International Dynamics of Making Peace and Preventing Atrocity: Where Do We Stand

IR Public lecture


Professor Scott Straus and Associate Professor Severine Autesserre


Lecture Theatre 1, Hedley Bull Centre (130), corner of Garran Road and Liversidge Street, ANU


Wednesday, 26 October, 2016 - 17:30 to 19:00
In this seminar, two internationally renowned scholars of conflict and genocide studies, Professor Scott Straus and Associate Professor Severine Autesserre, will present their recent research on international efforts to build peace and prevent atrocities. In conversation with each other’s work, they ask if significant developments in international law, policy frameworks and peace interventions are having a real impact in ending armed conflict, preventing mass atrocities, and building peace in war-torn societies. Straus and Autesserre’s work draws on many years of extensive field experience in countries affected by armed conflict and genocide, and in this presentation they offer explanations as to why the international community is succeeding and failing in different areas, and how strategies can be formulated to strengthen international peace interventions. 
Scott Straus (Berkeley Ph.D., 2004) is Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (USA). Straus works on violence, human rights, and African politics. He is the author most recently of Fundamentals of Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention (US Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2016) and Making and Unmaking Nations: War, Leadership, and Genocide in Modern Africa (Cornell University Press, 2015), which recently won the Lepgold Prize for the best book in International Relations, and awards from the American Political Science Association and the International Studies Association. His 2006 book on the Rwandan genocide, The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War in Rwanda (Cornell University Press), also won several awards, including the best 2006 book in political science from the Association of American Publishers. Prior to his academic career, Straus was a freelance journalist in Africa. For more details on his research, see
Severine Autesserre is an Associate Professor of Political Science, specializing in international relations and African studies, at Barnard College, Columbia University (USA). She works on civil wars, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, humanitarian aid, and African politics. Dr. Autesserre has written two award-winning books and a series of articles. Her latest book, Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention (Cambridge University Press, 2014), examines how everyday practices, habits, and narratives influence the effectiveness of peacebuilding interventions on the ground. Her previous book, The Trouble with the Congo: Local Violence and the Failure of International Peacebuilding (Cambridge University Press, 2010), focuses on local violence and international intervention in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Before becoming an academic, Dr. Autesserre worked for humanitarian and development agencies in Afghanistan, Kosovo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nicaragua and India. She holds a post-doctorate from Yale University (2007), a Ph.D. in political science from New York University (2006), and master’s degrees in international relations and political science from Columbia University (2000) and Science-Po (France, 1999). For more details on her research, see
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