United States

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It Can Happen Here: Assessing the Risk of Genocide in the US - Dr. James Waller, Keene State College

March 20, 2017

NEW YORK - The Center for the Development of International Law (CDIL) and the Institute for Global Policy (IGP) are pleased to release an important white paper titled “It Can Happen Here: Assessing the Risk of Genocide in the United States” by Professor James E. Waller, Cohen Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College in New Hampshire, United States. 

Professor Waller’s paper questions:

Could a long, slow attrition of civil and human rights bring our country [the United States] again to the point where genocide – at home or abroad – stands justified as sound political, social, national, and economic strategy? If so, could we recognize the warning signs in that process and have the collective resolve to resist and mitigate them? The purpose of this paper is to offer a sober real-time analysis of those warning signs and assess the degree of risk for genocide in the US.

It would be the epitome of American exceptionalism to believe that we, alone among nations in the world, are immune to genocide. Every country in the world, including the US, is at risk of genocide. Countries simply differ in their degree of risk.

William Pace, President of CDIL and Executive Director of IGP stated,

“ While we agree with Professor Waller that the danger of genocide being committed in the United States is presently very remote, the increased incidence of hate crimes and xenophobia are undeniable. Our websites have published the warnings issued in the last six months by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, about the dangerous political statements by Donald Trump and other extremist Western politicians. 

The High Commissioner warned that campaigns promoting religious discrimination and fear were destabilizing nations and increasing support for terrorist organisations like ISIS.”

CDIL and IGP are honored to publish papers related to the purposes and principles of our missions. The Center and the Institute have as primary goals the national, regional and global legal enforcement of international humanitarian laws, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.  The views expressed in the papers we publish and publicize are solely the views of the author(s) and not necessarily the view of the organizations.

The paper is available for download at the link below. 

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