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Aiding Violence: The Development Enterprise in Rwanda Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Kumarian Press (September 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565490835
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565490833
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #451,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A very well researched, well-thought through, astonishing, most upsetting book about the 1994 Rwanda genocide. This book should be obligatory for anybody, African as well as non-African, concerned with the continent."

"This book should be read by everyone involved in development. For those with some knowledge of Rwanda, reading it is nothing short of a cathartic experience. Much of what Peter Uvin has distilled so carefully and passionately from the Rwandan experience is also painfully relevant for other parts of the world."

"Paradigm-rocking... simply must be required reading for anyone who desires to set foot in an African nation, no matter how noble or lofty their goals."

"An invaluable anatomy of the way development aid to Rwanda before the genocide contributed to what took place - essential reading for anyone with a tender conscience and a strong stomach."

About the Author

Peter Uvin is the Henry J. Leir Professor of International Humanitarian Studies at the Fletcher School, Tufts University. He received his doctorate in international relations from the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales, University of Geneva. He has been a Research Associate Professor at the Watson Institute of International Affairs, Brown University, and has taught at New Hampshire College and the Graduate School of Development Studies, Geneva. For the last 20 years, he has worked periodically in Africa as a development practitioner and consultant, recently collaborating with UNDP, the OECD, and Belgian, Dutch, Danish, and British bilateral agencies. His book, Aiding Violence: The Development Enterprise in Rwanda, won the 1999 African Studies Association Herskovits Award for the most outstanding book on Africa.

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By rudiger on December 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
Uvin's argument is not that aid workers in Rwanda participated in the genocide of 1994, nor even that they were accomplices in it. Rather, "AIDING VIOLENCE" contends that the development business--by the very nature of its mission--contributed to a state of severe inequity and "structural violence" that over many decades had made Rwanda fertile ground for widespread ethnic hatred leading to massive bloodshed.
It is the apolitical nature of aid, the author tells us, that plays into the hands of the killers and their ringleaders. The book is reminiscent of Ferguson's "ANTI-POLITICS MACHINE" in this way. Where Uvin's contribution is greatest is his ability to situate this discussion about the ramifications of "development" in the Rwandan context, with ample documentary support for his conclusions. He also isn't so naive as to think that the Rwandan genocide was somehow foisted on a passive population by an overpoweringly evil elite. Sure, they were evil, but the hundreds of thousands of Rwandans who took part in the violence had more reason to do so than simply because their leaders told them to.
This book will likely give you some serious doubts about the entire concept of development and just what it means anyway in a world rife with turmoil, inequality and discrimination. And that is precisely what Uvin intended it to do.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are a student of international conflict affairs or the development aid apparatus, you cannot do better than this book. Uvin applies his arguments mostly to Rwanda but aspects of his thought-provoking discussion extend far beyond. A must-read.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Neurasthenic TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 18, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book should be thought of as having three sections: First, an opinionated history of Rwanda, in which Ulvin shortcuts some highly politicized debates by simply stating his opinion as to, for example, the actual origin of the Hutu and Tutsi groups. This section continues through 1994, and is the strongest part of the book. Second, the book contains a long rumination of the complicity of nongovernmental organizations and aid groups in Rwanda's racial turmoil and genocide. This would have been a good three page discussion, here spread over about 90 pages. Finally, there is a sociological examination of the roots of the Rwandan genocide. Where Ulvin points out the weaknesses in popular theories, this is worthwhile. Unfortunately, too much reads like a college paper and contains little of value for a reader.

Overall, the history section redeems the book. The book is certainly useful for those interested in Rwanda, probably less useful to those interested in racial violence generally.
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