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Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies
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CHGS

Preventing Mass Violence: The Expansion of R2P and the Challenge of Statebuilding

Preventing Mass Violence: The Expansion of R2P and the Challenge of Statebuilding

Jon Western, Associate Professor of International Relations at Mount Holyoke College

Thursday, March 29
3:30 p.m.
1314 Social Sciences

This talk will feature results from a research project that is situated in the literature on emerging norms and examines how and why the United States and the international community moved from failures to protect civilians from genocide and mass atrocities in Rwanda and Bosnia (prior to Srebrenica) to embark on ambitious liberal statebuilding efforts in Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and elsewhere. More broadly, the project examines how the doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) emerged in concept and expanded in scope to include a focus on capacity building and governance.

Theoretically, it presents an analysis of the various pathways in which new norms emerge and are applied to policy decisions. It also explores how those norms are contested and can regress amid policy setbacks, domestic politics, and changing claims of legitimacy.

Jon Western is Associate Professor of International Relations at Mount Holyoke College. His teaching and research focuses on U.S. foreign policy, military intervention, human rights and humanitarian affairs. His book, Selling Intervention and War: The Presidency, the Media, and the American Public, was published in 2005 by the Johns Hopkins University Press and his articles, book reviews, and essays have been published by journals including International Security, Harvard International Review, Global Dialogue, International Affairs, and Political Science Quarterly.

Western has served as a peace scholar-in-residence and the coordinator of the Dayton Upgrade Project at the United States Institute of Peace. He has also taught at Columbia University and George Washington University and served as a Balkans and East European specialist at the U.S. Department of State.

Presented by: The Department of Political Science, Department of Sociology, Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies.