Fundamental Flaws in Labeling Genocide

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Date

2016-05-06

Authors

Tsatsis, Thomas

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Tiryakian, Edward A

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Abstract

The purpose of this research is to evaluate the United Nations’ process of investigating potential cases of genocide and determining if a crime has been committed. The main documents analyzed are the initial works produced by Raphael Lemkin and the laws created at the United Nations Convention on Genocide in 1948. I apply the definitions and processes in these documents to the genocides in Rwanda and Darfur. The comparison will show that the two situations were very similar, yet Rwanda was labeled a genocide and Darfur was not. Then, I show that the economy of a country going through genocide can have a political influence on the United Nations’ investigative process. The findings are that the inconsistency within the United Nations’ process is due to vague definitions in the original laws created in 1948, which allow varying interpretations. These varying interpretations open the door for economic trade factors to have some political influence in the international community’s determination of a genocide. This study will be helpful to understanding the international community’s flaws in defining and investigating genocide. It can spark discussions on how to improve the United Nations’ investigative process.

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Tsatsis, Thomas (2016). Fundamental Flaws in Labeling Genocide. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/11980.


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