Herman Salton, DPIR alumnus and Associate Professor of PPE, Asian University for Women, Bangladesh, will be discussing his award-winning book, ‘Dangerous Diplomacy: Bureaucracy, Power Politics, and the Role of the UN Secretariat in Rwanda’, recently published by OUP. The event will be chaired by Neil MacFarlane, Lester B Pearson Professor of International Relations and Fellow at St Anne’s College, Oxford. A drinks reception will follow.
Dangerous Diplomacy reassesses the role of the UN Secretariat during the Rwandan genocide. With the help of new sources, including the personal diaries and private papers of the late Sir Marrack Goulding—an Under-Secretary-General from 1988 to 1997 and the second highest-ranking UN official during the genocide—the book situates the Rwanda operation within the context of bureaucratic and power-political friction existing at UN Headquarters in the early 1990s. The book shows how this confrontation led to a lack of coordination between key UN departments on issues as diverse as reconnaissance, intelligence, and crisis management. Yet Dangerous Diplomacy goes beyond these institutional pathologies and identifies the conceptual origins of the Rwanda failure in the gray area that separates peacebuilding and peacekeeping. The difficulty of separating these two UN functions explains why six decades after the birth of the UN, it has still not been possible to demarcate the precise roles of some key UN departments.