Scott Straus


To begin, I’d like to describe the origins of the research project that ultimately became The Order of Genocide. I first traveled to Rwanda as a journalist in the mid-1990s, and, during my travels there and in what was then Zaire, I became deeply interested in the dynamics that ultimately led to the 1994 genocide. From my perspective as a journalist traveling in the region, the genocide was an absolutely seminal event, but one that was poorly understood. Eventually I returned to the United States and began a PhD program in political science at the University of California, Berkeley, where I began to study the origins of genocide and mass violence, African politics, and the history of the Great Lakes region. The Order of Genocide is based on my PhD dissertation.