Re-Imagining Rwanda: Conflict, Survival and Disinformation in the Late Twentieth Century

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März 2006



The conflict in Rwanda and the Great Lakes in 1994-1996 attracted the horrified attention of the world's media, diplomats and aid workers struggling to make sense of the bloodshed. This study shows how the post-genocide regime in Rwanda managed to impose a simple, persuasive account of Central Africa's crises upon international commentators, and explains the ideological underpinnings of this official narrative. It is a sobering analysis of how simple, persuasive, but fatally misleading analysis of the situation led to policy errors that exacerbated the original crisis.


1. Build-up to war and genocide: society and economy in Rwanda and Eastern Zaire; 2. Mind the gap: how the international press reported on society, politics and history; 3. For beginners, by beginners: knowledge construction under the Rwandese Patriotic Front; 4. Labelling refugees: international aid and the discourse of genocide; 5. Masterclass in surreal diplomacy: understanding the culture of 'political correctness'; 6. Land and social development: changes, proposals and their imagery; 7. Conclusion: representation and destiny; Bibliography.


Johan Pottier is Professor of Social Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.


'... an important and courageous book, and well informed ... this analysis is essential reading for people interested in the area and in the role of the press in general'. Journal of African History 'In this courageous and important book, Pottier succeeds admirably in reaffirming the necessity of scholarly analysis, as enshrined in the academic monograph, to provide the basis for well-balanced and historically informed analyses of major events ... Pottier provides us with an insightful description of the build-up and aftermath of Rwanda's tragic genocide and ensuing war ... chapter 5 ... is a brilliant example of how the detailed anthropological understandings of a culture as lived by ordinary people can provide the best basis for understanding and interpreting larger and more complex events and (mis)representations at regional, national, and international levels. This important book should be required reading for anyone - from foreign diplomats and politicians, journalists, aid and development workers to academics - committed to building a better Rwanda, and for anyone whose task requires an engagement with the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa.' Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 'This is an important book on the political construction of knowledge ... it is essential reading for anyone interested in the conflicts of Central Africa, or complex humanitarian emergencies more generally.' African Affairs
EAN: 9780521528733
ISBN: 0521528739
Untertitel: 'African Studies Series'. New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: März 2006
Seitenanzahl: 276 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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