Genocide Prevention (HGS 556/756)

The 1948 United Nations Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide promised to “liberate mankind from [the] odious scourge” of genocide, but thus far the international community has failed to deliver. Our course will examine the many different aspects involved with this problem. We will confront the following questions: What is genocide, and is it preventable? What political factors forestall international responses to mass atrocities? How do the multiple aspects of intervention (humanitarian, political, and military) interrelate with one another? How is the principle of state sovereignty implicated in both the perpetration as well as the prevention of mass atrocities and group destruction? And finally, what are the roles of truth and justice in the prevention and punishment of genocide?

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