Critical genocide studies has emerged as an important strand of scholarship devoted to interrogating the core assumptions of the field of genocide studies. Drawing on these developments, this article outlines a critical approach to modern atrocity prevention that is self-reflective, dialectical, multivalent, and anti-teleological. Part I provides a brief overview of contemporary prevention. Part II elaborates the four elements of the proposed critical approach toward prevention. Part III applies this approach to examine several important issue areas in current prevention work: the importance of global and regional contextualization; securitization and state power; conceptualizations of political violence; the status of expert knowledge; and, the place of civil society in prevention. The article is partly based on interviews with atrocity prevention practitioners.
A number of people have read drafts of this paper or had valuable conversations with me on this topic. My thanks to the editors of this special section, Alexander L. Hinton and Andrew Woolford, and also to Jobb Arnold, Hollie Nyseth Brehm, Daniel Feierstein, Christian Gudehus, Douglas Irvin-Erickson, George Lopez, Benjamin Meiches, Colleen Mitchell, Adam Muller, Laurie Nathan, Rashied Omar, Atalia Omer, Max Pensky, Patrick Regan, Sidney Simpson, Struan Sinclair, Guillermo Trejo, James Waller, Kerry Whigham, Veronica Zubillaga, Julia Zulver, the journal’s anonymous reviewers, and participants in the Critical Genocide Prevention Workshop (U. Manitoba), the Kroc-Kellogg Peace, Conflict, Crime and Violence Workshop (U. Notre Dame), and the Political Theory Colloquium (U. Notre Dame).
"Critical Genocide Studies and Mass Atrocity Prevention,"
Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal:
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usf.edu/gsp/vol13/iss3/10
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