This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Realism During The 1994 Rwanda Genocide

1558 words - 6 pages

Realism is one of the oldest and most popular theories in International Relations. It offers a perspective about competition and power, and can be used to explain the actions between states. An example of realism is the U.S. reaction – or lack thereof – during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
All branches of realism share some central tenets. Realists believe that the world exists in a state of anarchy. Since there is not a world government to keep states from attacking each other, or to punish them when they do, it becomes very important for each government to be able to protect itself and ensure its survival. It is also why states are considered the most important actors in realism. Due to the anarchy, the world operates in power is extremely important. If a state has military power, and to a lesser extent economic power, they are able to defend themselves and even influence other states. Realism stresses the importance of one state being more powerful than its competitors.
In realism, states are seen as rational, unitary actors. Realists assume that the actions of a state are representative of the entire state’s population, disregarding political parties, individuals, or domestic conflict within the state (Goldstein & Pevehouse, 2010). Any action a state takes is in an effort to pursue national interest. National interest is “the interest of a state overall (as opposed to particular political parties or factions within the state)” (qtd. in Goldstein and Pevehouse, 2010, p. 355). If a state is rational, they are capable of performing cost-benefit analysis by weighing the cost against the benefit of each action. This assumes that all states have complete information when making choices (Goldstein & Pevehouse, 2010).
Realist ideas help explain the U.S. reaction to the Rwandan genocide in 1994. There had been many years of bloody conflict between two Rwandan tribes, Hutus (who made up roughly 85% of the population) and the Tutsis (about 14% of the Rwandan population). The Rwandan leader, President Habyarimana, was in the process of putting agreements in place in an attempt to stop the violence. Hutu-extremists reacted violently by assassinating the president and taking over the government. The extremists circulated anti-Tutsi propaganda while they mercilessly slaughtered Tutsi people in droves. They also killed members of the Hutu population that either, refused to kill their Tutsi neighbors, or who were otherwise Tutsi-sympathetic. The violence was stopped not through peacekeeping methods or an intervention from the United Nations, but by a rebel group who overthrew the Rwandan government. Over the course of 100 days, over 800,000 Tutsi and sympathetic Hutu people were killed (United Human Rights Council, 2014).
There can be no doubt the fault of these horrific crimes is that of the Rwandan government; however, if other states had reacted in a more timely manner the casualties need not have been...

Find Another Essay On Realism During the 1994 Rwanda Genocide

The genocide in rwanda Essay

868 words - 3 pages Between April and June 1994, an estimated 800,000 Rwandans were killed in the space of 100 days. Most of the dead were Tutsis - and most of those who perpetrated the violence were Hutus. Even for a country with such a turbulent history as Rwanda, the scale and speed of the slaughter left its people reeling.The genocide was sparked by the death of the Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, when his plane was shot down above Kigali airport

The Rwandan Genocide of 1994 Essay

1381 words - 6 pages In April of 1994 a terrible event took place, one where approximately one-million people were brutally murdered on the basis of their ethnicity or if they opposed the regime. (Uvin, 2003). This terrible event occurred in Rwanda, and it is known as the Rwandan Genocide. Genocide can be described as a one sided mass killing in which the state or other authority intends to destroy a group, as that group and membership in it are identified by the

Genocide during the Bosnian War

1300 words - 6 pages Raphael Lemkin described genocide as "acts of barbarism that should be outlawed, even in times of war". Lemkin is right. Genocide is a cruel vicious act that I do not wish upon my greatest enemies. It is torture and death. A lot of people think genocide is a thing of the past. After all it is 2014 already. We are so much more advanced and connected then back during the time of the Holocaust. A genocide started just 22 years ago and it was during

Why Was Nothing Done to Stop the Genocide in Rwanda?

3828 words - 15 pages after 800,000 were brutally killed. Up to 10,000 Tutsi were killed every day (Frontline: Ghosts of Rwanda, 2004). The genocide finally came to a halt when the Rwandese Patriotic Front or RPF rebels defeated the militias and Hutu army, and took control of the country in July 1994, but the tragedy that shook Rwanda did not end when the genocide was over (Fisanick, 2004). The wounds will last for generations; and the events that ensued will be

The Holocaust: Genocide of Jews During World War II

1481 words - 6 pages The Holocaust, what is the true depth of the word? As sad as it may seem, it had the most damaging effects on the human mind in history. Many horrific events consisting of genocide of Jews during World War II came to play during the Holocaust. Accounts of life during the genocide of the Jewish culture emerged among of which are Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Letters to George C. Marshall, Mein Kampf and The Jewish

Was an act of genocide committed against the Armenia people during 1915-1916?

1039 words - 5 pages Following the decline of the Ottoman Empire, the Turkish nationalist reform party known as the ‘Young Turks’ carried out the deportation and massacres of the Armenians living in Turkey between 1915-1916,The UN as defines genocide as “acts carried out intended to destroy, in whole or part, a national ethnic, racial or religious group” ("Q&A: Armenian Genocide Dispute."). Though it is agreed that the killings took place, the number of deceased

How have different historians interpreted the question of whether the monetary gain by Europe was worth the death and destruction of the American Indians during the colonization and genocide of North...

2449 words - 10 pages Matt Penn 9.1How have different historians interpreted the question of whether the monetary gain by Europe was worth the death and destruction of the American Indians during the colonization and genocide of North America?As suggested by the question above, this essay considers the genocide of North America during the colonization by the Europeans. Firstly however, it is important to gain a basic understanding of the historical context that the

Discuss the development of – and contrasting – approaches to Psychological Realism in actor training during the twentieth century

1262 words - 6 pages Psychological Realism was used experimentally in the 19th century to make theatre more useful to society. At the time, the mainstream theatre was still tied up in Melodrama. The type of acting at this time was very much exaggerated, for example, if a character had misplaced their keys or another action that in real life might aggravate someone, an actor in a melodramatic piece would be in hysterics, screaming or crying, extremely exaggerated

The Rwandan Genocide

1152 words - 5 pages genocide was set off when the president’s plane was shot down (Genocide in Rwanda). Though it was never determined who shot the plane down, the Rwandan Patriotic Front, who were Tutsi rebels, have been blamed (The Rwandan Genocide). Immediately following the assassination, violence erupted in the capital city, Kigali. (Genocide in Rwanda) During the 100-day period after April 6, 1994, between 800, 000 and one million Tutsi people were slaughtered

The Theory of Realism in the US

1317 words - 5 pages Realism is one of the oldest theories in International Relations. It offers a perspective about competition and power, and can be used to explain the actions between states. An example of realism is the U.S. reaction – or lack thereof – during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. While there are a few branches of realism, there are some central tenets they share. Realists believe that the world exists in a state of anarchy. Since

genocides post world war II

800 words - 4 pages the horrific incident of the Holocaust/ World War II many people claimed never again, but that was easier said than done. Sadly there have been many genocides since the Holocaust, too many. Syria, Cambodia, and Rwanda are just a few devastating disasters that should not have happened. The Rwanda genocide, beginning in April of 1994 and ending in the same year only 100 days later, was the attempted extermination of the Tutsi ethnic group. The

Similar Essays

The Accuracy Of The 1994 Rwandan Genocide Portrayed In The Film 'hotel Rwanda'

2865 words - 11 pages This film is a very accurate portrayal of the actions and thoughts of Paul during the around 100-day ordeal of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. For the film Paul served as a special consultant to the United Artists and Lion's Gate Films' production and he was there during the filming process to offer his opinions and advice. However, although the film followed the general gist of what happened, some scenes have been changed or added at the director's

Compare And Contrast Between Rwanda And Darfur Genocide, From The Constructivism And Realism Perspectives

1500 words - 6 pages , it eventually lost by sending its reinforcement, a move that did not help resolve the situation. By failing to use the tem Genocide in to describe the situation in Rwanda, the US was avoiding that moral obligation of extending their help beyond the national borders. After the Rwandan tragedy in 1994, the UN failed to formulate policies that could prevent a repeat of the same events in any other states. In 2003, however, Darfur experienced a

The Genocide Of Rwanda Essay

951 words - 4 pages plane (McKenzie). However, Hutu extremists are also suspected for the shooting, but a trial was never held to discover the true shooter (McKenzie). Although the exact reason for the start of the Rwandan Genocide is unknown, evidence from previous years of cultural differences leads us to believe that this genocide was bound to happen during history. April 6, 1994 is a date that will always be remembered in African history. This day marks the start

The Genocide In Rwanda Essay

1117 words - 5 pages , gacaca courts and International Criminal Tribunal, annual commemoration ceremonies, and wellness and counseling efforts. However, the influence and role of women within Rwanda is considered one of the most significant forces and contributors to the unification and restoration of the country. The role of women was greatly impacted by the genocide and since the conclusion of it in 1994, women have taken advantage of opportunities and have worked