Burundi : Ethnic Conflict and Genocide

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This book situates Burundi in the current global debate on ethnicity by describing and analysing the wholesale massacre of the Hutu majority by the Tutsi minority. The author refutes the government's version of these events that places blame on the former colonial government and the church. He offers documentation that identifies the source of these massacres as occurring across a socially constructed fault-line that pitted the Hutu majority's use of ethnicity as an instrument for the achievement of majority rule in parliament against the Tutsi minority's use of ethnocide to gain hegemony. By analysing the roots of ethnicity conflict, the author derives institutional and other formulae through which conflict among the primary groups in Burundi - and elsewhere - may be mitigated. Published in cooperation with the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD).
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Product details

  • Paperback | 248 pages
  • 155 x 228 x 15mm | 370g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 0521566231
  • 9780521566230
  • 1,966,490

Back cover copy

This book offers a wide-ranging discussion of the roots and consequences of ethnic strife in Burundi, and provides the reader with an appropriate background for an understanding of Burundi's transition to multiparty democracy and the coup and violence that followed.
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Table of contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. The Burundi paradox; 2. The meta-conflict: violence as discourse; 3. History as prologue; 4. The crystallization of ethnic tensions; 5. The 1972 watershed; 6. The restructuring of state-society relations; 7. The 1988 killings: the anatomy of fear; 8. Toward a grand settlement; 9. Hegemony, consociationalism, democracy, or none of the above?; 10. Epilogue; References; Index.
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Review quote

' Accessible to the general reader and at the same time a valuable contribution to academic debate on this subject ... essential reading for all Burundi-watchers .' Development in Practice "...[a] lucid political history of Burundi....Lemarchand, a French-born political scientist, has been tracking the conflicts between Hutus and Tutsis since 1960, two years before Rwanda and Burundi gained independence from Belgian colonial rule." New York Review of Books "Few scholars of African politics approach their subject with the skill and subtelty of Rene Lemarchand, author of this seminal study of Burundi society and politics. Burundi is a classic Lemarchand study, containing as it does a remarkable blend of theoretical insight and massive amounts of rare empirical data. Lemarchand's skills as historiographer, social theorist, ethnographer and linguist, as well as Africanist par excellence, all shine through in this volume." Africa Today "...this is an important book, both for those concerned with East and Central Africa, and for others looking at the wider question of ethnicity and its role in contemporary conflicts....highly illuminating, and helpful to those grappling with present-day realities in Burundi....will undoubtedly be regarded as a valuable contribution to academic debate on this subject....essential reading for Burundi-watchers, and of considerable interest to students of the 'Great Lakes' region in general." Development in Practice "This skillful and timely study examines both the historical conflict and the meta-conflict--the different self-serving beliefs and explanations of conflict perpetuated by the competing groups in their public discourse." Gail Gerhart, Foreign Affairs "This timely book is also well-written, extremely informative, and deeply engaged--both in the horrors of ethnocide and in the intellectual debates over its causes and patterns...Lemarchand's account is indispensable; for it makes this history--in all its complexity--clear without being simplistic, and accessible to a wide audience, as it deserves to be. In short, this book provides a basic tool for readers at all levels." Choice
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Rating details

19 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 21% (4)
4 47% (9)
3 21% (4)
2 11% (2)
1 0% (0)
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