Preventing Genocide: Practical Steps Toward Early Detection and Effective Action

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-04-30
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Dr. David Hamburg's groundbreaking book, Preventing Genocide: Practical Steps toward Early Detection and Effective Action, approaches the problem of mass violence from three perspectives. The first part of the book examines the root causes of genocide, using illustrative case histories from the 19th century to the present to identify recurrent elements and patterns in genocides as they develop. A basic theme is that clear warnings always appear long before a genocide erupts, and that there are practical ways to prevent its outbreak before mass violence occurs. The second part of the book describes pillars of operational and structural prevention: elements in society that have strong long-term potential for preventing mass violence of all kinds. These pillars, if adequately constructed and sustained, greatly reduce the risk of genocide, war, and other atrocities. The third part considers what various organizations and institutions have done and can do to build and maintain the pillars. It concludes that international repositories of knowledge and skill in prevention are essential, to identify warning signals and to prepare and propose appropriate responses before a genocide begins. For this purpose it recommends the establishment of international centers of genocide and outlines their tasks. It is a unique book, highly interdisciplinary and international in scope, continuously linking research with active policy making. Work on the book has already stimulated significant movement in the United Nations and the European Union-the author of the book was appointed in 2006 to chair two distinguished international committees on genocide prevention-one reporting to Kofi Annan at the UN, the other to Javier Solana at the EU. Reactions to the book from those who have reviewed its draft chapters have been highly positive. They have come from both policy makers and scholars including Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter, Javier Solana, Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel, and Jan Eliasson as well as Professors Larry Diamond, John Stremlau, Herant Katchadourian, Sidney Drell, and, up to his death last year, Alexander George, who was originally involved as co-author of the book.

Author Biography

David A. Hamburg is DeWitt Wallace Distinguished Scholar at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Table of Contents

Nature and Severity of the Problem
Prevention of Genocide: Introduction and Overviewp. 2
Paths to Genocide: Predisposing and Precipitating Factors and Their Relevance for Preventionp. 19
An Illustrative Genocide: The Armeniansp. 36
An Illustrative Supergenocide: The Holocaustp. 42
An Illustrative Genocide: Burundi-Rwandap. 60
Preventing Genocide: Leadership, Negotiation, Democracy, and International Help in the Vivid Example of South Africap. 72
Pillars of Prevention: Strategies, Tools, and Practices
Proactive Help in Preventing Mass Violence: Preventive Diplomacy and Beyondp. 98
Democracy and Prevention of Mass Violencep. 117
Fostering Equitable Socioeconomic Developmentp. 140
Education for Human Survivalp. 159
Preventing Human Rights Abuses Through International Justicep. 178
Restraints on Weaponryp. 192
Institutions and Organizations: Who Can Do What?
Potential of the United Nations for Preventing Mass Violencep. 204
The Promise of the European Union for Prevention of Genocidep. 227
Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe: Its Potential for Preventing Genocidep. 245
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization: An Instrument to Help in Preventing Genocidep. 256
Summing Up: Essential Points for Preventing Genocidep. 264
International Centers for the Prevention of Genocide: Unprecedented Historic Opportunitiesp. 283
Notesp. 288
Bibliographyp. 313
Indexp. 326
Creditsp. 334
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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