The Stanley Foundation has released a new policy memo, titled, “Preventing Mass Atrocities: Resilient Societies, State Capacity, and Structural Reform.” I served as a rapporteur for the memo’s affiliated conference, and contributed to the memo’s various drafts. The memo is intended for an international policy audience, but we tried our best to make our conclusions as accessible as possible. The memo’s key conclusions are threefold, and will be familiar to this blog’s regular readers:
To achieve resilience, start at the margins: International actors should identify opportunities for common collaboration with local groups and build from there. By definition, the greatest vulnerabilities are the most difficult to address.
Preventive action is dynamic, not static: To adapt to the quick evolution of mass violence, international actors should integrate preventive action across varied sectors and throughout different stages of mass violence.
Anticipate unintended consequences: International actors should be aware that in some cases they will work with and alongside former perpetrators to build preventive resilience. To mitigate hazards, preventive action should define clear boundaries between positive incentives and unconditional support.