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Peacemaking in Rwanda: The Dynamics of Failure

Bruce D. Jones
ISBN: 978-1-55587-994-5
ISBN: 978-1-58826-291-2
2001/209 pages/LC: 2001019383
A Project of the International Peace Institute

"This is the best analysis to date of the international peacemaking efforts in general and the Arusha peace process in particular."—Paul Williams, Political Studies Review

"Jones offers a detailed account of the entire peacemaking process.... Numerous accounts exist of the Rwandan genocide, but only Jones uncovers and recounts the details of the negotiations themselves.... A cautionary tale about the potential disastrous consequences of peacemaking done poorly.... A must-read for scholars interested in the dynamics of bargaining in war resolution, and for policymakers interested in designing more effective strategies for conflict management."—Barbara F. Walter, American Political Science Review

"This outstanding study of the Rwandan genocide ... augments earlier works with significant new analysis based on the author's extensive interviews and cogent insights about conflict resolution.... a model study for students of conflict resolution."—Gail M. Gerhart, Foreign Affairs

"This is unquestionably the best analysis I have seen of conflict resolution efforts in Rwanda, with lessons that go far beyond the case at hand. It is destined to become the definitive work on the saga."—René Lemarchand


Bruce Jones investigates why the wide-ranging efforts to forestall genocidal violence in Rwanda in 1994 failed so miserably.

Jones traces the individual and collective impact of both official and unofficial mediation efforts, peacekeeping missions, and humanitarian aid. Providing theoretical and empirical evidence, he shows that the failure of the peace process was not the result of lack of effort, or even the weakness of any particular effort. Rather, it was due to a combination of factors: the lack of connections among the various attempts at conflict resolution; the intransigence of the warring parties; the lack of a coherent strategy for managing spoilers in the peace process; and weak international support.

Peacemaking in Rwanda generates critical insights into the limits of our contemporary systems for conflict prevention and management, serving as a sobering argument for reform of the international conflict management system.


Bruce D. Jones is co-director of the Center on International Cooperation at New York University.


  • Introduction: The Rwandan Civil War in Context.
  • War and Genocide: A History of the Rwandan Conflict.
  • Early Peacemaking Efforts: Regional Pre-Negotiation.
  • The Arusha Negotiations: Mediation and Facilitation.
  • UN Peacekeeping and the Collapse of Arusha: Implementation Efforts.
  • Genocide, Humanitarian Crisis, and the Renewal of War: The Consequences of Failure.
  • Dynamics of Peacemaking in Rwanda: Conclusions and Implicaitons.