Beyond the west, beyond the state, and much beyond the moral: for an ethically responsible policy towards the difference - the Rwandan case

Drawing on a post-modern/post-structuralist approach in International Relations, this article aims to make an analysis of the UN's decision taken in April 21, 1994 about the establishment of Unamir as a response to the violence in Rwanda. We emphasize the assessment of the ethical responsibility of the organization, in terms of the radical re-articulation of the concepts of ethics, responsibility, and subjectivity, as proposed by Emmanuel Levinas. We look for the implications of that decision in terms of the consequences it permitted - that is, the Rwandan genocide, the increasing of the violence over time allowed by Turquoise Operation, and the reorganization of the genociders in the refugees' camps. Besides, we intend to look upon a deeper theme, which underlies the permissive conditions of those tragic consequences: the sovereign-territorial-state principle domination in the contemporary political imagination. The hard boundaries between inside/outside, state/refugee camp, domestic/international derived from that principle imposed also a compartmentalization in the arena of formulation of policies to deal with the humanitarian crisis that followed the genocide. This fragmented way to deal with such a complex and multifaceted problem, for its turn, resulted in politics that distorted the priorities and undermined the effectiveness of the assistance programs, as well as alienated the newly installed government.

Rwanda; Genocide; Responsibility; Ethics


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