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Marital Rape in Croatia: Law, Economic Precarity and the Politics of Professional Judgement

Kujundžić, Jana (2022) Marital Rape in Croatia: Law, Economic Precarity and the Politics of Professional Judgement. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

Marital Rape in Croatia Law Economic Precarity and the Politics of Professional Judgment- Jana Kujundzic- Corrections February 2022.pdf

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This dissertation explores the socio-legal structures and power dynamics that affect the perception, prosecution, and penalisation of marital rape in Croatia. Drawing on in-depth interviews with a diverse range of professional actors – including lawyers, judges, prosecutors, social workers, coordinators of feminist NGOs, women’s shelters’ workers, psychologists, journalists, and academics – I develop new insights into the legal, political and social implications of marital rape in a post-conflict, post-socialist context. Supplementing these expert interviews with first-hand observation of a court trial and a wide range of secondary texts, I show how the institutional and professional practices of police officers, prosecutors, judges, and social workers can either enable or curtail access to justice for the victims and survivors of marital rape. A key aim and contribution of the dissertation are to illuminate how victimhood is imagined by different professionals encountering the issue of marital rape and to theorise how their decisions are influenced by the combination of both professional and personal judgement. I explore this legal reasoning through three key themes: firstly, the institutional limitations imposed by resource-constrained social welfare systems in post-socialist contexts; secondly, the legacy and influence of cultural norms and beliefs that affect how professionals perceive victims and perpetrators; and lastly, the political and economic circumstances and economic precarity of different classes of men and women in Croatia. Building on feminist philosophy and legal theory and interweaving it with literature from political economy and law studies, I reach new conclusions about the role of materialistic aspects of victim’s support systems and how economic violence and epistemic injustice can feature as part of the identification and prosecution of marital rape.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Jana Kujundzic
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2022 14:45
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2022 14:45

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