Mass Atrocity Crimes: Preventing Future Outrages

Brookings Institution Press
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What can be done to combat genocide, ethnic cleansing, and other crimes against humanity? Why aren't current measures more effective? Is there hope for the future? These and other pressing questions surrounding human security are addressed head-on in this provocative and all-too-timely book.

Millions of people, particularly in Africa, face daily the prospect of death at the hands of state or state-linked forces. Although officially both the United Nations and the African Union have adopted "Responsibility to Protect" (R2P) principles, atrocities continue. The tenets of R2P, recently cited in a UN Outcomes Document, make it clear that states have a primary responsibility to protect their citizens from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. When states cannot—or will not—protect their citizens, however, the international community must step into the breach.

Why have efforts to stop horrific state-sanctioned crimes seen only limited success, despite widespread support of R2P? As this enlightening volume explains and illustrates, converting a norm into effective preventive measures remains difficult. The contributors examine the legal framework to inhibit war crimes, use of the emerging R2P norm, the role of the International Criminal Court, and new technologically sophisticated methods to gather early warnings of likely atrocity outbreaks. Together they show how mass atrocities may be anticipated, how they may be prevented, and when necessary, how they may be prosecuted.

Contributors include Claire Applegarth (Harvard Kennedy School), Andrew Block (Harvard Kennedy School), Frank Chalk (Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, Concordia University), David M. Crane (Syracuse University College of Law), Richard J. Goldstone (Constitutional Court of South Africa; UN International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda), Don Hubert (University of Ottawa; Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect, City University of New York), Sarah Kreps (Cornell University), Dan Kuwali (Malawi Defence Force), Jennifer Leaning (Harvard Francois Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights), Edward C. Luck (Columbia University; International Peace Institute), Sarah Sewall (Harvard Kennedy School)

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About the author

Robert I. Rotberg is director of the Program on Intrastate Conflict and Conflict Resolution at the Harvard Kennedy School, and president of the World Peace Foundation. He is the author or editor of numerous books and articles on U.S. foreign policy, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean, most recently Corruption, Global Security, and World Order (2009) and China into Africa: Trade, Aid, and Influence (2008), both copublished by the Brookings Institution Press and the World Peace Foundation.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Brookings Institution Press
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Published on
Sep 1, 2010
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Pages
255
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ISBN
9780815704867
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Human Rights
Political Science / International Relations / General
Political Science / Political Freedom
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Africa has long attracted China. We can date their first certain involvement from the fourteenth century, but East African city-states may have been trading with southern China even earlier. In the mid-twentieth century, Maoist China funded and educated sub-Saharan African anticolonial liberation movements and leaders, and the PRC then assisted new sub-Saharan nations. Africa and China are now immersed in their third and most transformative era of heavy engagement, one that promises to do more for economic growth and poverty alleviation than anything attempted by Western colonialism or international aid programs. Robert Rotberg and his Chinese, African, and other colleagues discuss this important trend and specify its likely implications.

Among the specific topics tackled here are China's interest in African oil; military and security relations; the influx and goals of Chinese aid to sub-Saharan Africa; human rights issues; and China's overall strategy in the region. China's insatiable demand for energy and raw materials responds to sub-Saharan Africa's relatively abundant supplies of unprocessed metals, diamonds, and gold, while offering a growing market for Africa's agriculture and light manufactures. As this book illustrates, this evolving symbiosis could be the making of Africa, the poorest and most troubled continent, while it further powers China's expansive economic machine.

Contributors include Deborah Brautigam (American University), Harry Broadman (World Bank), Stephen Brown (University of Ottawa), Martyn J. Davies (Stellenbosch University), Joshua Eisenman (UCLA), Chin-Hao Huang (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute), Paul Hubbard (Australian Department of the Treasury),Wenran Jiang (University of Alberta), Darren Kew (University of Massachusetts– Boston), Henry Lee (Harvard University), Li Anshan (Peking University), Ndubisi Obiorah (Centre for Law and Social Action, Nigeria), Stephanie Rupp (National University of Singapore), Dan Shalmon (Georgetown University), David Shinn (GeorgeWashington University), Chandra Lekha Sriram (University of East London), and Yusuf Atang Tanko (University of Massachusetts–Boston)

Since 1990, more than 10 million people have been killed in the civil wars of failed states, and hundreds of millions more have been deprived of fundamental rights. The threat of terrorism has only heightened the problem posed by failed states. When States Fail is the first book to examine how and why states decay and what, if anything, can be done to prevent them from collapsing. It defines and categorizes strong, weak, failing, and collapsed nation-states according to political, social, and economic criteria. And it offers a comprehensive recipe for their reconstruction.

The book comprises fourteen essays by leading scholars and practitioners who help structure this disparate field of research, provide useful empirical descriptions, and offer policy recommendations. Robert Rotberg's substantial opening chapter sets out a theory and taxonomy of state failure. It is followed by two sets of chapters, the first on the nature and correlates of failure, the second on methods of preventing state failure and reconstructing those states that do fail. Economic jump-starting, legal refurbishing, elections, the demobilizing of ex-combatants, and civil society are among the many topics discussed.


All of the essays are previously unpublished. In addition to Rotberg, the contributors include David Carment, Christopher Clapham, Nat J. Colletta, Jeffrey Herbst, Nelson Kasfir, Michael T. Klare, Markus Kostner, Terrence Lyons, Jens Meierhenrich, Daniel N. Posner, Susan Rose-Ackerman, Donald R. Snodgrass, Nicolas van de Walle, Jennifer A. Widner, and Ingo Wiederhofer.

Since 1990, more than 10 million people have been killed in the civil wars of failed states, and hundreds of millions more have been deprived of fundamental rights. The threat of terrorism has only heightened the problem posed by failed states. When States Fail is the first book to examine how and why states decay and what, if anything, can be done to prevent them from collapsing. It defines and categorizes strong, weak, failing, and collapsed nation-states according to political, social, and economic criteria. And it offers a comprehensive recipe for their reconstruction.

The book comprises fourteen essays by leading scholars and practitioners who help structure this disparate field of research, provide useful empirical descriptions, and offer policy recommendations. Robert Rotberg's substantial opening chapter sets out a theory and taxonomy of state failure. It is followed by two sets of chapters, the first on the nature and correlates of failure, the second on methods of preventing state failure and reconstructing those states that do fail. Economic jump-starting, legal refurbishing, elections, the demobilizing of ex-combatants, and civil society are among the many topics discussed.


All of the essays are previously unpublished. In addition to Rotberg, the contributors include David Carment, Christopher Clapham, Nat J. Colletta, Jeffrey Herbst, Nelson Kasfir, Michael T. Klare, Markus Kostner, Terrence Lyons, Jens Meierhenrich, Daniel N. Posner, Susan Rose-Ackerman, Donald R. Snodgrass, Nicolas van de Walle, Jennifer A. Widner, and Ingo Wiederhofer.

The truth commission is an increasingly common fixture of newly democratic states with repressive or strife-ridden pasts. From South Africa to Haiti, truth commissions are at work with varying degrees of support and success. To many, they are the best--or only--way to achieve a full accounting of crimes committed against fellow citizens and to prevent future conflict. Others question whether a restorative justice that sets the guilty free, that cleanses society by words alone, can deter future abuses and allow victims and their families to heal. Here, leading philosophers, lawyers, social scientists, and activists representing several perspectives look at the process of truth commissioning in general and in post-apartheid South Africa. They ask whether the truth commission, as a method of seeking justice after conflict, is fair, moral, and effective in bringing about reconciliation.

The authors weigh the virtues and failings of truth commissions, especially the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, in their attempt to provide restorative rather than retributive justice. They examine, among other issues, the use of reparations as social policy and the granting of amnesty in exchange for testimony. Most of the contributors praise South Africa's decision to trade due process for the kinds of truth that permit closure. But they are skeptical that such revelations produce reconciliation, particularly in societies that remain divided after a compromise peace with no single victor, as in El Salvador. Ultimately, though, they find the truth commission to be a worthy if imperfect instrument for societies seeking to say "never again" with confidence. At a time when truth commissions have been proposed for Bosnia, Kosovo, Cyprus, East Timor, Cambodia, Nigeria, Palestine, and elsewhere, the authors' conclusion that restorative justice provides positive gains could not be more important.


In addition to the editors, the contributors are Amy Gutmann, Rajeev Bhargava, Elizabeth Kiss, David A. Crocker, André du Toit, Alex Boraine, Dumisa Ntsebeza, Lisa Kois, Ronald C. Slye, Kent Greenawalt, Sanford Levinson, Martha Minow, Charles S. Maier, Charles Villa-Vicencio, and Wilhelm Verwoerd.

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