Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis




Public History

First Advisor

Joseph November

Second Advisor

David Decker


DISS_para>This thesis aims to examine and critique the United States' historical response to genocide. Beginning with the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crimes of Genocide in 1948, the author will highlight the lives of Raphael Lemkin and Senator William Proxmire in their personal crusades for U.S. ratification of the genocide ban. Culminating in a case study of the genocide in Sudan, the U.S. foreign policy towards genocide will be evaluated and charted through its evolution since 1948, through to ratification, and then at its applications in Cambodia, Iraq, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Sudan. The self-proclaimed defender of human rights and peace loving, democratic institutions, the United States has historically fumbled the potential for positive, influential peace making roles on the international humanitarian stage. Examined against the backdrop of the geopolitics that defined, influenced, and ultimately dictated the foreign policy decisions, the author will examine the lessons that have been learned, missed, or ignored through the United States' history of genocide prevention and intervention since 1948.


© 2013, Shane Andrew Lesko

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