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Global Jurist

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Cynicism and Guilt in International Law after Rwanda

Luigi Russi
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of International Politics, City University London, London, UK
  • Email:
Published Online: 2014-05-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/gj-2014-0004


Framing the Rwandan genocide as a “failure” of international law forces one to approach it as an unintended consequence of an otherwise benign system of formal relations between states. The present article looks at it instead as a physiological product of international law, disclosing the possibility to contemplate the latter as a fundamentally imperialistic system pegged on the controversial notion of “rule of law”. International law embodies a system of legalised extraction swaying between cynicism and guilt: despite its real face showing on occasions like Rwanda, it keeps revamping itself so as to prevent a fundamental appraisal of the contradictory nature of the system as a whole.

Keywords: Rwanda; genocide; international law


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About the article

Published Online: 2014-05-14

Published in Print: 2013-08-01

Citation Information: Global Jurist, ISSN (Online) 1934-2640, ISSN (Print) 2194-5675, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/gj-2014-0004. Export Citation

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