Date of Submission

Spring 2014

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Political Studies

Project Advisor 1

David Kettler

Abstract/Artist's Statement

ABSTRACT: The Government of Rwanda seeks an end to the Hutu-Tutsi conflict by using development and the provision of security to establish a post-ethnic Rwandan national community with the expectation of incentivizing citizens to disassociate from their ethnic identities, an approach limited by significant risks. Relying on theoretical analysis of the Government’s “National Unity and Reconciliation” project, as well as primary interview data collected in Rwanda in April, 2013, this study explores how the Government’s post-genocide nation-building project works, and evaluates its effectiveness at ending the Hutu-Tutsi conflict. Chapter one focuses on an historical review of the conflict. It finds that the political polarization between Hutu and Tutsi has characterized the Rwandan national community since the colonial period. It also finds that the current Government imposes a coercive silence on the remaining tension between Hutu and Tutsi in order to maintain victor’s justice and attract investment in Rwanda’s developing economy. Chapter two focuses on the National Unity and Reconciliation project itself, finding its approach to be rooted in the theoretical underpinnings of the modern state. Chapter two also finds that the Unity and Reconciliation project seeks the eradication of Hutu and Tutsi labels by framing economic development as possible only in the absence of ethnicity, and using the provision of security to thereby disassociate beneficiaries of the developing economy from their former ethnic identities. This study finds that the strength of this approach is limited to a minority of Rwanda’s population that does benefit from the developing economy, and identifies economic inequality and victor’s justice as the foremost risks to lasting peace between Hutu and Tutsi that exist within the Government’s current strategy.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.