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New AIPG and I-GMAP Policy Paper: Expanding the Ranks of Atrocity Prevention Actors

The Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities (AIPG) and Binghamton University’s Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention (I-GMAP) are proud to announce the publication of a new policy paper, entitled Expanding the Ranks of Atrocity Prevention Actors, that offers insight into how an atrocity prevention perspective can be effectively integrated into accreditation standards and professional codes of ethics across a wide range of professions. The paper was authored by Dr. Nadia Rubaii, Co-Director of I-GMAP and Professor of Public Administration at Binghamton University, and two former I-GMAP graduate students, Sarah Prentice, Communications Associate with the Seattle Indian Health Board, and Stephanie Wright, AIPG’s Online Education Programs Associate. Expanding the Ranks represents the latest entry in I-GMAP’s Mechanisms of Atrocity Prevention (MAP) Report series and the Auschwitz Institute’s Sheri P. Rosenberg Policy Papers in Prevention series.

A close partner of AIPG, Binghamton University’s Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention brings together academics and practitioners to increase understanding of, develop commitment to, and build capacity for effective prevention of genocide and other mass atrocities. Founded in 2016, I-GMAP’s work is premised on the idea that both the capacity and the responsibility to contribute to atrocity prevention rests not just with state actors, but at all levels of society. The Institute promotes greater collaboration among scholars and practitioners by convening virtual and in-person dialogues and encouraging policy-relevant research. I-GMAP provides a range of educational programs, including the world’s first Master of Science in Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention, and an innovative and expanding fellows program that encompasses all disciplines.

Expanding the Ranks asks readers to imagine a world in which doctors, lawyers, nurses, accountants, business leaders, journalists, planners, social workers, and government officials understand and accept their role in preventing mass atrocities. The paper argues that current professional education and socialization standards neglect this theme and thereby miss an opportunity to expand the atrocity prevention community. Working in consultation with a diverse team of international experts, Rubaii, Prentice, and Wright provide insight into how professionals not only have the potential, but also the responsibility, and perhaps even an untapped desire, to contribute to the prevention of mass atrocities if they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to be able to contribute to prevention at each phase of the conflict cycle as a part of the performance of their regular duties. 

Expanding the Ranks reminds us that mass atrocities do not occur exclusively as the result of formal State actions at the highest levels of government, but rather that the scale of these atrocities requires the complicity, if not the outright collaboration and participation, actors across the societal spectrum. As such, those same actors have a role to play in effective prevention. The text introduces a Professional Responsibility to Prevent (PR2P) framework, which would operate alongside — and in complementary fashion to — the established Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principle. Through PR2P, it is possible to envision professional degree programs, across fields and disciplines, that introduce students to the key concepts associated with atrocity prevention and provide them with the skills to contribute to preventive processes as a matter of regular practice and in accordance with guidance provided by accrediting bodies. 

After identifying the importance of professional education to effective prevention efforts, as well as the role played by specialized accreditation systems more broadly,  the publication outlines an innovative theory of change to put the proposed PR2P framework into action. Expanding the Ranks profiles 10 individual professions in order to identify opportunities to introduce the PR2P framework through a close examination of specific values shared by members of the respective fields. The authors then conclude the text with a discussion of “top-down” and “bottom-up” strategies for the progressive implementation of an atrocity prevention perspective into relevant preparatory programs and a variety of socio-political factors that could affect its implementation.

Expanding the Ranks of Atrocity Prevention Actors can be accessed through the Auschwitz Institute’s Sheri P. Rosenberg Policy Papers in Prevention series, as well as directly via I-GMAP’s MAP series by clicking here.