On Thursday, September 29, 2016, Dr. James Waller, the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation’s Director of Academic Programs and Cohen Professor for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College, gave remarks and answered questions at an event marking the launch of his latest book: Confronting Evil: Engaging our Responsibility to Prevent Genocide. Organized by the Institute for the Study of Human Rights and the School of International as well as the Public Affairs’ Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University, the lunchtime occasion offered Dr. Waller the chance to discuss the experiences and ideas that informed his latest publication and the concepts and strategies contained within.
Dr. Waller discussed a variety of topics with attendees, including his introduction to the nascent Auschwitz Institute, and provided powerful anecdotes from his experiences with field research in places like Rwanda, Northern Ireland, and the Balkans, among others. Throughout his remarks, Waller spoke about the process of developing and refining the continuum of prevention strategies detailed in the book’s second chapter, which presents an innovative approach to this daunting task.
Emphasizing that “prevention does not end when [the] violence begins,” he highlighted the methodology outlined in the book, which calls for active engagement throughout the conflict cycle. In response to audience questions, Dr. Waller also discussed the state of contemporary atrocity prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, as well as the ongoing work of National Mechanisms for the Prevention of Genocide. He also shared his views on the opportunities available for implementing the strategies presented in Confronting Evil and the ways in which they would work towards ameliorating ongoing conflicts around the world.
Confronting Evil: Engaging our Responsibility to Prevent Genocide is now available for purchase here. For more information on the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation’s work in building a world that prevents genocide and other mass atrocities, please visit our Programs page.