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Sept. 3, 2008

Symposium marking 60th anniversary of UN convention on Genocide

On the 4th and 5th of December 2008, the University of Sussex will host an international symposium focused on current scholarship within the growing field of ‘genocide studies.’

In 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. It had been several years since Raphael Lemkin published his initial ideas on 'genocide' for it to become defined as a high international crime, in one of the most substantial legal and political documents of the post-war international order. Sixty years later, genocide has repeatedly recurred in regions from Cambodia to Bosnia and Rwanda to Darfur, and international political and legal response to 'prevent and punish' it remains very limited.

Two development could be considered very hopeful: legal developments including the first prosecutions for genocide by the Yugoslav and Rwandan tribunals and also the incorporation of genocide law into the statutes of the new International Criminal Court. Wider academic developments, which have seen researchers in history, sociology, anthropology and international relations, as well as law, develop increasingly dynamic scholarship in the new interdisciplinary field of 'genocide studies', which has given the world new insights into historical and contemporary genocidal violence.

Supported and organized by the University of Sussex, the symposium will address issues surrounding three primary questions of the current genocide agenda:

  • How have genocide and the patterns of its occurrence developed over the last 60 years?
  • How adequate has the Convention proved, and how has international law responded to new challenges of genocidal practice?
  • How adequate has the historiography and social science of genocide been in responding to the challenges of understanding genocide?

  • Practical Informaiton:

    Thursday 4th of December, 2008 - Friday 5th of December, 2008 (9:30am to 6:00pm)
    Location: Friends’ Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton

    Justice and Violence Research Centre Symposium

    Speakers include:
  • Craig Barker (Law, Sussex)
  • Donald Bloxham (History, Edinburgh)
  • Nigel Eltringham (Anthropology, Sussex)
  • Mark Levene (History, Southampton)
  • A. Dirk Moses (History, Sydney)
  • Martin Shaw (International Relations, Sussex)
  • Juergen Zimmerer (Centre for the Study of Genocide and Mass Violence, Sheffield)
  • Prosecution and defence lawyers who have practiced at the International Tribunals (to be confirmed)

  • Registration Fees: £20 (£10 for students)
    Cheques should made out to 'University of Sussex' and should be sent to:
    Dr. N Eltringham
    Dept of Anthropology
    University of Sussex
    Falmer, Brighton BN1 9SN

    Send Enquires to:


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