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Aiding Violence: The Development Enterprise in Rwanda Paperback – September 5, 1998
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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. --WorldViews
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. --Development in Practice
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. --The New Republic
About the Author
Peter Uvin is Henry J. Leir Professor of International Humanitarian Studies at the Fletcher School, Tufts University.
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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.
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.