Reconsidering root causes: a new framework for the structural prevention of genocide and mass atrocities
Additional Publication Information
'Structural prevention ... comprises strategies to address the root causes of deadly conflict,' observed the Carnegie Commission in the seminal report, Preventing Deadly Conflict (Hamburg and Vance, 1997: 69). This statement succinctly defines the dominant paradigm within research into the causes and prevention of genocide and mass atrocities. Extreme violence has been perceived as resulting from the cumulative effect of multiple risk factors or root causes. Prevention, therefore, requires the timely identification and deconstruction of these causal factors. This paradigm has been very successful in identifying a number of the longterm causes of genocide and mass atrocities, such as the presence of an 'outgroup' and the existence of internal strife within societies. Similarly, it has led to the identification of a range of preventive actions that may mitigate these risk factors, such as legislation to protect vulnerable minorities.