The question of why the international community continually fails to prevent genocide remains an ever-present concern. Genocide scholars question how the political will of the politically unwilling remains unaltered by the genocides in Rwanda and Darfur. However, it appears that little consider- ation has been given to the fact that genocide is open to interpretation. By this I mean that all scho- lars and policy makers have a view of the world which shapes their understanding of genocide within it. This is important because it helps explain why actors at the international level perceive genocide prevention in a radically different light from one another. With this in mind, the article uses the concepts of an international system, an international society, and an international com- munity to demonstrate how one’s worldview has implications on how one understands genocide. These three perspectives help underline the complexities involved as genocide prevention remains dependent on a consensus being forged among actors who do not share a common worldview.