The Roots and Prevention of Genocide and Related Mass Violence

Refugees of violence in Central African Republic

Chapter 2 in Anstey, M., Meerts, P. & Zartman, I. W. (eds.). The Slippery Slope to Genocide: Reducing Identity Conflicts and Preventing Mass Murder. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Without deep engagement, neighbors may find it easier to respond to perceived differences and devalue each other more. Humanizing the other and deep contact are essential to overcome devaluation. Constructive groups—people working together for economic development or social change, for example—provide a positive means to satisfy basic needs and an alternative to groups focused on conflict or destructive ideological movements. The establishment of institutions to foster constructive groups as a systematic and ongoing enterprise would serve as early prevention.

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Security Topics: Identity Conflict