Reconceptualising Mass Atrocity Prevention: Understanding Risk and Resilience in Zambia
In the scholarly research on genocide and other mass atrocities, very little is known about why such violence does not occur, particularly in places where risk exists. This is despite the general consensus in comparative genocide studies that long-term risk is a necessary but not sufficient factor in the perpetration of such atrocities. In other words, risk factors can plausibly exist without escalating into mass violence. This article seeks to redress this neglect by providing an analysis of the relationship between risk and resilience in Zambia. Zambia stands out amongst its neighbours for its absence of mass atrocities, yet it has contended with three preconditions commonly associated with such violence-ethnolinguistic tensions, limited democracy and economic inequality. Using a new analytical approach which explores not only the structural causes of mass atrocities but also domestic strategies that have had a protective effect in relation to such risk, this paper argues that understanding the sources of resilience in countries like Zambia not only provides valuable insights into the effective long-term prevention of mass atrocities but also challenges widely accepted assumptions inherent in the concept of long-term prevention.
International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society
Political Science not elsewhere classified