GIR Colloquium Series | Geopolitics and Genocide: Great Power Competition, and the External Dynamics of Targeted Mass Killing
GIR Colloquium Series
Geopolitics and Genocide: Great Power Competition, and the External Dynamics of Targeted Mass Killing
Presenter: Sascha Nanlohy, University of Sydney
A02, Room 341 and Zoom
Genocidal actors often perceive, not only that genocide is necessary or desirable but that they can get away with mass murder. At the core of such a perception is an international environment that is permissive of genocide. The factors that create the conditions for genocide are mostly domestic, but they cannot be separated from international dynamics that inevitably shape the costs, incentives and capacity of potential perpetrators. For perpetrating actors to succeed in their genocidal attempt, they require the capacity to do so and protection from potentially significant costs or interventions. Thus, the position of closely aligned states, or patrons, is pivotal to the perceived viability of genocide as a strategy. Geopolitics and Genocide: Great Power Competition, and the External Dynamics of Targeted Mass Killing is the first book to theorise and comparatively analyse the influence of external actors on states at risk of genocide.
This book explores the role of external actors in permitting or restraining genocide in aligned states. Specifically, the book assesses how external supporter states’ geopolitical interests influence their decision-making process regarding the state at risk of genocide. It demonstrates how specific geopolitical interests influence permissive or restraining policies and influence potential perpetrator states’ use of genocide or targeted mass killing. The book assesses the role of external actors in the period leading up to potential genocide onset. In order to demonstrate the role of external influence, the book employs qualitative comparative case studies comparing state relationships in two genocide onset cases, France-Rwanda (1990-1994) and India-Sri Lanka (2006-2009) with two cases of high-risk non-genocide Russia-Nagorno-Karabakh (1988-1994) and India-Nepal (2002-2006). Through these case studies, the book demonstrates that the provision of military aid at critical junctures where violence is escalating, prior to genocide onset, signals ongoing patron permission or restraint towards clients’ use of genocide as strategy.
Dr Sascha Nanlohy is a Sessional academic at the University of Sydney’s School of Social and Political Sciences. His research focuses on external influence on genocide. He is a Research Associate with Atrocity Forecasting Project and former Consultant for the Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Sascha is a member of the executive board of the International Association of Genocide Scholars and the Associate Editor of its Policy Briefs project. He holds Ph.D., Masters and Bachelor’s degrees from University of Sydney. Dr Nanlohy has publications in leading international relations journals, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Global Responsibility to Protect and RUSI Journal.
Photo by Evgeny Nelmin on Unsplash – Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia