The Path to Genocide in Rwanda: Security, Opportunity, and Authority in an Ethnocratic State, Omar Shahabudin McDoom
The Rwandan genocide of 1994 has attracted a lot of scholarship that has sought to examine its causes, course, impact, and the failure of the international community to forestall its occurrence, among other themes. Some scholars have paid particular attention to the “madness” that attended the execution of the genocide by which, within one hundred days between April and July 1994, an estimated 800,000 people were killed in a genocidal frenzy that stunned the world. Indeed, compared with other genocides of the twentieth century, the Rwandan genocide stands out in terms of the swiftness of its execution, the scope of mass participation, the crudeness of the weapons involved, and the geographical scale of its extent.
In The Path to Genocide in Rwanda, Omar McDoom sets out to address two principal questions related to the uniqueness of the Rwandan genocide. First, he seeks to address the question as to how and why circumstances arose in Rwanda that culminated in such extraordinary violence. Second, he seeks to answer the question as to how and why the said circumstances motivated many, but not all, ordinary Rwandans to participate in the genocide (1–2). Based on extensive field research in Rwanda, McDoom advances three answers to these questions, which constitute the explanation for the kind of violence that attended the Rwandan genocide
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