political violence Hegemony Intersectionality 



My thanks to Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Eilish Rooney and Brinton Lykes for their comments, feedback and ideas on earlier drafts of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.INCORE and Transitional Justice Institute, Ulster University, Northern Ireland, Magee CampusDerry/Londonderry,UK
  2. 2.African Centre for Migration and SocietyUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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