Jeffrey S. BachmanFeb 24, 2023
The Politics of Genocide
From the Genocide Convention to the Responsibility to Protect
Rutgers University Press 2022
Why have the founding members of the United Nations (the P5) evaded accountability for their crimes of genocide?
Jeff Bachman, of the American University School of International Service, provides an answer in his book, The Politics of Genocide: From the Genocide Convention to the Responsibility to Protect (Rutgers UP, 2022). It starts with an analysis of the processes that led to the adoption of the United Nations’ Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in December 1948. It ends with a call of the “self-perpetuating” implications of Western impunity for genocidal violence, at home and abroad. Bachman narrows in on the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to highlight the structural inequality baked into the Genocide Convention. The result is a cogent and devastating evaluation of the ways in which the Western powers of the P5 -- the US in particular -- are assumed to act in good faith when it comes to preventing and punishing acts of genocide.
Susan Thomson is an Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Colgate University. I like to interview pretenure scholars about their research. I am particularly keen on their method and methodology, as well as the process of producing academic knowledge about African places and people.