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Deconstructing Prevention: The Book



Apart from the public conference on February 26, there will be a gathering the day before, on February 25, of individuals invited by the organizers to write a chapter for publication in an edited volume exploring the theory, policy, and practice of mass atrocity prevention.

This volume is conceived as an authoritative work on the current conceptualizations of prevention and of action to prevent. It will underscore the tensions in our understanding of prevention and the way these tensions define the act of preventing. An ongoing literature search has revealed the need for such a book.

Together, the conference and the book seek to deconstruct the concept of prevention, engaging with its various understandings and their consequences for preventive action. By contributing in this way to the institutionalization of the field, this project is intended to strengthen genocide prevention in four ways: 1) It will challenge underlying assumptions of a universal approach to prevention by illuminating the varied approaches pursued across the field; 2) It will help re-launch research on different areas of atrocity prevention; 3) It will help bridge the gap between atrocity prevention theory and atrocity prevention policy and practice, realms that are currently often divorced; 4) It will offer a new direction to the field—one that focuses on mid-term prevention strategies rather than shorter-term response that constructs prevention mainly as crisis management.

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