Straus' "The Order of Genocide" Book Review by scribbler

Straus' "The Order of Genocide"
A critical look at Scott Straus' "The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War in Rwanda".
# 152161 | 813 words | 0 sources | 2012 | US
Published on Jan 07, 2013 in Literature (American) , International Relations (War and Conflict)

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The paper discusses how Scott Straus in "The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War in Rwanda" uses both qualitative and quantitative analysis to paint a more complete picture of the conflict in Rwanda and the human rights issues contained within it. According to the paper, Straus' insight into both the macro and micro causes of the Rwandan genocide, as well as his brilliant analysis of the major tipping points in the struggle, give him an excellent foundation to discuss his own findings relative to the issue. The paper does note a weakness in this work, namely that the author struggles to strike a balance between his qualitative approach with the interviews and his quantitative approach with numbers, timelines, and hard facts.

From the Paper:

"From the qualitative perspective, Straus aims to give a complete, comprehensive, and subjective account of the Rwandan conflict. He theorizes and postulates, based on the findings and understandings of previous local and cultural conflicts, and gives the Rwandan conflict a subjective examination. Straus's interviews are an excellent example of his desire to use qualitative analysis to directly uncover the truth behind the mass killings. Some of the interviewees are in jail for life, so they don't have a reason to lie or exaggerate the truth, but his interviews represents both a strength, from a qualitative perspective, and a weakness, from a sociological perspective. People are not 100% reliable or truthful, so it is expected that some misinformation or inaccurate accounts of events may come from the interviews. However, it is important to chronicle such an historic event in such a personal way, and Straus's interviews go a long way in balancing out his hard line quantitative approach as well.
"Quantitatively, Straus uses data and hard numbers to outline his analysis as well, balancing the softer, qualitative approach rather nicely. For example, Straus argues that the close proximity of the Tutsi's and Hutu's helped light the fuse of genocide just as much as the ideas and notions of ethnic identity, nationalism, and ideology. He uses hard numbers and statistics to support his position, giving the reader both human and fact based platforms for understanding the conflict."

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