Program on the Prevention of Mass Killing
Preventing Mass Killing
Mass Killing and Genocide have claimed – and continue to claim – millions of victims worldwide. Progress globally to institutionalize lessons gathered from previous episodes of Mass Killings, distilling them into lessons learned for policymakers interested in forestalling future conflagrations, has been fitful at best. The phenomenon of mass killing, while rare, is extraordinarily destructive. Columbia University’s Center for International Conflict Resolution (CICR) is committed to the analysis and prevention of mass killing and genocide as part of its core mandate – teaching, research, and practice for understanding and preventing violent conflict. As part of this effort, CICR’s Program on the Prevention of Mass Killing (Appendix A) incorporates activities within the realms of theory and practice to achieve the program objectives.
The course “Preventing Mass Killing and Genocide” is offered at Columbia’s Graduate School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and the teaching mandate is supported through the development of a web-based early warning simulation called Country X. CICR’s practice mandate is furthered by engaging practitioners in training workshops at the academy and in the field, with recent engagements with the US State Department International Visitors Program, and governments and regional organizations in West and Central Africa. The third mandate of the Program – research exploring mass killing and genocide – is fulfilled through the examination and production of country-specific early warning case studies, papers addressing genocide prevention education, and by surveying global early warning mechanisms.
The program examines mass killing through a mixed methodology – including a typological framework (with research informed specifically by two “types” – Ethnic and Counterinsurgent mass killing) and the analytical framework adopted by the Office of the UN Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, Dr. Francis Deng.
Each Program mandate serves to deepen understanding of the phenomena and, taken together, the individual mandates create a synergy for research, discourse and action related to the prevention of mass, identity-based violence. Columbia’s unique position as a leading research university, coupled with its placement in one of the world’s most international cities with proximity to the United Nations, make it uniquely suited to further the goal of preventing mass violence by engaging multiple entities through research, teaching, and practice.
 CICR’s Program utilizes a combination of “types” identified by Benjamin Valentino, and the methodology of the office of UN Special Advisor of the Secretary General (SASG) on the Prevention of Genocide.
For more on the 6 “types” of mass killing see: Benjamin Valentino, Final Solutions: Mass Killing and Genocide in the 20th Century Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press 2004 pp. 68-90
For the SASG methodology applied to the violence in North Kivu see:
“Report of the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide on his mission to the Great Lakes region from 22 November to 5 December 2008 with respect to the situation in North Kivu” S/2009/151 (pg. 6)
Available online at: http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N09/274/30/PDF/N0927430.pdf?OpenElement