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Echoes of Violence: Considerations on Radio and Genocide in Rwanda

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Abstract

This enquiry, based in part on three months of fieldwork conducted in Rwanda in the summer of 2000, seeks to integrate the perspectives and experiences of radio listeners with broader considerations about the study of the Rwandan genocide and mass atrocity more generally. Specifically, I will argue that the question of RTLM’s role in the genocide can be elucidated through three aspects: ideologically, it played on existing dominant discourses in Rwandan public life for the purposes of encouraging listeners to participate in the killings; performatively, the station’s animateurs skilfully exploited the possibilities of the medium to create a dynamic relationship with and among listeners; and finally, RTLM helped the Rwandan state appropriate one of the most innocuous aspects of everyday life in the service of the genocide. Taken together, these three aspects make radio a useful prism through which one can approach the question of mass participation in a genocide that was diffuse, routinized, and intimate in nature.

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... Increasingly conflicts addressed by UN peace keeping operations (PKOs) were intrastate (e.g., civil wars) rather than interstate [7]. This adds an additional challenge over the sovereignty of nation states, and beyond that the sociopolitical landscape is changing with increased technological innovation: Technologies designed to foster better communications were co-opted into tools of violence, from guerrilla warfare in mountains of Colombia [8], to the calls to violence across radio airwaves in Rwanda [9], to sudden eruptions of dissent from social media during the Arab Spring [10]. The world has become more interactive than ever before, there have been vast technological advances, but ...
... Within the "youth" category, five publications gave an age range for at least one SDP project's target demographic: 4-18 year olds [62], 5-17 year olds [51], [9][10][11][12][13] year olds [63], under-10s plus 10-12year olds [64], and 12-15 year olds [65]. Two referred to teenagers or adolescents [53,66]. ...
... I. Research method All of the publications used a qualitative approach to their research (30), with a range of approaches used including case studies (5), open or semi-structured interviews (9), and selffield observations (4). Five used narrative reporting. ...
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... Historically, in-group actors have proven adept at utilizing whatever forms of media were optimal for reaching their target audience, and their methods have evolved along with technology. Territorial cleansing events during nineteenth-century colonial campaigns were frequently supported through newspaper editorials, the radio was utilized extensively both by the Nazi party during the 1930s-40s and in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994 (LI, 2004;KELLOW and STEEVES, 1998;METZL, 1997), television featured prominently in the 1990s Bosnian genocide, and contemporary territorial cleanings make use of the internet and social media. While particular cleansing events may be dominated by a single form of media, in-group actors often utilize multiple media simultaneously, as has been acknowledged for the Nazi, Rwandan, and Bosnian genocides (FUJII, 2004;BYTWERK, 2005;BUCKLEY-ZISTEL, 2006;SÉMELIN, 2007). ...
... The Other could be portrayed as an internal menace or one in collusion with an external enemy. As several scholars (such as BENESCH, 2004;SÉMELIN, 2007) have pointed out, the receptivity of the audience is critical at this stage, which is greatly influenced by the credibility and source of the propaganda (LI, 2004). To make convincing arguments, regardless of any implausible underlying justifications (BYTWERK, 2005, p. 38), in-group actors frequently draw upon and modify pre-existing historical or spatial narratives, emphasizing established animosities and grievances that have already existed between groups (HUYSSENS, 2000;LI, 2004;BENESCH, 2004;TIMMERMANN, 2005;SÉMELIN, 2007). ...
... As several scholars (such as BENESCH, 2004;SÉMELIN, 2007) have pointed out, the receptivity of the audience is critical at this stage, which is greatly influenced by the credibility and source of the propaganda (LI, 2004). To make convincing arguments, regardless of any implausible underlying justifications (BYTWERK, 2005, p. 38), in-group actors frequently draw upon and modify pre-existing historical or spatial narratives, emphasizing established animosities and grievances that have already existed between groups (HUYSSENS, 2000;LI, 2004;BENESCH, 2004;TIMMERMANN, 2005;SÉMELIN, 2007). The existence of these rationales, however, by no means necessitates a territorial cleansing eventthey are never predestined or inevitable (SÉMELIN, 2007, pp. ...
Article
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... These developments and criticisms compelled researchers to undertake post-conflict studies in Rwanda, where it was found that contrary to the ICTR, Hutu propaganda, such as the notorious "Hutu hate radio" (RTLM), functioned less as a motivator for genocidaires and more as a militarybroadcasting system for fighters who were long prepared for violence against Tutsis (Li 2004;Danning 2018). Many perpetrators also reported that they were rarely exposed to RTLM but instead were motivated by social pressures from peers, a finding corroborated by multiple post-conflict investigations in the region (Mironko 2007;Straus 2007). ...
... For instance, ethnographers routinely use participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and surveying among participants after an outbreak to identity relevant social factors impacting the spread of the disease and regional health outcomes (Molloy, Walker, and Lakeman 2017). Postconflict ethnographers have borrowed these methods to determine the most likely factors that contributed to collective violence across communities of regional warfare (e.g., Fujii 2009;Hinton 2004;Li 2004). As I articulate below, the strengths of this method are that it yields statistically robust data for analyzing regional and community-specific accounts that can be compared between emic (insider) and etic (outsider) perspectives within and between conflicts. ...
Article
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Legal narratives about collective violence have given an outsized explanatory role to propaganda in conflicts such as the Rwandan genocide and the Yugoslav Wars. While post-conflict ethnographies have examined what Rwandans remember about propaganda and collective violence, similar studies have not been undertaken in territories of the former Yugoslavia. The present ethnographic study fills this gap. After introducing the theoretical and empirical problems that have stemmed from recent speech crime trials in international criminal law, I examine the causes of collective violence in the Yugoslav Wars as remembered by former combatants, survivors, and the greater populations of post-conflict regions in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia. I show that remembered causes, including the role of propaganda, vary significantly between former combatants and the greater populations. Nevertheless, local perspectives, especially among former combatants and survivors, converge on the effects of populist movements following Yugoslavia’s economic crisis and the rise of ethnic, religious, and nationalist leaders who engaged in inflammatory rhetoric and misinformation to mobilize war efforts. This article thus corroborates key findings from other post-conflict ethnographies which show that propaganda plays a secondary but significant role in the cultural manufacturing of state-sponsored ethnicity and cultural logics of violence.
... Through the use of the multiple data bases, additional sources were included to augment the multiple dimensions of the Rwandan genocide. These sources included political speech reports (Verwimp, 2000), radio broadcast reports (Fujii, 2004;Kellow & Steeves, 1998;Li, 2004), reports from interviews with perpetrators (Hinton, 1998;Mironko, 2004;Straus, 2006), victim reports (Des Forges, 1999;Gourevitch, 1998;Jones, 2002), and court transcripts. Additionally, comparative studies of genocide (Dutton, et al., 2005;Fein, 1993;Kressel, 2002;Power, 2002) and book reviews were reviewed. ...
... The perpetrators described their first kill with indifference and that killing became easier with time. According to Li (2004), the radio broadcasts, helped Rwandans make sense of their active participation in the genocide in terms that were broader than simple hatred or fear of the Tutsi by creating a context in which euphemisms such as "work" and "cockroaches" could be easily understood through an indirectness that left nothing unsaid. (p. ...
Article
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The purpose of this study is to examine the use of Olson's (1995, 2000) family therapy based circumplex model and Athens' (1992, 1997, 2003) violentization theory in explaining genocide. The Rwandan genocide of 1994 is used as a case study. Published texts, including interviews with perpetrators, research reports, human rights reports, and court transcripts were analyzed. The use of both theories was consistent with the data and resulted in a greater understanding of the genocide. Rwanda moved to a rigidly enmeshed society during the genocide with the perpetrators going through the violentization process. Suggestions for further research are provided.
... For instance, when radio emerged during the Second World War, it was used as a propaganda tool by Nazi Germany [5], whereas allied radio, such as the BBC, supported resistance against the Nazi regime 1 [6,7]. In the context of the Rwandan genocide, radio was used to incite Rwandan Hutus to massacre the country's Tutsi minority [8]. In the aftermath of the genocide, using the same means to cause different ends, the radio soap opera Musekeweya successfully reduced intergroup prejudice in a yearlong field experiment [9,10]. ...
... Top ten outcome measuresTrust in media(8), general(6), in government(5), political (3), in health policy (3), … Knowledge political (35), general (5), issue knowledge (3), political learning (3), issue salience (2), … Participation political (78), general (29), voting (21), civic engagement (13), protest participation (13), … Exposure selective (24), news consumption (20), news exposure (11), news avoidance (5), selective avoidance (4), … Expression political (13), news sharing (4), sharing (3), cross-cutting communication (2), self-censorship (2), … Hate hate speech (9), incivility (5), anti-muslim hostility (2), anti-muslim sentiment (1), anti-immigrant attitudes (1), … Polarization general (37), in news/debate (6) opinion (5), affective (3), audience fragmentation (1), … Populism populist content (10), populist support (7), general (4), populist strategies (4), populist vote (3), AfD rise (2), … Network/echochamber echo chambers (23), network structure (13), homophily (9), homogeneity (1), …Misinformation volume (13), general (10), health (5), sharing (5), spreading (5), … Strategy for curating the sample of relevant articles. a Causal, amplifying, and enabling mechanisms, for example between digital media and political polarization. ...
Preprint
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One of today's most controversial and consequential questions is whether the rapid, worldwide uptake of digital media is causally related to a decline in democracy. We conducted a systematic review of causal and correlational evidence (N=498 articles) on the link between digital media and different political variables, such as trust, polarization or news consumption. We further focused on the subset of articles that employed causal inference methods. Across methods, the articles report associations between digital media use and most political variables. Some associations, such as increases in political participation and information consumption, are likely to be beneficial for democracy and were often observed in the Global South and emerging democracies. Other consistently reported associations, such as declining political trust, advantages for populists, and growing polarization, are likely to be detrimental to democracy and were more pronounced in established democracies. We conclude that while the impact of digital media on democracy depends on the specific political variable and the political system in question, several variables show clear directions of associations. We believe that the evidence calls for further research efforts and vigilance by governments and civil societies to better understand and actively design the intimate interplay of digital media and democracy.
... The media were targeted in peace and reconciliation policies implemented by the governments and supported by foreign donors, because they had been involved in the conflicts. The concept of 'hate media' was central to the genocide perpetrated in Rwanda in 1994 (Thompson 2007;Chrétien 1995;Kellow and Steeves 1998;Li 2004;Straus 2007) as was also the case in Burundi and the DRC. In the attempts to restore and consolidate peace after 2000, serious steps were taken to reform legal frameworks and media regulations in the three countries, with a view to avoiding a repetition of previous tragic events. ...
Chapter
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Based on the example of three francophone African countries—Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)—this chapter enquires about the relevant factors influencing journalistic freedom in (post-)conflict societies. Using 132 expert interviews conducted between July 2014 and January 2016, the study concludes that press freedom, although enshrined in media legislation and promoted through local professional and international media assistance organizations in the region (such as Search for Common Ground, Internews, or the Panos Institute), faces many constraints at every level in the three countries but also that spaces of freedom sometimes exist beyond expectations. Against the theoretical backdrop developed by Ibelema et al. (2000, 98–115), the results show that in times of crisis and conflict, in particular, politics is the dominant factor influencing press freedom, while in more stable periods, other factors, such as economic constraints, are equally important. Nevertheless, each factor includes a wide diversity of internal dynamics, to the extent that one can discern similarities and differences between countries but not numerically assess and rank their levels of press freedom.
... The conflict challenges the view that the optimal structure for intergroup conflict is one with separated nodes and with ideas spreading extremely quickly, as evidence suggests the conflict was planned well ahead of time, and even depended on close ties between Hutu génocidaires and Tutsis (Newbury and Newbury, 1999), with the media playing a major role with regards to spreading ideology and orders (Li, 2004). While the above is true, it overlooks a number of factors influencing the conflict. ...
Article
Network-based analysis of intergroup conflict has shown promising results with regards to understanding how conflicts develop within society. This paper gives a general overview of how one can apply structural and dynamic network approaches to shed light on conflict, and establishes a qualitative description of how mathematical concepts may be used to describe such phenomena. Two conflicts are studied within the context of the social network approach: the al Qaeda terrorist network, as well as the genocide in Rwanda. A social network approach to intergroup conflict appears to be a useful method of analyzing conflicts, and helps shed light on their prevention.
... Yugoslavia's collapse was also ushered on by hate-filled television broadcasts (Thompson 1999; Ramet 2002;). Finally, the " developmental " ideology of Hutu extremism could lure followers only through those media which were in the reach of most ordinary citizens, above all the radio (Kellow and Leslie 1998; Chalk 1999; Li 2004). As Alvarez remarks, " No matter which genocide we examine, whether the Armenian, Rwandan, or Bosnian, all similarly required widespread cooperation from large segments of society " (2001:22). ...
... The role of radio and television in stirring up and reproducing confl ict has been well documented in Rwanda, Bosnia and elsewhere (Article 19, 1996;Thompson, 1999;Windrich, 2000;Li, 2004). In consequence, the modernization and professionalization of the media are often essential elements of reconstruction in war-torn societies (Thompson and Price, 2002). ...
Article
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The media can contribute to the reproduction of violent conflict in societies either through direct bias or more silent acquiescence. When wars end, therefore, the question arises as to the media's past role and the possibilities of reconstructing the media in such a way that it contributes to conflict transformation. This article looks at one specific situation, Northern Ireland, where during the violent political conflict over three decades there was a professional and sophisticated broadcasting environment. Broadcasters have been frequently charged with bias in relation to reporting the conflict, but their record in reporting the peaceful transition has been less well researched. The broadcast by the BBC of three programmes in March 2006 presents a timely case study in the ability of the media to come to terms with peace. Collectively titled Facing the Truth, these three programmes brought together victims and perpetrators with a view to eliciting repentance and forgiveness. Characterizing the approach as `reality television', the article concludes that the genre cannot adequately deal with many of the major issues involved in conflict transformation. Moreover, the framing of the programmes was such that the producers created an ideal type victim, but in doing so excluded the voices of other victims and survivors.
... A specific causal connection between the RTLM broadcasts and the killing of these individualseither by publicly naming them or by manipulating their movements and directing that they, as a group be killedhas been established." (ICTR, 3 December 2003: 63) Presentation of the Problem Li (2007) notes that "accounts of RTLM's ideological role that focus solely on racist aspects do not explain why the station's particular ideological world views caught on more than those of other stations; moreover, they fail to show how RTLM transcended ordinary propaganda, from simply propagating certain beliefs or feelings about Tutsi as an ethnic category, to encouraging and facilitating participation in the murder of friends, neighbours and relatives," (p. 93). ...
... Radio Rwanda, a state-owned station, was considered the 'official' government station and a loyal part of Habyarimana's regime. It had operated since the eve of Rwanda's independence in 1962, 22 and its broadcasts tended to be more moderate than those of RTLM. By December 1990, however, Habyarimana's regime had lost confidence in Christophe Mfizi, the station's director, 23 who was replaced by Ferdinand Nahimana, 'an extremist intellectual', who used radio broadcasts to manipulate public opinion. ...
Article
Radio propaganda clearly played a role in the Rwandan genocide of 1994 in which over a million people, mainly Tutsi, were killed. Foreign media and many commentators saw the propaganda as based on ethnic difference. Through an analysis of eighty-six Radio Rwanda and Radio-Télévision Libre des Milles Collines broadcasts, the author shows how reliance on one explanation - be it of ethnicity, politics, 'race' or occupation - falls short and oversimplifies. She argues that in fact the broadcasts 'othered' the target group by simultaneously drawing on multiple constructions of Hutu and Tutsi identities from many periods in Rwanda's history.
... This station aired broadcasts through the duration of the conflict until eventually the broadcasters from the RTLM were forced to flee due to a shift in political power. It has since been documented by Simon (2006), among others (e.g., Donohue, 2011;Li, 2004;Misser & Jaumain, 1994), that the hate speech aired on these broadcasts played a significant role in escalating the violence. As evidence of the RTLM's role in this conflict, the ICTR eventually charged two broadcasters on this channel with war crimes. ...
Article
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Transcripts from radio broadcasts that aired in pre-, early-, and late-genocide Rwanda were content analyzed from a social identity theory perspective to examine whether language use was consistent with theoretical predictions. The data yielded by these analyses (N = 59) are noteworthy because the broadcasters on this station were eventually charged with war crimes for inciting and endorsing the violence between the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups. The results from this study found that the transcripts contained language in support of theory such that the Tutsi out-group was increasingly dehumanized as the conflict escalated, the Tutsi were blamed for their fate-while the Hutu were presented as victims of the violence, and an overt prejudice that was initially directed at Tutsi rebel group grew to include all Tutsi people near the end of this conflict. These data provide compelling support for the communication processes that arise within intergroup conflict situations and support the continued application of social identity theory to real-world situations.
... Real Hutu were cautioned to be on the lookout for such people, recognizable usually by their too great tolerance for Tutsi and their lack of commitment to Hutu solidarity. 73 The constant warnings against Tutsis passing as Hutus received support also from Hutu listeners to Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines who were interviewed by Darryl Li. 74 One of the interviewees reports: 'The following day, while addressing the people manning the roadblocks, he [Kantaw] suggested, look around, the enemy is among you'. 75 Moreover, the Human Rights Watch report quoted the speech of Mugesera (the vice president of the MRND) who warned his audience: 'Do not let yourselves be invaded', and declared 'we cannot accept that such people shoot us down while pretending to live among us'. ...
Article
This study examines the particular (but not exclusive) relationship between violent intimacy and Nazi and Hutu genocidal propaganda in relation to national desires. It focuses on the fears of the ‘double’ (the close stranger) as projected in language in order to point to the ‘anxiety of intimacy’ as a dangerous social space that under specific historical and political conditions can turn into genocide. As paradoxical as it may seem, intimacy is not only a concept of love but also a concept of hate and violence. This article aims to show how genocidal language can simultaneously reflect the desire of the other and its disavowal in violent language. Nazi and Hutu propaganda are analysed as case studies using psychoanalytic interpretations and social criticism theory to discuss how violent intimacy works in language and how mimetic desire of the other (of its freedom, power, intellect, pleasures, etc.), constitutes negative identification and a fear of the ‘double other’, giving rise to a ‘rapture of death’. Violent intimacy is not the only explanation of genocide, but it is a hidden force that should not be overlooked.
... In sub-Saharan Africa-especially in the Great Lakes region-these programs have played a pivotal role in both conflict and postconflict settings. When radio and conflict are mentioned together, many are likely to recall stories of Rwanda, where it is said that Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) incited violence and helped facilitate the genocide of Tutsi and moderate Hutu civilians by Hutu extremists in 1994 (see Kellow & Steeves 1998 ;Li 2004 ). The station was backed by Hutu extremists and frequently played messages that deepened ethnic divisions between Hutu and Tutsi and blurred the line between Tutsi civilians and rebels. ...
Article
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For several years, local radio stations in Uganda have broadcast “come home” messages that encourage the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army to demobilize. Since the rebels began carrying out attacks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic, several international actors have introduced the same messages to these regions. This new effort has internationalized radio programming, benefited local radio stations, provided new forms of messaging, and functioned in collaboration with military actors. This article provides an overview of how “come home” messaging functions in different contexts, examines the effects of these actions, and calls for research into an important shift in military–humanitarian relations.
... Scholars have been studying the relationship between mass media, conflict and peacemaking, finding a probable connection between media, messages and support for violence toward a particular group (Allen and Seaton, 1999;Bennett and Paletz, 1994;Bennett et al., 2008;Carruthers, 2011;Cottle, 2006;Gilboa, 2002;Hoskins and O'Loughlin, 2010;Tumber and Palmer, 2004). In the worst case scenarios, for example, the genocides of Rwanda and Nazi Germany and the wars of the former Yugoslavia all featured concentrated mass media messages that demonized and dehumanized 'the others' and justified their destruction, which helped fuel lethal violence, according to research (Allen and Seaton, 1999;Armoudian, 2011;Bytwerk, 2004Bytwerk, , 2005Chretien, 2007;Dallaire, 2007Dallaire, , 2009Dallaire, [2003; De la Brosse, 2007;Des Forges, 2007;Hardy, 1967;Hatzfield, 2005;Herf, 2006;Herzstein, 1978;Hoffmann, 1996;Kabunda, 2007;Kallis, 2005;Kellow and Steves, 1998;Kolsto, 2012;Kurspahic, 2003;Li, 2007;Price and Thompson, 2002;Seaton, 1999;Sofos, 1999;Thompson, 1999Thompson, , 2007. In fact, after the Nazi Holocaust and the Rwandan Genocide, international tribunals convicted media professionals of international crimes, including incitement to genocide (International Law: Genocide, 2004). ...
Article
To assist researchers studying the relationships between mass media messages and escalating conflict or peace-building, this article introduces two new datasets generated from Belfast, Northern Ireland, during the critical period before the Belfast Peace Agreement’s ratification. The first, the Northern Ireland Media Dataset (NIMD), contains coded data from a stratified, systematic random sample of articles from the three daily newspapers plus available articles from two paramilitary-related publications. The second, the Northern Ireland Community Relations Dataset (NICRD), resulted from merging one existing database – the Northern Ireland section of the Global Terrorism Database from the University of Maryland (College Park) – with the University of Ulster’s Chronology of the Conflict and coding the combined data for new variables that signify degrees of antagonism, non-antagonism, or peace-building. The latter set contains significant events, such as acts of violence, demonstrations, ceasefires, elections and peace rallies. Together and with other datasets, the NIMD and NICRD help researchers analyze and measure different aspects of mass media messages in either the escalation of violence or building peace in one conflict region. As a small showcase of the data, the research tests one hypothesis of newsworthiness in times of conflict and peacemaking, demonstrating that news norms of drama, conflict and events favor coverage of political parties like Sinn Fein, which used these norms to become the most covered political party during this time.
... Local language, community and commercial radio appear to be the most widespread forms since the 1990s when many states opened up the market for private ownership of media. Local language radio is sometimes seen as divisive, which it can be under some circumstances, such as the post-election violence in Kenya in 2007 and during the Rwandan genocide in 1994 (Kellow and Steeves 1998;Ismail and Deane 2008;Li 2004;Makinen and Wangu Kuira 2008). However, it also has the potential to hold 'emancipatory appeal in relation to open, free and fair discourse' (Mudhai 2011: 257). ...
... The case for the radio's culpability in Rwanda's 1994 genocide is well documented (e.g., Broadcasting Genocide, 1996; Chrétien, Dupaquier, Kabanda, Ngarambe, & Reporters Sans Frontières, 1995; Li, 2004; Straus, 2007; Thompson, 2007). RTLM was launched in 1993 as a talk radio station and progressively worked in anti-Tutsi jokes and commentary until it was considered an arm of the extremist Hutu government. ...
Article
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Can the media reduce intergroup prejudice and conflict? Despite the high stakes of this question, understanding of the mass media's role in shaping prejudiced beliefs, norms, and behavior is limited. A yearlong field experiment in Rwanda tested the impact of a radio soap opera featuring messages about reducing intergroup prejudice, violence, and trauma in 2 fictional Rwandan communities. Compared with a control group who listened to a health radio soap opera, listeners' perceptions of social norms and their behaviors changed with respect to intermarriage, open dissent, trust, empathy, cooperation, and trauma healing. However, the radio program did little to change listeners' personal beliefs. Group discussion and emotion were implicated in the process of media influence. Taken together, the results point to an integrated model of behavioral prejudice and conflict reduction that prioritizes the communication of social norms over changes in personal beliefs.
... There is no evidence that Bikindi himself instructed the radio to play his music or give it such interpretation, nor his exact intentions when he composed most of his songs before the genocide (McCoy, 2013: X). However, as the director of the Irindiro Ballet Company, the judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) noted in their sentencing that Bikindi was a celebrity, especially among pre-genocide Rwandan elites and that he used his influence to incite genocide through speech (Grant et al., 2010;Li, 2004;McCoy, 2013: 11). After a long trial at the ICTR that attracted international attention, especially from defenders of free speech, Bikindi was convicted and imprisoned for 15 years, not directly for his music but for speeches he made during the genocide (McCoy, 2013;Snyder, 2006). ...
Article
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After the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, the post-genocide government spearheaded the creation of genocide commemorations. Over the past two decades, political elites and survivors’ organizations have gone to great lengths to institutionalize the memorialization, including creating laws to protect the memory of the genocide from denialism. Ordinary Rwandans have responded to the annual commemorations using creative means of support for and disagreement with the government’s interpretation of their shared violent past. Music has been used as citizen-driven tool to both spread and criticize genocide memorialization nationally and beyond. While scholars have explored the politicization of state-organized mechanisms such as memorials, citizen-driven creative means remain largely unexplored. Addressing this gap in Rwandan memory scholarship, I examine how Kizito Mihigo, a famous post-genocide musician, used his individual memory of surviving the genocide against the Tutsi through music to contribute and respond to the annual commemorations of the genocide. I argue that Mihigo’s story and commemoration songs were politicized from the start but were intensified when he used his music to go beyond promoting genocide commemorations to questioning the events and when he pleaded guilty to terrorism charges.
... Both scholars and practitioners have acknowledged mass media's capacity to promote violence and war. In the worst cases, such as in the Holocaust, the Rwandan Genocide, and the wars of the former Yugoslavia, extremists seized the media and used these outlets to promote violent causes with concentrated, hegemonic media messages that promoted and justified destroying their 'foes' in part by blaming and dehumanizing them (Armoudian, 2011;Chretien, 2007;Dallaire, 2004;De la Brosse, 2003;Des Forges, 2007;Hardy, 1967;Herf, 2006;Herzstein, 1978;Hoffmann, 1996;Kallis, 2005;Kellow and Steeves, 1998;Kolsto, 2009;Li, 2007;Simic, 1990;Sofos, 1999;Thompson, 2007Thompson, , 1999). In both the Holocaust and the Rwandan Genocide, journalists were convicted for their parts in promoting mass killing (International Law: Genocide. ...
Article
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Using negative binomial regression, we tested the relationships between political violence and media messages of blame across five distinct publications in Northern Ireland, publications that varied by ideology/identity and structure over a period of 4.5 years during the peace process. While controlling for previous violence, we found reciprocal relationships, suggesting that violent acts correlated with a rise in blame in mass media and that blame in some mass media correlated with escalating violence in what appears to be a cycle. Not surprisingly, violent acts also led to subsequent violent acts.
... As Das (1998) shows, this technique was especially used in a conflict between Sikhs and Hindus. Similarly, Li (2004) shows that historical myths were often used to justify violence against Tutsi in Rwanda. Fujii (2004) further confirms that during the Rwandan genocide, RTLM often relied on and invoked history in their genocidal messages. ...
Thesis
In my thesis, I analyse the role propaganda plays in war and violence. More specifically, I am interested in the different functions propaganda can serve in war, as well as the discourses and techniques developed and used by media outlets as they disseminate war propaganda. Additionally, I examine the processes through which governments and regimes assume control over media outlets. I conduct such analysis through a detailed examination of the propaganda aired on the Radio and Television of Serbia (RTS) during the Yugoslav Wars. I analyse the broadcasts aired during the Slovenian 10-Day War, the Croatian War of Independence, and the Bosnian War. On the basis of my analysis of the relevant literature and an empirical examination of the Yugoslav case, I produce a framework for analysing propaganda, which provides insight into war propaganda and details how propaganda works in violent settings.
... Probably not. It may well be that "musick has Charms to sooth a savage Breast, to soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak" (Congreve 1697) but many in the Great Lakes region also painfully remember the killer songs of the Rwandan genocidaires (Li 2004) and dictator Mobutu Sese Seko's instrumental use of rumba music (White 2008). Music rarely stops bullets, as we came to realise when we had to cancel the first edition of our festival in August 2012 because the M23 rebel group was besieging and bombarding Goma. ...
Article
This article investigates the role of mass media in times of conflict and state-sponsored mass violence against civilians. We use a unique village-level data set from the Rwandan genocide to estimate the impact of a popular radio station that encouraged violence against the Tutsi minority population. The results show that the broadcasts had a significant effect on participation in killings by both militia groups and ordinary civilians. An estimated 51,000 perpetrators, or approximately 10% of the overall violence, can be attributed to the station. The broadcasts increased militia violence not only directly by influencing behavior in villages with radio reception but also indirectly by increasing participation in neighboring villages. In fact, spillovers are estimated to have caused more militia violence than the direct effects. Thus, the article provides evidence that mass media can affect participation in violence directly due to exposure and indirectly due to social interactions. JEL Codes: D7, N4.
Article
Scholastique Mukasonga’s testimonial memoirs document the environmental conditions of forced resettlement within Rwanda in the decades prior to the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. Inyenzi ou Les cafards (2006) and La femme aux pieds nus (2008) attest to a form of ‘internal’ exile on coffee-growing paysannats—government-sponsored farms introduced in the colonial period. In this article, I contextualise the Belgian administration’s interest in settling Bugesera in light of continuing economic and colonial-scientific investment in agronomy and agricultural development. I map the intensification of this ‘agricultural coloniality’ in the context of post-independence Hutu nationalism, in which ‘development’ is linked to the coffee economy, neo-colonial involvements based on Francophonie, and the cleansing of ‘invasive’ Tutsi pastoralists from the national landscape. This history illuminates Mukasonga’s premonitory construction of genocide memory, in which colonial models of rationalisation, resettlement, and forced cultivation anticipate both the 1994 genocide and the social cleansing of Tutsi in the early 1960s. ‘Spectres’ of the genocidal implications of development, linguistic reminders of social exclusion, and dehumanising metaphors of eradication as environmental management permeate the memoirs and resonate with a broader colonial topos of development-as-eradication, namely, attempts to eradicate tsetse flies in Bugesera through pesticide spraying and instrumentalised Tutsi resettlement.
Article
Who bears responsibility when social media platforms are used to incite genocide? Although courts and scholarship have recognized the role of mass media in past mass atrocities, social media poses a unique challenge. Its transnational nature, with companies and infrastructure often located in different jurisdictions from where the crimes are committed, makes determining responsibility challenging. This article argues that the prohibition of genocide obligates home states—those in which companies are headquartered—to act in such cases. In particular, home states may be obligated to restrict social media access in the state in question and are permitted to do so under the laws of state responsibility. Finally, the article discusses how possible domestic or international arrangements may be used to realize these obligations and the relative merits of each. A discussion of Myanmar demonstrates how these domestic and international options may function and emphasizes the urgency of the question.
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This research focuses on the role of Radio-Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) in the Rwandan genocide. It analyzes the radio broadcasts through the prism of theories of intergroup threat and aggression. In this perspective, this medium is conceived as a manipulative and propagandist agent which participated in the perpetration of mass killings constituting the Rwandan genocide, through the dissemination of the ideology of hatred before and during the genocide and the logistical assistance provided to those involved in the killings. Indeed, RTLM broadcasts were structured in such a way as to present Hutu as victims (intergroup threat), with the aim of justifying the use of violent actions against Tutsi (intergroup aggression). The corpus to be analyzed consists of extracts from RTLM broadcasts selected from transcripts stored at the Montreal Institute of Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) and at the International Monitor Institute (IMI). These extracts were analyzed with the method of discourse analysis. They reveal that RTLM's discourse was based on the victimization and glorification of Hutu, as well as the devaluation and demonization of Tutsi. Concretely, the radio broadcasts were structured in such a way as to incite Hutu (past and present victims of injustice) to exterminate Tutsi (the enemies, the "cockroaches" (inyenzi)) and to eradicate them from Rwandan society. They were built around two main themes : threat, which includes elements like propaganda and hatred, intergroup categorization and victimization of Hutu; and aggression which includes the revolutionary vision of Rwanda, the deshumanization of Tutsi, their designation as enemies, and the search for a just and homogeneous society without Tutsi.
Article
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The focus of this study was to explore the roles played by media, particularly community radios in promoting the rights to life of elderly women in Tanzania. Specifically, the study evaluated the "haki za binadamu program" aired by radio SAUT FM in Nyamagana, Mwanza region. The evaluation concentrated on two areas: One, it evaluated the accessibility and listenership of the program and two it evaluated the success of the program in promoting the rights of elderly women in the district. This is a qualitative research which used purposive and snowball sampling techniques to select the respondents. A total of 27 respondents were involved in the study, they included; three police officers from the gender desk in Nyamagana police station, five local leaders, six journalists who are specialized in human rights reporting, and 13 respondents from families of elderly women who were reported to have been killed due to witchcraft accusations. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions were used to collect the data for this study. Thematic analysis was used to analysis the data gotten from the field. The findings suggest that the accessibility and listenership of haki za binadamu program in Nyamagana district was very poor. It was also found that haki za binadamu program has not played any noticeable contributions in promoting the rights to life to the elderly women in Nyamagana district.
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Observers have argued that radio programming can alter norms, especially through hate radio designed to increase animosity between groups. This article tests whether or not radio programming under the countering violent extremism (CVE) policy framework can reduce potential conflict and increase civic engagement and positive views of foreign nations. Data from surveys of more than 1,000 respondents in Mali, Chad, and Niger illuminate the ways in which peace and tolerance programming changed perspectives and altered behavior in statistically significant ways. Results show that individuals exposed to multi-level U.S. government programming were more likely to listen to peace and tolerance radio. Further, bivariate, multivariate regression, and propensity score matching techniques show that individuals who listened more regularly to such programs participated more frequently in civic activities and supported working with the West to combat terrorism (holding constant a number of potential confounding economic, demographic, and attitudinal factors). However, higher levels of radio listening had no measurable impact on opposition to the use of violence in the name of Islam or opposition to the imposition of Islamic law. Further, data indicate that women and men have responded to programming in measurably different ways. These mixed results have important implications for current and future “soft-side” programs for countering violent extremism.
Book
The shocking characteristics of Rwanda's genocide in 1994 have etched themselves indelibly on the global conscience. The Path to Genocide in Rwanda combines extensive, original field data with some of the best existing evidence to evaluate the myriad theories behind the genocide and to offer a rigorous and comprehensive explanation of how and why it occurred, and why so many Rwandans participated in it. Drawing on interviews with over three hundred Rwandans, Omar Shahabudin McDoom systematically compares those who participated in the violence against those who did not. He contrasts communities that experienced violence early with communities where violence began late, as well as communities where violence was limited with communities where it was massive. His findings offer new perspectives on some of the most troubling questions concerning the genocide, while also providing a broader engagement with key theoretical debates in the study of genocides and ethnic conflict.
Article
The importance of hate radio pervades commentary on the Rwandan genocide, and Rwanda has become a paradigmatic case of media sparking extreme violence. However, there exists little social scientific analysis of radio's impact on the onset of genocide and the mobilization of genocide participants. Through an analysis of exposure, timing, and content as well as interviews with perpetrators, the article refutes the conventional wisdom that broadcasts from the notorious radio station RTLM were a primary determinant of genocide. Instead, the article finds evidence of conditional media e fects, which take on significance only when situated in a broader context of violence.
Chapter
Using concrete examples, this chapter focuses on the communicative dimension of civil wars which manifests itself in and through the discursive dehumanisation of a fabricated internal enemy. Discursive dehumanisation occurs across the communicative spectrum of civil society and spans both the factual and fictional mass media as well as the visual and performative arts. Essentially, discursive dehumanisation is a weapon that targets and attempts to destroy civil peace and peaceful cooperation between members of civil society. Civil peace is defined as the communicative performance of the basic three categories of the civil norms of peaceful cooperation: (1) assent to civil peace, (2) substantive civility and (3) building capacity and civil competencies. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the damage done by discursive dehumanisation and the subsequent need for post-civil war peacebuilding to understand this type of weaponised form of communication as well as how it can be combatted.
Article
The topic of this study is hate speech against the Roma in Romania, which was studied with the comments posted to three Romanian newspapers’ (Jurnalul National, Evenimentul zilei and Adevarul) Internet forums. This study examines how the history, current situation and demographic factors of the Romanian Roma are discussed in the comments on the Internet forums and what kind of solutions the commentators suggest for the Roma situation that many considered problematic. As the conceptual frame of reference in this study is hate speech that has been elaborated within international and American law, the study focuses on the comments that aim at strengthening the negative stereotypes and inciting violence, characteristics of hate speech. Relating to the subject, the study also touches on the dispute over curbing freedom of speech and defining the limits for forbidden speech. The messages used in the study are from the first half of the year 2009. The method used for collecting the data was Internet-ethnography, a method that applies traditional ethnographic observation to the Internet environment. For analyzing the messages, critical discourse analysis taught by Norman Fairclough was used. The emphasis was laid on the qualities that the commentators gave to the Roma. Two primary ”solutions” to the ”Gypsy problem” in Romania came up from the analysis. According to the comments belonging to the first group, the commentators wanted to change the official Romanian designation of the Roma from ‘rom’ (‘Roma’) to ‘tigan’ (the Romanian equivalent to ‘Gypsy’) so that the Romanians would not be confused with the Roma that many commentators considered highly insulting and problematic for Romanians. The comments of the other group are more characteristic hate speech: in many comments mass destruction of the Roma or forced deportation to India were proposed, from where the Roma started their travels toward Europe some thousand years ago. The comments contained clear references to the mass destructions of the Jews, Roma, homosexuals and political dissidents during the Nazi regime in Germany and the comments in this category, were especially vulgar. Furthermore, according to the “dirtiness – purity” category of Mary Douglas, the Roma were perceived as an obstacle to the fulfilment of the “clean” Romania. Tutkielman aihe on romaneihin kohdistuva vihapuhe Romaniassa, mitä on tutkittu kolmen romanialaisen sanomalehden, Jurnalul Nationalin, Evenimentul zilein sekä Adevarulin Internet keskustelupalstoilta kerättyjen kommenttien avulla. Tutkimuksessa tarkastellaan sitä, miten keskustelupalstojen kommenteissa viitataan Romanian romanien historiaan, nykytilanteeseen sekä demografisiin muuttujiin ja minkälaisia ratkaisuja kommentoijat tarjoavat maan romanivähemmistön tilanteeseen, jonka moni keskustelupalstakirjoittaja kokee ongelmalliseksi. Koska tutkielman käsitteellinen viitekehys on etenkin yhdysvaltalaisen että kansainvälisen oikeuden piirissä kehittynyt vihapuhe, on tutkielmassa keskitytty vihapuheelle ominaisiin kielteisiä stereotypioita vahvistaviin sekä väkivaltaa lietsoviin viesteihin. Aiheeseen liittyen, tutkielmassa sivutaan myös kiistaa sananvapauden rajoittamisesta sekä kielletyn puheen rajoista. Tutkielmassa käytetyt viestit ovat vuoden 2009 ensimmäiseltä vuosipuoliskolta. Aineiston keräämisessä käytettiin menetelmänä Internet-etnografiaa, joka on perinteisen etnografisen havainnoinnin soveltamista Internet-ympäristöön. Viestien analysointiin käytettiin kriittistä diskurssianalyysia Norman Fairclough’n oppien mukaan ja keskityttiin niihin ominaisuuksiin, joita keskustelupalstakirjoittelijat antoivat romaneille. Viestien analyysin myötä keskustelupalstakommenteista nousi esiin kaksi ”ratkaisua” Romanian romaniongelmaa varten. Ensimmäisen ratkaisun mukaisissa viesteissä kommentaattorit halusivat muuttaa romanien virallisen romaniankielisen nimen sanasta ’rom’ (’romani’) sanaan tigan (‘mustalaisen’ romanialainen vastine), jotta romanialaisia ei sekoitettaisi romaneihin, minkä moni kommentaattori koki varsin loukkaavaksi ja ongelmalliseksi romanialaisten kannalta. Toisen ryhmän viestit täyttivät selvemmin vihapuheen tunnusmerkit: monessa viestissä toivottiin romanien joukkotuhoa tai pakkosiirtoa Intiaan, josta romanit vaelsivat nykyisen Romanian alueelle arviolta 1300-luvulla. Viestit sisälsivät selviä viittauksia natsi-Saksan aikaisiin juutalaisten, romanien, homoseksuaalien sekä poliittisten toisinajattelijoiden joukkotuhoihin ja etenkin tämän kategorian viesteissä kielenkäyttö oli hyvin alatyylistä. Mary Douglasin ”likaisuus – puhtaus” -kategoriaa mukaillen romanit koettiin ”puhtaan” Romanian toteutumisen esteinä.
Article
Prior to the Rwandan genocide, the study of war propaganda had all but disappeared as a significant topic of interest for lawyers and social scientists. However, since the trials of war propagandists by international criminal tribunals, the study has been reignited. The reason is due to the manner in which legal actors discussed the effects of war propaganda and pronounced its criminality. They claimed that war propaganda constitutes incitement not only because it attempts to foment dangerously violent ideologies, but also because it actually causes mass violence. In defining war propaganda in this way, tribunals have shifted the crime of incitement from being inchoate to causal. This new precedent has led ethnographers to investigate the manner in which war propaganda has related to mass violence and to challenge the tribunal's purported causal link. Additionally, it has led legal researchers to generate novel theories about war propaganda that are conducive to the new precedent but would still benefit from the frameworks and methodologies of anthropology.
Article
Psychologists and scholars of politics and political communication suggest that portrayals of “the others” impact emotions and behaviors toward them, particularly during conflict. When extremely negative, these portrayals can be used to justify harmful behaviors. Other scholars have found that the norms and structures of professional journalism can moderate extreme portrayals. This paper examines two factors that help construct “the others”—one that polarizes and one that tempers portrayals. By comparing three variables related to portraying foes in five Northern Ireland publications, the research shows two important variations: The first, variation across the partisan divide, suggests the role of identity and ideology in perpetuating “us versus them” and “good versus bad” framing. The second, variation between the professional newspapers and nonprofessional, more partisan publications, suggests that professional journalism may moderate extreme portrayals. These findings may have implications for journalism and for conflict management.
Article
Recent research has employed estimates of media exposure to explore the relationship between information disseminated ‘from above’ and political violence. I argue that those methods involve a potential pitfall, i.e., the possibility that the variable that they measure, media availability, is an inadequate proxy for media consumption, the actual variable of interest. I further argue that researchers often cannot be confident that that proxy is a valid one unless they have a deep qualitative understanding of media consumption habits of the population under study. I illustrate that concern by examining recent research on genocide in Rwanda.
Thesis
This study investigates on the one hand the broadcasting activities of Radio Maria Tanzania (owned by a Christian organisation) and Radio Imaan (owned by a Muslim community) while on the other hand identifying the meanings which audiences construct in relation to national cohesion in Tanzania. Specifically, the study answers five theoretical and empirical questions: (1) What informs the packaging of the programmes of Radio Maria Tanzania and Radio Imaan? (2) What are the contents of programmes broadcasted by the two radio stations? (3) How do the two radio stations deal with the socio-religious discourse prevailing in Tanzania? (4) What kinds of meanings do audiences construct from the broadcasting activities of Radio Maria Tanzania and Radio Imaan? (5) What are the implications of the constructed meanings on national cohesion in Tanzania? Data were generated through questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, qualitative content analysis, discourse analysis and participation in listening to programmes of the two radio stations. Five central conclusions have emerged. Firstly, the two radio stations serve their audiences in spiritual and material needs.This approach informs the packaging of programmes. Secondly, there is an exclusive element in the contents of the programmes of the two radio stations. Thirdly, the framing of issues in some programmes of the two radio stations provoke audiences and cause socio-religious tensions and mistrust among audiences in Tanzania. Fourthly, discourses on "mfumokristo"(Kiswahili: Christian hegemony), "kipindi cha mateso ya kimfumo kwa kanisa Tanzania" (Kiswahili: Systematic persecution of the Church in Tanzania) and "udini" (Kiswahili: religionism) have amplified and become interpretative and expressive tools in the public domain. Finally, while at an individual level Christians and Muslims maintain friendly relations however at a community level there are incidents which destabilize national cohesion.
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The second edition of this popular textbook encapsulates the excitement of the fascinating and fast-moving field of social psychology. A comprehensive and lively guide, it covers general principles, classic studies and cutting-edge research. Innovative features such as 'student projects' and 'exploring further' exercises place the student experience at the heart of this book. This blend of approaches, from critical appraisal of important studies to real-world examples, will help students to develop a solid understanding of social psychology and the confidence to apply their knowledge in assignments and exams.
Article
This article addresses community radio in the Canadian province of Quebec. In particular, I reflect on the ways different economic, social, and political processes influence the community action related to this medium. I advocate a flexible, non-reified conception of the community action related to this form of broadcasting and its political dimension. In the case of Quebec, capitalist economics, provincial politics, and immigration appear to be key relevant factors. Community radio in Quebec emerged when Quebec nationalism was at its height. Over time, the political nature of this medium evolved into a less political, more economic profile. However, immigration dynamics also played an important role in this evolution by giving community radio a culturally and politically heterogeneous base. From this perspective, this article focuses on the case of Radio Centre-Ville, a multicultural radio station, to highlight the political implications of these historical processes.
Article
This article adds to debates in genocide studies on identity by analyzing Congolese Tutsi, or Banyamulenge, soldier narratives. It discusses this group’s identities and agency through the lens of the militarized generation of the 1990s. A conception of narrative identity is proposed that captures physical and relational networks as well as experiences of genocide. It examines fieldwork interviews conducted among former Banyamulenge soldiers and participants in the Alliance des Forces Démocratique pour la Libération du Congo-Zaïre (AFDL) and Rwandan Patriotic Army/Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPA/RPF). This narrative analysis uses open thematic coding to trace emplotment around three core themes: insecurity, marginalization, and destructive crises. In these narratives, genocide is conceptually utilized as a relational and discursive concept, and, therefore, permits an assessment of how participants understood and utilized the term. Doing so demonstrates the layering of victim and perpetrator identities, making a case for fluid identities in exposure to and with experiences of genocide. In the particular case of the Banyamulenge soldiers, they were active agents in the conflicts and events addressed in this article. Actors in genocide are agentic and engaged in the formation of fluid identity.
Article
This paper explores the consequences of al-Qaeda news coverage related to (i) subsequent al-Qaeda attacks, (ii) the group’s popularity, and (iii) radicalization. I construct a daily index of al-Qaeda news coverage in the US from CNN, NBC, CBS, Fox News, the NYT, and the WaPo. To isolate causality, I employ an instrumental variable strategy based on disaster deaths: Everything else equal, the US media reports less on al-Qaeda when more people are dying from disasters worldwide. At its mean, al-Qaeda coverage is suggested to cause 0.2–0.3 attacks per day in the upcoming 1–4 weeks. I find no evidence that attacks are merely rescheduled because of diminished media exposure; rather, the total number of attacks increases with coverage. This effect is driven by easy-to-plan attack types and by al-Qaeda attacks in Iraq. Results are robust to an array of alternative specifications and consistent when considering news coverage on Al Jazeera. Al-Qaeda coverage also increases the group’s online popularity and search topics that are potentially indicative of radicalization (such as jihad and al-Qaeda’s magazine Inspire) are receiving more attention on Google. Nevertheless, these results should be interpreted carefully, as it remains difficult to fully disentangle online interest in al-Qaeda and sympathy with the group’s mission.
Chapter
In recent years, the Rwandan genocide has generated a large and growing academic literature. The disciplines and themes within the scholarship are diverse. History, political science, law, and anthropology are well represented in the academic literature, but some of the most prominent contributions come from human rights practitioners and journalists. Thematically, Rwanda is a paradigmatic case of ethnic conflict and central to the rapidly growing field of genocide studies. The case is also a touchstone for students of transitional justice, humanitarian intervention, violence, and contemporary African politics — in addition to a number of other themes. Rwanda also commands attention beyond the university, in particular, from policymakers and lay audiences — the latter, especially, after a series of high profile feature films and documentaries. Thus, despite its relative recentness, the Rwandan genocide already has given rise to a very large body of work.
Chapter
This chapter explores media’s role in shaping society and politics through its influence on audiences and how, in turn, audiences make use of media. The unique position media have in society, and their potential impact on politics, the economy, and on social dynamics means they have become integral actors, whether they like it or not: to disseminate information is not merely to spread the word, it is to act.
Chapter
When the plane carrying President Juvénal Habyarimana was blown out of the sky as it approached Kigali airport on the evening of 6 April 1994, a marker in Rwanda’s history was laid down. This was a tipping point for this small central African state. The four-year-old war that had officially ended with the signing of the Arusha Accords on 3 August 1993 was reignited. It turned into a showdown of apocalyptic dimensions. Hundreds of thousands were slaughtered as a power struggle reached its climax and resulted in regime change. Within days of the President’s assassination the government had fled the capital, and while the national army was pinned down by the rebel army of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), roving gangs of militia were free to go after (mostly) ethnic Tutsi civilians for murder, rape and pillage. As it gained territory, the RPF also engaged in wholesale civilian slaughter. The numbers killed, and the relative numbers of Tutsi and Hutu dead, remain disputed and differ in accordance with the political affiliations of analysts. Tutsi civilians were hunted down by militia forces, along with Hutus whom they regarded as RPF sympathisers. The RPF killed indiscriminately in a land that was overwhelmingly Hutu. One can safely say that at least half a million died in the period between the President’s assassination and the RPF’s assumption of power just over three months later. The death toll could possibly have been as much as one million.
Article
Civil society is promoted as an integral player for democratic development, the establishment of good governance, and the promotion of human rights. This article assesses this normative belief by examining conceptually the societal space thereby defined. The analysis draws on the presence of both civil and “uncivil” groups; the impact of time on the objectives and actions of both groups; the groups’ straddling strategies between civil and “uncivil” spaces; and the difference between the locals’ definition of civil society and that of international donors. Building on empirical case studies, the article proposes a reconceptualisation of the societal space. © 2016 Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID)
Article
Group violence, despite much study, remains enigmatic. Its forms are numerous, its proximate causes myriad, and the interrelation of its forms and proximate causes poorly understood. We review its evolution, including preadaptations and selected propensities, and its putative environmental and psychological triggers. We then reconsider one of its forms, ethnoreligious violence, in light of recent discoveries in the behavioral and brain sciences. We find ethnoreligious violence to be characterized by identity fusion and by manipulation of religious traditions, symbols, and systems. We conclude by examining the confluence of causes and characteristics before and during Yugoslavia's wars of disintegration.
Article
With a focus on entertainment education, this article sheds light on the effects of radio drama in addressing conflict over land governance. The discussion is built around the broadcast of Bush Wahala radio series during the recent land acquisition process that has taken place in Sierra Leone. Through the analysis of semi-structured interviews conducted by the author with rural farmers affected by this issue, on the one hand, this work generates reflections on the role of radio drama in providing listeners with alternative options to the use of violence and confrontation with the authorities in order to claim land rights; on the other hand, it represents an important contribution to the literature of edutainment in contexts of conflict, with a specific focus on the increasingly complex issue of land grabbing in the developing world.
Chapter
A striking feature of the dominant narrative of the Rwandan genocide is the unprecedented emphasis given to the media, in particular radio, as a tool of genocide. The notorious privately owned radio station Radio Télévision Libre des Milles Collines (RTLM) and the newspaper Kangura in particular are blamed for inciting and facilitating genocide. The charge was led by key human rights activists Alison Des Forges and Jean-Pierre Chrétien.1 Des Forges makes this extraordinary claim about RTLM: ‘during the genocide, when communications and travel became difficult, the radio became the sole source of news as well as the sole authority for interpreting its meaning’.2 Chrétien ascribes a central role to RTLM, saying that [t]wo tools, one very modern, the other less [modern] were particularly used during the genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda: the radio and the machete. The former to give and receive orders, the second to carry them out.3 These claims cut to the heart of so much that is written about Rwanda.
Article
Aiding Violence? The Development Enterprise and Ethno-National Conflict - Volume 95 - Peter Uvin
Article
Africa Today 47.1 (2000) 141-142 In May 1995 journalist Philip Gourevitch made his first journey to Rwanda. During this and subsequent visits he talked with people about the genocide which had taken place in Rwanda a year earlier. Led by a notion called Hutu Power, Hutu Rwandans killed about 75 percent of Rwanda's Tutsi population and an unknown number of Hutu unwilling to participate in the slaughter. Many have sought to relate the genocide to an invasion by the RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front), an army consisting mainly of Rwandans who had taken refuge in Uganda after earlier massacres, or to the death of Rwanda's president Habyarimana in a plane crash on 6 April 1994. The author, however, shows that the massacres had been planned well before that and that these events only served as a starting point for the killings. He relates the genocide to a history of divisive colonial policies, the political context after decolonization, and, as of 1990, a carefully designed propaganda network inspiring hatred against Tutsi people. He also points out that the international community chose to ignore reports about the preparations and was, for various reasons, unwilling to react when the killings started. The book is primarily concerned with the memory of the genocide. The shadow of this memory looms large; even in conversations during which no mention is made of it, the genocide often somehow forms the point of reference. The author does not use these references to establish a chain of events or a factual account, but focuses on the ways in which Rwandans understood and understand their lives during and after the killings. As Gourevitch writes: ". . . this is a book about how people imagine themselves and one another -- a book about how we imagine our world" (p. 6). The author takes this point far. After explaining that genocide is not necessarily related to the number of people killed, but concerns the intent to exterminate an entire people, he writes: "What does suffering have to do with genocide, when the idea itself is the crime?" (p. 202). The first part of the book deals with the accounts of survivors. In grisly detail, these people explain how they were threatened, lost relatives, escaped and survived. These interviews with survivors stress the immediacy of the events: this is not only their world, but also our world. Although most of the stories come from people who were near victims of the killings, Gourevitch also renders an interview with a pastor who has been accused of leading the massacre of hundreds of his congregation at Mugonero hospital. The fact that the pastor was interviewed in the United States where he was staying at his son's place, makes it even clearer that nobody can dismiss this as a problem which does not concern people outside Rwanda. The second part of the book does not deal with the present, but with life after the genocide. The author describes the situation in Rwanda, the events in Zaire where many Hutu Power supporters fled after the RPF took over, and the repatriation of many of these people. This period includes both the massacre at Kibeho camp, during which many Hutu Rwandans were killed and the murder of Tutsi refugees in Mokoto church, Zaire. The tension and violence throughout this time indicate that although the genocide of 1994 has stopped, such events can happen again. The author talks with survivors of the genocide who feel misunderstood by returnees who have lived nearly all their lives in Uganda, with a man who manned a roadblock during the genocide, with a woman whose relatives were killed by this very man and now lives with him in the same village, with UN workers who suffer from the memory of having walked on the dead to pull out survivors. In addition to these personal testimonies, this part also contains interviews with the RPF president Paul Kagame and an analysis of the larger political context. Of course the book is partial: Gourevitch...
Article
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Article
We examine and interpret the role of the government-controlled Radio-Television Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, which involved mass killings both of and by civilians. We consider the historical and political context of the genocide and analyze excerpts from RTLM radio broadcasts and observational accounts, and we interpret, via several strands of communication scholarship related to collective reaction effects and dependency theory, the role played by radio in inciting the genocide.
Rwanda: gouverner autrement (Kigali: Imprimerie Nationale)
  • S Mbonyumutwa
Mbonyumutwa, S. (1990) Rwanda: gouverner autrement (Kigali: Imprimerie Nationale).
Rwanda: les mé du genocide
  • J Chré
Chré, J–P. et al. (1999) Rwanda: les mé du genocide (Paris: Karthala).
Broadcasting Genocide: Censorship, Propaganda & State-Sponsored Violence in Rwanda
  • L Kirschke
Kirschke, L. (1996) Broadcasting Genocide: Censorship, Propaganda & State-Sponsored Violence in Rwanda 1990–1994 (
The Kinyarwanda language: its use and impact in the various media during the period 1990–1994: a sociolinguistic study
  • L Nkusi
  • M Ruzindana
  • B And Rwigamba
Nkusi, L., Ruzindana, M. and Rwigamba, B. (1998) " The Kinyarwanda language: its use and impact in the various media during the period 1990–1994: a sociolinguistic study, " Arusha, internal report commissioned by the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Hate radio in Rwanda The Path of a Genocide: The Rwanda Crisis from Uganda to Zaire
  • F Chalk
Chalk, F. (1999) " Hate radio in Rwanda, " in H. Adelman and A. Suhrke, eds, The Path of a Genocide: The Rwanda Crisis from Uganda to Zaire (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction).
Distorsions et omissions dans l'ouvrage Rwanda, les médias du genocide
  • J M V Higiro
Higiro, J–M. V. (1996) " Distorsions et omissions dans l'ouvrage Rwanda, les médias du genocide, " Dialogue, Vol 190, pp 160–178.
Leave None to Tell the Story
  • Des Forges
Des Forges, A. et al. (1999) " Leave None to Tell the Story " : Genocide in Rwanda (New York: Human Rights Watch).
Rwanda: les médias du genocide
  • J P Chrétien
Chrétien, J–P. et al. (1999) Rwanda: les médias du genocide (Paris: Karthala).
The Kinyarwanda language: its use and impact in the various media during the period 1990-1994: a sociolinguistic study,” Arusha, internal report commissioned by the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
  • B Nkusi L Ruzindana M Rwigamba
Kigali: Imprimerie Nationale)
  • S Mbonyumutwa