The Problem

I. William Zartman and Mark Anstey

in The Slippery Slope to Genocide

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199791743
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919222 | DOI:
The Problem

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Genocide does not burst out unannounced; it is preceded and prepared by identity conflict that escalates from social friction to contentious politics, from politics to violence, and eventually to targeted mass killing. It can be carried out by rebel movements but more frequently is the work of the sovereign state, making external peacemaking efforts difficult. More strikingly, it is generally not an aggressive but a pathologically defensive reaction against a perceived existential threat. Entrapment is the motor of the mechanism. Blocking that slide means listening for the frequent early warnings and taking early action. Operational (precrisis) prevention measures include dialogue, ripening, and preemptive accountability to forestall identity conflict escalation. International organizations, notably the UN Security Council, have a role in providing their own measures such as peacekeeping forces, mediation, and sanctions. Postcrisis intervention, lest it happen again, includes monitoring and reconstruction, followed by reconciliation and remediation once the violence has been brought under control.

Keywords: identity; conflict; genocide; intervention

Chapter.  17447 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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