Imagine the Unimaginable: Ending Genocide in the 21st Century
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A new poll commissioned by the Museum found that 67 years after the Holocaust, Americans believe genocide is still very possible yet preventable. The poll also found Americans want the US government to play a major role in stopping genocide from happening around the world.
Americans expressed support for a range of genocide-prevention strategies, especially for education about the Holocaust and other past atrocities. They are supportive of military action in cases like Syria and Sudan but they want the US to work in concert with other nations.
The results of the poll are based on the telephone interviews of 1,000 Americans conducted by Penn Schoen Berland between June 30 and July 10, 2012. The poll has a margin of error of 3.1 percent.
To see the full results of the poll, go to psbresearch.com/endinggenocide.
Americans believe genocide is very possible but also preventable.
- 94% of Americans believe genocide is still very much a concern and could occur today.
- 66% of Americans believe it is preventable.
Americans believe the US government has a major role to play in stopping genocide.
- 69% think the US should prevent or stop genocide or mass atrocities from occurring in another part of the world.
- 78% support the US taking military action to stop genocide or mass atrocities.
Americans support a range of strategies for preventing genocide (e.g., education) and are supportive of military action but want the US to work in concert with other nations.
- 53% say multilateral action is the most effective military strategy, while only 10% say unilateral action by the US is most effective.
- 76% believe education about the history of genocide can help prevent future atrocities.
- Fewer than one in ten Americans say the US is most responsible for preventing genocide; most believe international bodies or the countries involved in a conflict are more responsible.
Americans believe the international community is not effective at genocide prevention.
- 55% believe the international community is not effective at protecting civilians from genocide or mass atrocities.
- One in two Americans believes the International Criminal Court is not effective at preventing genocide.
The poll was made possible in part by a generous pro-bono contribution from Burson-Marsteller and Penn Schoen Berland.