The purpose of this study is to examine the use of Olson’s (1995, 2000) family therapy based circumplex model and Athens’ (1992, 1997, 2003) violentization theory in explaining genocide. The Rwandan genocide of 1994 is used as a case study. Published texts, including interviews with perpetrators, research reports, human rights reports, and court transcripts were analyzed. The use of both theories was consistent with the data and resulted in a greater understanding of the genocide. Rwanda moved to a rigidly enmeshed society during the genocide with the perpetrators going through the violentization process. Suggestions for further research are provided.


Genocide, Circumplex Model, Violentization Theory, and Rwanda

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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