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United Nations to intervene, activists will have a much easier time doing this early on, when the main costs of intervention are lower. Waiting until after the killing begins will not work, since intervention is then much more expensive and unattractive to national leaders, especially due to politically costly military casualties. New and more direct approaches to activism are

needed. Presently, many activists tend to rely on classic techniques such as raising public awareness, staging rallies and letter writing campaigns. While these old favourites do have an important place in any campaign, they are too indirect to be the only methods used. A campaign directed at North American or European politicians will only influence events in faraway places like Rwanda or Darfur in the long-term. It’s no secret that political leaders act based on national interests rather than humanitarian considerations. Even if they can be convinced to “do the right thing,” by the time these efforts work their way through the bureaucracy of national governments, the United Nations and regional organizations, the genocidal damage may be done and

by foreign petitions and resolutions. Instead, activists must also begin drawing from the preventive toolbox. For example, activists can develop and support programs to heal rifts between rival ethnic groups, and religious leaders can be engaged to influence populations towards peaceful conflict resolution. Another very important consideration is how to

involve target groups in the prevention of their own destruction. Unfortunately, with the exception of survivor testimony, the victims or potential victims of genocide currently have very little involvement in the anti-genocide movement. This is because they are viewed as just that—victims. The perception of target groups as passive victims—by the very people who want to help them—only further robs them of their agency. However, these are the people who know their situation best and have the most to lose. Sometimes, they may only need some outside assistance to act. They can, and should, play a central role in their own salvation. They can be a great asset to the anti-genocide movement and, quite simply, it is their right to do so.

Bridging the Gap

There are numerous genocide scholars across many

disciplines and numerous anti-genocide organizations around the world. The question of how to bring them together and use the theory of the former to guide the action of the latter is a difficult one. Various coalitions and forums have been set up to accomplish this in the past, but always with limited success. Even if such an initiative were successful, it still does not address the lack of an early warning system to make activism proactive and, therefore, preventive and truly effective. The best solution to this problem is not necessarily

any international response will amount to little more than digging graves and picking up the pieces. When directed against criminal regimes themselves,

such campaigns are even less effective, since a leader committed to perpetrating genocide will not be fazed

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to establish a direct relationship between genocide scholars and activists. Instead, what is needed is a central organization that can act as a bridge over the gap between theorists and activists. This organization would serve several purposes. First, it would take the latest and most relevant theoretical work on genocide prediction and prevention, and use this to build an effective early warning system. It would act as an information clearinghouse for scholars and activists so that they could use up-to-date information to feed their activities. In addition, such an organization could drive prevention efforts by communicating recommendations and guidance from theorists to activists. Finally, working concurrently with conventional advocacy by activists, the organization Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25