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The Vanishing Victim: Criminal Law and Gender in Jordan

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Focusing on the issues of rape and honor killings in the Arab world, particularly Jordan, this article investigates the use of criminal laws as an element in political legitimation. These laws are an arena for contestation not merely over policy choices, but over the nature of the sociopolitical order as well. Recent debates over the alteration or preservation of such laws have highlighted the use of legal codes as an expression of dominant values in a political system. I argue that the use of gendered legal systems to serve legitimation claims has important implications for the prospects of democratization.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Government at American University

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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