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Buried in the Heart
Women, Complex Victimhood and the War in Northern Uganda


Part of Cambridge Studies in Law and Society

  • Author: Erin Baines, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
Juliane Okot Bitek
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  • Publication planned for: May 2018
  • availability: Not yet published - available from
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316502099

£ 19.99

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About the Authors
  • In Buried in the Heart, Erin Baines explores the political agency of women abducted as children by the Lord's Resistance Army in northern Uganda, forced to marry its commanders, and to bear their children. Introducing the concept of complex victimhood, she argues that abducted women were not passive victims, but navigated complex social and political worlds that were life inside the violent armed group. Exploring the life stories of thirty women, Baines considers the possibilities of storytelling to reclaim one's sense of self and relations to others, and to generate political judgement after mass violence. Buried in the Heart moves beyond victim and perpetrator frameworks prevalent in the field of transitional justice, shifting the attention to stories of living through mass violence and the possibilities of remaking communities after it. The book contributes to an overlooked aspect of international justice: women's political agency during wartime.

    • Featuring analysis of thirty women who spent time in the Lord's Resistance Army, the book conceptualizes complex victimhood
    • Reconsiders responsibility and judgment to move beyond the victim-perpetrator binary in transitional justice
    • Introduces concepts of politics as relational and political agency in settings of extreme coercion
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Buried in the Heart is essential reading for scholars of the Ugandan case and practitioners in the Uganda context. Moreover, the book will be of considerable interest and benefit to scholars and practitioners in the broader field of gender, conflict, and transitional justice.' Catherine O'Rourke, Gender & Development

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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: May 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316502099
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
    • contains: 12 b/w illus.
    • availability: Not yet published - available from
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    1. Introduction
    2. The new Acholi
    3. The originals
    4. Grandmother
    5. Seven stories
    6. Conclusions
    Light Juliane Okot Bitek

  • Author

    Erin Baines, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
    Erin Baines is an Associate Professor at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia. Her publications include Vulnerable Bodies: Gender, the UN and the Global Refugee Crisis (2004) and the life history of a woman who spent eleven years inside the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), I Am Evelyn Amony: Reclaiming my Life from the Lord's Resistance Army (2015). She has published articles on gender, responsibility and transitional justice, DDR, social repair, symbolic violence and forced marriage in the Journal of Peace Research, the International Journal of Transitional Justice (IJTJ), African Affairs, the Journal of Modern African Studies, and the Journal of Human Rights.


    Juliane Okot Bitek

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