Despite numerous treaties and international agreements aimed at stopping genocide, genocidal mass killings continue to take place within the current international system. In order to better understand how to best combat genocide, scholars have developed two main approaches: intervention and prevention. The interventionist approach argues genocide can be stopped in its tracks through use of military force and targeted diplomacy, while the preventionist approach argues pre-emptive action is needed to truly stop genocide. Both approaches, however, have relied too heavily on hypothetical analysis of how past genocides could have turned out differently given certain factors. This study instead aims to use case study analysis to compare two “genocidal moments”—one where genocide did take place, Srebrenica in 1995, and one where genocide did not take place, the Kosovo War in 1998 and 1999. To define this term, “genocidal moment,” this study uses Gregory Stanton’s “The 10 Stages of Genocide.” Ultimately, this study concludes that effective humanitarian interventions cannot remain neutral and, instead, must side with victims and against perpetrators.

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