An Opportune Moment
There is a growing emphasis on prevention in Washington, as evidenced by the establishment of the Atrocities Prevention Board, the introduction of prevention language into military doctrine through the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, and the creation of a new bureau within the State Department focusing on conflict prevention and civilian security. The expansion of the prevention agenda in Washington marks an historic opportunity for both the larger fields of genocide prevention and conflict prevention to create lasting impact.
Building Off Two Communities of Practice
Genocide is a dynamic, multi-faceted, complex problem that requires a correspondingly diverse and flexible response. While both the genocide prevention and conflict prevention communities share similar goals, like the reduction of deadly violence, they rarely collaborate, and their operating strategies differ enormously. This lack of exchange means that neither community is reaching all the people who need international support to ensure their safety, nor influencing the full range of key actors who could affect lasting social change.
Strengthening the United States' capacity for large-scale mass atrocity prevention will require not only require implementing sound policies and structures, but also a concerted effort from civil society partners in the field to inform the process. For the latter to occur more effectively, there needs to be a greater focus on collaboration between the genocide prevention and conflict prevention fields.
As the first
this initiative, staff from AfP and FCNL moderated a panel at the 2012
AfP Annual Conference on the evolution and foundational principles of
both fields, and ways to bridge the gap between them in support of
valuable policy advances, reciprocal learning, and more effective
For more information, or to learn how you can be involved,
please contact Melanie Kawano-Chiu, Program Director, at