Key Research Activities
Conditions and Courses of Genocide
Genocide is not a random event but a process that unfolds systematically. My dissertation, which I am currently expanding, sought to answer two questions: 1) What are the causes of genocide at societal, state, and international levels? 2) What accounts for temporal and regional variation during genocide? To assess what leads to genocide, the project began with a quantitative analysis of the preconditions of genocide in all countries over the last 50 years. Then, to analyze how genocides unfold, I turned to case studies of the genocides in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Sudan. Each case study includes quantitative analysis of genocidal violence over time and by region. To better understand reasons behind variation in violence, I also draw upon historical analysis and over 110 interviews.
Rwanda's Gacaca Courts, with Chris Uggen and Jean-Damascene Gasanabo
- Working with almost two million gacaca courts records to better understand who participated in the genocide in Rwanda, the gacaca court sanctions that were given, and other aspects of the genocide and the gacaca court system.
Sanctioning Atrocity: To What Effect?, with Whitney Taylor
- Analyzing the effect that economic sanctions have on ongoing genocides.
Representations of Atrocity Project, with Joachim Savelsberg
- Studying how International Criminal Court actions, country interests, and other factors shape newspaper articles about violence in Darfur.
Accounting for Actions: Vocabularies of Motive and the Construction of Narratives on Rwanda, with Emily Philipp, Emily Schultz, and Chris Uggen
- Assessing how defendants testifying on their own behalf at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda discuss their crimes.
Gender-Based Violence in Darfur, with Gabrielle Ferrales
- Using Atrocities Documentation Survey data to analyze gender-based violence in Darfur.
Rwandan Narratives, with Nicole Fox
- Drawing upon interview data to assess how Rwandan citizens discuss the genocide and how these narratives are patterned by understandings of time. A related project examines Rwandan rescuers.