Folkedrabet i Rwanda: The Genocide in Rwanda

Amanda Lopdrup Hansen, Arlev Lyngby, Anne Sofie, Mathilde Johanne Cordua, Rose Holm, Von Appen Elsgart & Camilla Marie

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This report examines what challenges the bureaucratic structure of the United Nations presented in regards to preventing the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. This reports main focus is on how the bureaucracy influences the people in the UN’s moral judgment and therefore following actions. First it examines the bureaucratic structure of the UN, from the theoretical view of Max Weber and theories of three different perspectives of the world and UN. From this we conclude that the bureaucracy is dominated by rational behavior: both value rational and aim rational behavior. Because of the capitalistic influence on the UN the aim rational behavior is the most dominant. This fact presents some complications for the fulfillment of the value rational behavior that is necessary to live up to the UN treaty. From the three perspectives of the world and UN it was further gathered that the UN have some challenges in regards to its practical legitimacy. The report turns its focus to the use of power by the individuals in the UN during the genocide in Rwanda. Through this, it is assembly that there was a prominent use of indirect power from the people sitting in the UN. In general, the conclusion is that the individuals sitting in the Headquarter handled and approached the conflict in a different way than the people in the field, UNAMIR. To understand this difference in action throughout the bureaucracy, the theories of Zygmunt Bauman and Stanley Milgram is introduced. All this leads to the final conclusion that the people closer to the genocide, UNAMIR, reacted stronger, because they were near the consequences of their actions, whilst the rest of the UN staff was placed far away and therefore had a weaker feeling of moral responsibility to the people of Rwanda. The report therefore concludes that the bureaucratic structure of the UN played a part in why the individuals in the organization failed to live up to their own visions during the genocide in Rwanda 1994.

UddannelserBasis - Samfundsvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato21 dec. 2015
VejledereKirstine Strøh Varming & Hanne Themsen


  • Rwanda
  • FN