“The Nigeria civil war broke out on 6 July 1967. The war was the culmination of an uneasy peace and stability that had plagued the nation since independence in 1960. This situation had its genesis in the geography, culture and demography of Nigeria.” – Major Abubakar A Atofarati Introduction Between 1964 and 1970, the Ibos […]
General Eisenhower at the Nazi concentration camp Dachau is one of the iconic images of the 20th century: the liberator in his moment of triumph contemplates the victims of atrocity he arrived too late to save. Just as the Nazi Holocaust of European Jewry is the paradigm of modern genocide, so too is military-humanitarian intervention the Holy Grail for contemporary advocates for ending genocide.
Genocide scholarship has been empirical and analytical in its investigation of the origins of genocide. Its treatment of the ending of genocide has generally been normative and exhortatory. The historical study of the de-escalation of mass group-targeted killing, whether a transitory lull or a definitive end to the violence, is a significant lacuna in the field. This web forum aims to fill that gap, soliciting contributions from scholars and specialists on the subject, including case studies of how particular genocides have ended, and comparative and theoretical analyses of the question.
Averting Genocide in the Nuba Mountains, Sudanby Alex De Waal
Introduction The counterinsurgency fought by the Government of Sudan against the rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in the Nuba Mountains of central Sudan during the early 1990s was not only exceptionally violent, but also aimed at depopulating the area of civilians. Not only did the government aim to defeat the SPLA forces […]
Why the Discipline of “Genocide Studies” Has Trouble Explaining How Genocides End?by Dirk Moses
Introduction “Genocide Studies” is no ordinary academic discipline. It seeks knowledge in the service of an urgent moral imperative: the prediction, prevention, and interdiction of genocides. An activist fervor drives the social scientist beyond the ivory tower. The American-based “International Association of Genocide Scholars,” for instance, has called its new journal Genocide Studies and Prevention, and […]
Using What We Know: Politicizing Knowledge and Scholarship to Stop Group Violenceby Hugo Slim
Case studies of group-targeted violence reveal the enormous amount that the academic community knows about the context, design and implementation of genocidal politics. Much of the analysis in the historical or regional studies contributions has, of course, been crucially informed by the extraordinary achievements of Holocaust studies in the last 55 years. Insights from landmark […]
Crawling Back from the Brink: How Conflict Resolution Can Respond to Genocideby Melanie Greenberg
Introduction Many in the conflict resolution field (and, to an even greater degree, in military and other “hard-line” sectors) feel that genocide is too powerful a destructive force to respond to the tools of conflict resolution. In fact, conflict resolution in a multitude of forms, including operational conflict prevention, structural conflict prevention, post-conflict justice procedures […]
Reflections on How Genocidal Killings are Brought to an Endby Alex De Waal and Bridget Conley-Zilkic
Genocide and the canon of historical tragedy Stepping from 14th Street in Washington, DC into the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the visitor to the main exhibition is immediately placed in the shoes of the soldiers of the U.S. Army as they liberated the concentration camp at Dachau in 1944. The personal recollections of General Eisenhower […]
From Pearl to Pariah: The Origin, Unfolding and Termination of State-Inspired Genocidal Persecution in Uganda, 1980-85by Sabiiti Mutengesa
Introduction Even the most cursory glance at the emergence of the country we now call Uganda leaves one convinced that, at some stage, it was inevitable that the country would go from being the “Pearl of Africa,” so dubbed by Winston Churchill in 1908, to the all-around epitome of Third World malaise that earned residents […]