Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Is a public early warning system necessary? What should it look like? What would be the benefits? Who would use it?
Virtually every study on the subject of the prevention of genocide and mass killing affirms that intervention is more likely to be successful the earlier it begins. Despite the widespread recognition of the need for early warning, there is still no systematic, publicly available process for forecasting these atrocities.
As part of the effort to fill this critical gap, the Museum sponsored a research project on the development of an accurate and reliable early warning system for genocide and mass killing. In October 2011 the Museum hosted a seminar, led by Committee on Conscience Ganek Fellow Dr. Benjamin Valentino, that convened a group of experts from a variety of relevant fields to explore the key aspects of designing and operating such a system.
Among the many topics examined, the experts discussed what kinds of violence the early warning system should seek to forecast: whether it should focus narrowly on genocide or more broadly on large-scale intentional killing of civilians, the benefits and challenges of creating an effective model, and how to design a system that could be accurately and reliably measured in a timely fashion.
View the Executive Summary (PDF) which outlines key findings from the seminar.
The seminar was made possible by the generous support of the Sudikoff Family Foundation which funds the Sudikoff Annual Interdisciplinary Seminar on Genocide Prevention.