1st Edition

Institutional Legacies, Decision Frames and Political Violence in Rwanda and Burundi

By Stacey Mitchell Copyright 2018
    246 Pages
    by Routledge

    246 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Rwanda and Burundi are strikingly similar countries that underwent democratization in the early 1990s. In both, resistance to democratic reforms led to coups d’état and presidential assassinations. A conundrum arises in terms of what transpires next. In Rwanda, total genocide was perpetrated by extremist Hutu actors, including government officials, upon the country’s Tutsi and politically moderate Hutu populations. In Burundi the coup d’état failed and instead ushered in a lengthy period of civil war. This divergence in outcome is puzzling given the similarity of these two countries, and it is not adequately explained by studies that address collective violence in each.

    This book utilizes an integrative approach that facilitates the formation of an explanation that more fully accounts for variation in the type of collective violence that occurred in Rwanda and Burundi. Showing that political actors – during periods of major institutional change – do not all respond to or perceive reform in the exact same manner or in a necessarily rational manner, this book makes an important contribution to the literature on ethnic conflict, collective violence and democratization in Africa.

    Introduction: The Puzzle

    Chapter 1: Extant Explanations of Collective Violence in Rwanda and Burundi

    Chapter 2: An Alternative Explanation of Collective Violence

    Chapter 3: Methodology and Research Design

    Chapter 4: A Story of Twins

    Chapter 5: Social Structures and Collective Violence in Rwanda and Burundi

    Chapter 6: Traditional Political Institutions and Collective Violence in Rwanda and Burundi

    Chapter 7: Reference Points, Decision Frames and the Choice to Perpetrate Genocide

    Chapter 8: Conclusions



    Stacey M. Mitchell is an Assistant Professor at Georgia State University's Perimeter College, U.S.