Genocide Prevention Scholar Bartoli to Present Next Vision Series Lecture

Posted: December 3, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Jim Greif

Andrea Bartoli
Andrea Bartoli

In 1948, in the wake of the human atrocities committed by Nazi Germany, the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

On Dec. 8, the day before the 60th anniversary of the convention, Andrea Bartoli, professor and Drucie French Cumbie Chair for Mason’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR), will present the next Vision Series lecture, “Preventing Genocide.” The talk takes place at 7 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on the Fairfax Campus.

Admission is free, but tickets are required. Reserve tickets online or visit the Center for the Arts ticket office, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For information, call 703-993-8888.

Bartoli’s lecture will focus on the role that governments worldwide play in preventing genocide, as well as the concept that with sovereignty comes responsibility. Bartoli will also discuss the history of genocide prevention, including recent efforts involving the United Nations, ICAR and other academic institutions.

“I hope the lecture will serve as a ‘call to action’ for anyone interested in doing more about genocide prevention.” Bartoli says. “My goal is to provide the audience with something that is informative as well as motivational.”

Bartoli believes that the world is still struggling to understand genocidal trends and respond to threats appropriately. A relatively new field, genocide prevention became a focus of study in the 1990s.

Bartoli first became interested in genocide prevention about five years ago when he was studying conflict prevention. He was unable to find many publications focusing on preventing genocide.

“It is conceptually very difficult to imagine the prevention of genocide, which explains why there was so little material on the subject,” Bartoli says.

Though the global community has come a long way, Bartoli states that there is much left to do, and he believes that every single person can play a part in the prevention of human atrocities. He also suggests that colleges and universities may hold the key to preventing these tragedies.

“Higher education is taking the lead in finding and strengthening strategies to prevent instances of genocide,” Bartoli says. “As a result of the study of genocide prevention, there are new tools that the international community is using to begin to address this problem.”

To aid the United Nations in its goal to prevent genocide, Bartoli and ICAR have teamed up with Columbia University’s United Nations Studies Program and Advanced Consortium on Cooperation and Conflict Research to develop a program that trains U.N. member government officials in genocide prevention methods and involves the participants in a genocide prevention network.

As the result of this work and other publications related to genocide prevention, Mason and ICAR will host the 2009 biennial meeting of the International Association of Genocide Scholars in June.

Write to at