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Centre of Governance & Human Rights (CGHR)


13th May 2010

What Explains Diverging Paths of Genocidal Violence? Evidence from Rwanda, Sudan, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Chad and Senegal 

Scott Straus, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr Straus discussed his recent work on a comparative study of different trajectories of violence in civil war. Why do some armed conflicts produce large-scale violence against civilians, in particular genocide, while other armed conflicts produce much lower levels of violence against civilians? The main research objective is to develop a more nuanced theory of the dynamics of genocidal violence. The study focuses empirically on relatively recent (during the past two decades) armed conflicts in Rwanda, Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Chad, and Senegal; the theoretical perspective builds on existing national-level explanations of genocide and mass killing.

Scott Straus is Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies and Director of the Human Rights Initiative at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His primary research interests include the study of genocide, violence, human rights, and African Politics. Straus is the author of The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War in Rwanda (Cornell University Press, 2006), which received the 2006 Award for Excellence in Political Science and Government from the Association of American Publishers.


Note, this audio recording is incomplete due to problems with recording. The last five minutes are not available.