Is 'genocide' still a powerful word?

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Title Is 'genocide' still a powerful word?
Author Glanville, Luke
Journal Name Journal of Genocide Research
Editor Henry Huttenbach, Dominik Schaller, Jurgen Zimmerer
Year Published 2009
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Abstract “Genocide” was once perceived to be a powerful word. In 1994, the Clinton administration feared using the word to describe violence in Rwanda. Officials believed that the use of this label would activate unwanted legal obligations and increase political expectations for an American response to the crisis. In contrast, ten years later the Bush administration willingly used the term to describe atrocities being committed in Darfur, Sudan. This administration denied that a determination of “genocide” activated new legal obligations, and also found that the use of the word did not lead to substantially increased political pressures to act. This article argues that the word “genocide” has lost some of its ideational power in the sense that it has been detached from legal and political demands “to prevent and to punish” it. The article suggests some reasons for this change and also considers the extent to which such a change actually matters.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14623520903309529
Volume 11
Issue Number 4
Page from 467
Page to 486
ISSN 1462-3528
Date Accessioned 2010-07-13
Date Available 2010-09-27T06:54:22Z
Language en_AU
Research Centre Centre for Governance and Public Policy; Griffith Asia Institute
Faculty Griffith Business School
Subject International Relations
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/34250
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1x

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