Antoine Nouvet, an instructor at the June 2014 Raphael Lemkin Seminar, Latin America Edition and the November 2014 Global Edition is a specialist in conflict, globalization, and state-society relations. He also has five years experience investigating the impact of cyberspace on international governance, states, civil society, and armed groups. A global citizen with time spent in over sixty countries, he specializes in Latin American and Southeast Asian affairs and has undertaken assignments in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, South and East Asia, and West Africa. He has helped manage and advance multi-stakeholder research and advocacy programs in cooperation with multilateral and bilateral aid agencies and has experience engaging diverse civil society, private sector, academia, and government actors. Nouvet has contributed to government policy-making in Canada and internationally, and often with cross-disciplinary teams, that draw on data fusion methodologies. Currently he is a Research Associate with The SecDev Foundation in Ottawa, Canada.
In Latin America, Nouvet has worked on security and cyberspace dynamics since 2010, including a focus on chronic violence in Central America and on Colombia’s demilitarization process. He is a specialist on the role of cyberspace and strategic communications in Mexico’s narco war, cited widely in international media on the topic, with a co-authored chapter due for publication in 2014. Nouvet earned his Master’s degree at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and its Department of Political Studies and completed university studies on international development and conflict in Bangkok and Jerusalem.
Reflecting on his dedication to the field of genocide and mass atrocity prevention, Nouvet said:
At a personal level my family’s origins were shaped by the experience of war. What is more, throughout my own fieldwork in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Latin America, I’ve connected with individuals, households and communities scarred by mass atrocities. These offer past and present reminders of just how important preventing and addressing genocide and war crimes really are.
While Nouvet believes that emerging technologies can offer a pathway towards effective, long-term prevention of mass atrocities, they are not a panacea. According to Nouvet:
We need to predict, prevent and reduce genocide and mass atrocities. Tools for prevention and reduction are key, along with measuring and evaluating what works and does not. Our approaches must also draw on new technologies and constant and flexible learning to fit our rapidly changing world. The implications of the “open empowerment” revolution enabled by new technologies, from Tahrir Square to the Snowden disclosures, are still playing out and will take decades to navigate.
Even so, we must also be cautious in how quickly we adopt “new” approaches. New technologies are generating a lot of hype in their potential for positive change — and real opportunities exist for clever ideas to harness unprecedented connectivity and data for atrocity prevention — but they also entail risks that we’re only beginning to grasp. Increasingly, I’ve seen cyberspace used adeptly not just for good, but also for violence, oppression, and exploitation by large and small actors alike.
Finally, beyond new gadgets and methods will be the enduring importance of broad education and sensitization on shared values of tolerance and empathy across the world, whether at the highest levels of whole countries and cultures or locally in families, neighborhoods, etc., as per the adage: The path to world peace begins within.