The Transformation of UN Conflict Management
Producing images of genocide from Rwanda to Darfur and beyond
Published September 4th 2009 by Routledge – 240 pages
The world has vowed "Never again" in memory of the 800,000 Rwandans and other groups slaughtered by génocidaires. Yet, ever since the Holocaust, the international community has repeatedly betrayed its pledge, most notably in 1994 with regard to the Rwandan Tutsi, and again ten years later in Darfur.
This book examines how the UN failed to prevent or halt the Rwandan genocide: the most efficient mass killing in history. It offers a new explanation, focussing on the structure of the UN and four mechanisms which were pertinent to UN conflict management at that time: early warning; bureaucratic rationalisation; organisational learning; and Western normalisation. The author sees the Rwandan case as a ‘child of its time’, or a focal point in which the dysfunctions of the ailing conflict management mechanisms of the 1990s combined with devastating consequences. The book proceeds to examine the transformation of these mechanisms from Rwanda to Darfur - a development which is regarded as indicative of a wider tendency – or direction – in UN conflict management over the past ten years and in the foreseeable future.
This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of political science, international relations, ethnic politics, international organizations and conflict studies.
Introduction 1. Rwanda, The Genocide of Our Time 2. A Critical Realist Approach to Conflict Management 3. UN Conflict Management of the 1990s 4. Explanatory Theories of the UN’s Failure 5. Early Warning 6. Bureaucratic Mechanisms 7. Future Visions of Conflict Management. Conclusion
Touko Piiparinen is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Centre of Excellence in Global Governance Research in Helsinki. He is on leave of absence from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, where he has been previously posted in the Unit for UN Affairs and as the Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Finland in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He has also worked in the Political Representative of the ISAF operation in Afghanistan, and in the KFOR operation in Kosovo.