Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1998-1999 index

Distributed March 3, 1999
Contact: Janet Kerlin

Brown researcher Peter Uvin writes book about Rwandan violence

Peter Uvin, associate professor at the Watson Institute for International Studies, is the author of Aiding Violence: The Development Enterprise in Rwanda. His research indicates that foreign aid agencies may unwittingly contribute to violent behavior.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Associate Professor Peter Uvin explored the 1994 genocide in Rwanda in his recently published book, Aiding Violence: The Development Enterprise in Rwanda.

Uvin maintains that aid agencies - from USAID to the World Bank - unknowingly further violence by behaving as if their activities are politically neutral, when in reality their activities have deep political implications.

"They end up contributing to the support of regimes that violate human rights," Uvin said from his office at Brown's Watson Institute for International Studies.

According to Uvin, the 1994 genocide in Rwanda was a combination of ingrained racism between Hutu and Tutsis, power holders who play on those feelings to grant privileges, and a society devoid of hope that fosters a willingness for people to be manipulated and participate in violence.

Uvin's research adds perspective to the recent killings of tourists in Uganda. He is available for interview by telephone (including ISDN). Contact the News Bureau at (401) 863-2476.