We need a foreign policy debate that builds on principled concern for civilian protection as articulated in the anti-atrocities policy agenda, which is married to a strategy for protection that expands across and shapes U.S. foreign policy, per se. The question that I would like to see debated, and which has implications for U.S. domestic policy as well is: What would a U.S. policy defined by the goal of de-legitimizing use of force against civilians and prioritizing peace-building look like?Continue Reading →
In the of the 3 November 2016 edition of the London Review of Books, Alex de Waal reviews From War to Genocide: Criminal Politics in Rwanda 1990-94 by André Guichaoua, translated by Don Webster. Below are excerpts, the full review is available from LRB.
There was certainly a determined effort to kill every Tutsi […]Continue Reading →
Kleptocracies are bad. A kleptocracy going bankrupt is dangerous. The Enough Project should know better than to advocate it.
One of the causes of the genocide in Rwanda was that the kleptocratic government of President Juvenal Habyarimana lost the resources it needed to maintain its centralized patronage system. In the disordered competitive politics that […]Continue Reading →
Alex de Waal has a new essay introducing African Affairs‘ virtual issue on South Sudan. As the journal’s editors explain, the virtual issue is the journal’s contribution to making in-depth analysis available to the wider public for free: “often, journalism and advocacy on South Sudan is ill-informed and simplistic. This virtual issue of African […]Continue Reading →
As a researcher, it is easier to replicate the work of scholars who have already worked on a subject, than to come up with original research. This is, of course, self-evident, but it is a trap that is surprisingly difficult to evade. I learned this the hard way, when researching the Chinese famine of 1876-1879.
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Memory is not the opposite of forgetting, these two ideas are, as many others have also noted, twins. Rather memory unravels and intervenes, it destabilizes; so its opposite is institutionalized narrative. Memory is most powerful when it makes little sense in relation to the ways we try to tame it, be that for reactionary or liberal narratives. This also means one must part ways with memory at some point, switch to another language once lesson learning and meaning extraction become the goals. This work is overtly and rightly political, and must stake its claims on those grounds.Continue Reading →
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