Dissertation defence (Law): MA Aleida Luján Pinelo


2.6.2023 at 12.00 - 16.00
MA Aleida Luján Pinelo defends her dissertation in Law entitled “Extreme Forms of Violence against Women in Europe. Femi(ni)cide in Germany” at the University of Turku on 2 June 2023 at 12.15pm (University of Turku, Calonia, Cal 1 lecture hall, Caloniankuja 3, Turku).

The audience can participate in the defence also through remote connection: https://echo360.org.uk/section/f7048807-4568-430c-9f8b-4e3f524b5182/public (copy the link to the browser).

Opponent: Docent Kati Nieminen (University of Helsinki)
Custos: Professor Johanna Niemi (University of Helsinki)

Digital copy of the thesis at UTUPub: https://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-29-9214-0.


Summary of the Doctoral Dissertation:

Gender-based violence occurs in all societies, but many of its forms are still not explicitly addressed by European law and policy. This is the case with the feminist concept of femi(ni)cide (femicide/feminicide), which identifies certain killings of women, those that occur within the patriarchal apparatus or power hierarchies of sex/gender. Following the feminist argument that naming femi(ni)cide is necessary in order to make it visible and generate interventions against these crimes, in this dissertation I propose that the concept of femi(ni)cide is important for feminist theory, activism, and legal and political analysis in the European arena.

The main research question in this dissertation is: What is the performance of the concept of femi(ni)cide in political and legal spheres in the context of Europe? The dissertation comprises four articles written with the context of Western Europe in mind. One of the articles analyzes the concept of femi(ni)cide from a philosophical perspective to determine what it means and whether or not it essentializes women. Another looks at how the concept of femi(ni)cide has traveled, evolved, and ramified as it has moved between global South and global North. Working with the case study of Germany, another article analyzes how the discussion on femi(ni)cide is being framed by different political actors in that country considering the implementation of the Istanbul Convention. In another article, I put into conversation the two main theoretical approaches that inform this dissertation: new feminist materialism and epistemologies of the South, including decolonial theory.

Some of the findings of this dissertation point to colonial structures that continue to permeate femi(ni)cide research in Europe, and to the danger of watering down the complexity of the concept of femi(ni)cide, thus draining it of its political power. Working with both epistemologies of the South and new feminist materialism provides tools to help avoid reproducing colonial and patriarchal hierarchies and to work from a place of complexity. With this dissertation I aim to help fill the academic gap on femi(ni)cide in Western Europe, to encourage further research on this matter, and to provide useful information for organizations dedicated to combating violence against women / gender-based violence.

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