Archives de catégorie : Chercher

An « Anti-guide »: Difficulties of establishing guides on the Prevention of Genocide

Des étudiants participants au cours de Madame Sandrine Lefranc à la Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) de Sciences Po, ont effectué ce travail collectif et en ont fait un blog. Vous trouverez ci-dessous l’introduction de leur travail.

Pour en savoir plus, visitez leur blog :

https://antiguideprevenirunegenocide.wordpress.com/

Introduction

Is the creation of a “guide” on how to prevent genocides possible?

After the Shoah and with the adoption of the Genocide Convention in 1948 the world said: “Never again”. The tragedies of the 1990s, particularly in Srebrenica and the genocide in Rwanda, however, spoke another language: It happened again.

In the aftermath, the world vowed again that this would and must not happen again. An international consensus on the need to prevent mass atrocities established and notably the end of the Cold War played into an optimism that conflict resolution was possible and that the UN could finally resume the role that was envisaged during its foundation.

This enthusiasm came along with reports on how to improve UN’s capacities in peacekeeping, peace making and preventive diplomacy. The Agenda for Peace as well as the Supplement to An Agenda for Peace “placed new emphasis on the need for the UN to address not only inter-state but also intra-state conflict, highlighting the UN’s responsibility to mitigate disputes as early as possible through preventive diplomacy, as well as addressing underlying causes”.[1]

Another important document was the Carnegie’s Commission report from 1997 on “Preventing Deadly Conflict”.[2] Amongst others, it clarified and broadened the concept of conflict prevention by differentiating two forms of prevention: structural and operational prevention.[3] This approach was adopted by the UN with the report “Prevention of Armed Conflict” by Kofi Annan in 2001.[4]

“As the concept of prevention began to take shape […] the same framework was adopted for the prevention of mass atrocities”.[5] Most important was the evolvement of the concept of the Responsibility to Protect. In the 2001 report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, this concept was developed referring to three responsibilities: The responsibility to prevent, the responsibility to react and the responsibility to rebuild.[6]

Not only within the United Nations, but generally the prevention of genocides has been object to plenty of research. From various perspectives and field of studies, mechanisms underlying genocidal processes, risk factors, options for prevention and intervention and reconciliation and reconstruction of societies have been dealt with.

While research on the prevention of genocides expanded and guides and recommendations how to prevent it have been developed, the world is still struggling with mass atrocities and the world still seems to lack an idea how to prevent tragedies such as currently in Syria.

Instead of developing new ideas on genocide prevention, on who, how and when to intervene, we take another approach and question the underlying idea, that we can develop something like a “guide on genocide prevention”. Is it really possible to ascribe a recipe on how, who and when to intervene?

The blog thus aims at identifying the difficulties of creating guides on conflict prevention. It is based on the idea that better understanding the challenges of genocide prevention can play is essential for understanding how prevention of genocides and mass atrocities may work.

To answer the question whether the creation of a guide on conflict prevention is possible, we will have a look at the question of whether we can define genocides and difficulties of determining “root causes” of genocides and predict their occurrence. We will also draw conclusions from guides and research that already exist by considering how promising literature and guides on genocide prevention are. In a second step, we will try to get a better understanding about the difficulty to create guides by having a closer look at recommendations and research on the prevention of Genocide, reacting to genocides and rebuilding societies after violent conflict took place.

Chronique So What

Rendez service à la société : élevez vos enfants en misanthropes !  Une hypothèse sur l’exécution des crimes politiques

Les sciences sociales se sont beaucoup souciées de comprendre pourquoi un homme consentait sans trop de difficulté à tuer un autre homme, une femme, un enfant, qu’une autorité lui désignait comme ennemis. Si on discute encore beaucoup de savoir si les exécuteurs des massacres sont des hommes tout à fait « ordinaires » (Arendt, 1991 ; Terestchenko, 2007 ; Delpla, 2011), du moins a-t-on renoncé au confort des histoires de monstres « extraordinaires ». C’est qu’on a recensé trop peu de « fous » − dans les rangs de très rationnels responsables nazis, dans les bataillons disciplinés du IIIe Reich comme dans les bandes de voisins rwandais − pour accuser des monstres d’être les responsables de ces meurtres en masse.

La violence collective n’est donc pas le fait d’abord de l’anormal, du pervers, de l’homme trop proche de présumées pulsions naturellement violentes, ou de l’asocial pathologique. Ni la forme d’un crâne, ni un comportement précocement agressif repérable dès la crèche, ne sont des indices d’une disposition à prendre part aux conflits politiques violents. La froideur et le narcissisme des modernes ont retenu l’attention des sociologues (Bauman, 2002 ; Adorno, 2005), mais sous une condition minimale : il s’agit d’une froideur des relations, propre à un ordre social et non à une personnalité. Les violences collectives sont, en effet… collectives. Continuer la lecture de Chronique So What

Formes et usages comparés du passé juif oriental

Formes et usages comparés du passé juif (voir le texte en entier ici)
Cette recherche s’inscrit dans une réflexion plus large sur l’articulation entre reconstruction de la mémoire collective et migration qui n’a soulevé dans les travaux en sciences sociales, en dépit des travaux pionniers de R. Bastide qu’un intérêt modéré ou relativement marginal, à l’exception de ces dernières années. Pourtant, réfléchir aux effets de ces migrations multiples sur le lien social, sur le rapport au territoire, sur la capacité d’un groupe à maintenir une continuité, engage une questionnement autour de la mémoire collective, comme mémoire partagée du passé, et des mutations sociales: de ces situations de migration une spécificité propre émerge-t-elle, qui dépasserait les questions classiques relatives à la mémoire collective, à la transmission et aux relations entre générations ou à la recomposition des identités sociales ?

Continuer la lecture de Formes et usages comparés du passé juif oriental

« Memory : what for ? » sur facebook

Cette page facebook est conçue comme une invitation visuelle à la réflexion sur la présence du passé dans les sociétés contemporaines. Ils portent un regard sur les différentes formes que prend la « mémoire » aujourd’hui. Ces formes incluent des usages détournés, parfois inattendus. Il nous semble que, aux côtés des mobilisations normées de la « mémoire », ces réappropriations décalées doivent elles aussi être étudiées, y compris lorsqu’elles nous choquent sur un plan moral ou sont légalement condamnables. Leur mention épisodique sur cette page facebook ne signifie ainsi en aucune manière que nous les cautionnons ou y adhérons, bien au contraire. Elle n’a qu’un but : participer à une meilleure compréhension des phénomènes sociaux qui se manifestent à travers le rappel public du passé.
Micol BEZ, Labex Les passés dans le présent

Memory, citizenship and social behaviour : Can we (really) learn from the past?

Sarah Gensburger et Sandrine Lefranc (CNRS – ISP – Université Paris Ouest – ENS Cachan)

In this research we seek to challenge the widespread belief that remembering our past is necessary for preserving peace and democracy and that we can “learn” from the past. “Memory” is increasingly called upon as an instrument for action against intolerance and the temptation of political violence. Public actors in established democracies have used it (policies, schools, museums, the media) as have international organisations in countries emerging from war. Laws are passed, trials are held, and commissions work to bring truth and reconciliation, all “lest we forget”. Since the beginning of the 1980s, the term memory has inspired an exponential number of scientific studies. It has given rise to a discipline in its own right: Memory Studies. Yet thirty years on we have ultimately learnt very little. The collective project under examination aims to seriously analyse this gap between scientific knowledge and social evolution in order to ask: Can we (really) learn, and act, from the past?

Rather than content ourselves with simply hoping that evoking the past in the present will help us build better societies full of tolerant citizens, we must first question the idea that exposing individuals to this “memory” has a mechanical effect on their behaviour. To do so, and secondly, using both established and innovative methods and all social sciences and working alongside those in the field (the National Archives for example), we would like to closely observe what actually happens when an individual visits a museum, learns about history and so forth. Finally, in order to understand the effects of memory policies we may consider the hypothesis that they are partly connected to ordinary social interactions. If “memory” has such power, it may not necessarily be because it is an effective model for behaviour. It may also be because the belief in its power is fed by processes linked to the individualisation of societies, professional mobility, and the transformation of administrative practices and so forth.

Translated by Katharine Throssel