An exploratory analysis of the role of image, realistic conflict and relative deprivation theories as causes of genocide in Rwanda (1994) and ethnic cleansing in Srebrenica, Bosnia (1995) / by Michael Peter Infranco.
In the spring 1994, in the small central African country of Rwanda, and in July 1995 in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica, thousands of ethnic peoples were slaughtered in genocidal and ethnic violence. Each country experienced its own particular version of mass ethnic violence. The explanations of the killing have been rooted in political and social psychological factors. These factors have led ethnic groups to carry out egregious brutality and murder against other groups. This study is an exploratory probe, which is intended to verify the explanatory power of image, realistic conflict and relative deprivation theories as causal factors in the Rwandan genocide. The study then develops a typology from the significant variables in the Rwanda case, which were applied to the ethnic cleansing in Srebrenica, Bosnia. The results show that image and realistic conflict theories provide leverage in explaining and perhaps predicting the onset of mass interethnic violence. Relative deprivation theory, while offering a good analysis of negative interethnic attitudes and the potential for conflict, was not significant as a direct link to the mass ethnic violence in these two case studies.
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