The ongoing Burundi crisis offers a unique opportunity to scrutinize the changing political economy of preventive framing of violence, and particularly genocide as a representational resource in prevention. The paper shows that labels and labeling practices are not disconnected from the local dynamics of conflict, and might have counterintuitive effects in this respect. The portrayal of Burundi’s crisis— the frequent intimations that the recent crisis can lead to genocide, the invocations of the ethnic frame, and the repeated comparisons with Rwanda and Burundi’s own past— has proceeded through a problematic analysis-by-analogy and has served to obscure the core drivers of the recent violence and the dynamics of escalation on the ground. Further to this, the portrayal has not only proven ineffective in translating increased attention into action, it also has had three unintended and potentially perverse effects on the conflict itself, together fueling the political standoff rather than helping to resolve the crisis.
"#StopThisMovie and the Pitfalls of Mass Atrocity Prevention: Framing of Violence and Anticipation of Escalation in Burundi’s Crisis (2015-2017),"
Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal:
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usf.edu/gsp/vol13/iss2/6
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