Genocide is one of the most challenging problems of our age. In her book, “A Problem from Hell:” America and the Age of Genocide, Samantha Power (2002) argues that the United States, while in a position to intervene in genocide, has lacked the will to do so, and therefore it is incumbent on the U.S. citizenry to pressure their government to act. This article reviews how the topic of genocide raises questions along the fault lines of the field of Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS). In this article, a framework is provided to examine genocide and responses to it. This includes a review of a multiplicity of factors that (a) facilitate genocide, (b) constrain action in the face of it, and (c) facilitate intervention. In this analysis, further consideration is given to the location of the actor either within the region of the conflict or external to it. Our goal is to situate the study of genocide in the PACS field and promote to the articulation of possibilities for intervention by individuals, organizations, and policymakers.

Author Bio(s)

Paul Cormier is a member of Lake Helen First Nations Red Rock Indian Band in Northern Ontario, Canada. He is a member of the Wolf Clan and his traditional spirit name is Ma'iingan or Wolf in Ojibway. He has a Master's Degree in Conflict Analysis and Management. Currently, he is a doctoral student in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manitoba. His research interests are in Traditional Indigenous Peace-building, land disputes relating to Indigenous Peoples and identity-based conflicts, and Indigenous land rights, with the long-term objective of bringing peace to the Indigenous Peoples of the world by a reconnection to traditional lands. Email: pncormier@hotmail.com

Peter Karari is a doctoral student in Peace and Conflict Studies at the Mauro Centre, University of Manitoba. His doctorate research focuses on ethno-political violence and peace-building in Kenya. He has worked as a Programme Coordinator with Compassion International–Kenya and as the Chief Executive Officer with Oxfam GB–Kenya. He holds a B.A. in Social Work from the University of Nairobi in Kenya and an M.A. in Peace and Conflict Research from Otto-von Guericke University in Germany. Email: karari_mp@yahoo.com

Alka Kumar is an Associate Professor of English at University of Delhi, India. She now lives in Winnipeg and is currently a doctoral student in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manitoba. Her interests lie in the fields of development, religious conflict and human rights. Email: alkakr@yahoo.com

Robin Neustaeter is a peace activist, educator, and mother. She has been teaching courses and conducting workshops in the areas of education and conflict resolution for ten years. Currently, she is a doctoral student in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manitoba. Email: robin_neu@yahoo.ca

Jodi Read is a doctoral student in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manitoba. She was a designer of the Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Immigration Listening Project, and facilitated focus groups in ten churches on the West Coast of the U.S. At Eastern Mennonite University, she conducted interviewed with documented and undocumented immigrant Mexican workers in the region. For seven years, she served with Mennonite Central Committee in Bolivia and Chile. She worked toward diverse project goals such as income generation, peace-building, and domestic violence. Email: read.jodi@gmail.com

Jessica Senehi is Assistant Professor in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manitoba, and Associate Director of the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice at St. Paul’s College. At the University of Manitoba, in 2007, she established the award-winning graduate-level Summer Institute for Peace and Renewing Community. In 2006, she established the Winnipeg International Storytelling Festival: Storytelling on the Path to Peace, presented by the Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice. Her research focuses on the role of storytelling in peacebuilding, cultural conflict, and gender. Email: Jessica_Senehi@umanitoba.ca


genocide, intervention, nonviolence, peace and conflict studies, United States

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