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Department of Politics and International Studies

Jonathan R. Beloff

BA (Richard Stockton College), MS (New York University)


Jonathan Beloff
Jonathan R. Beloff
Email address:
Thesis title:
The Evolution of Rwandan Foreign Policy from Genocide to Globalisation
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

My research explores the evolution of Rwanda's foreign policy from its use of the 'genocide guilt card' in orienting itself in the aftermath of the Genocide to its adoption of western discourses and practices around security and humanitarian intervention and pursuit of regional hegemony. Following the 1994 Genocide, the liberating forces that formed the country's new government, led by Paul Kagame, focused its efforts on state security and on preventing a future genocide. As part of this policy, it sought out and fought against genocide perpetrators across the border in Zaire and later the Democratic Republic of Congo. Questionable acts undertaken in the course of this were justified by parts of the international community on the basis of its admission of guilt at not having intervened to stop the Rwandan Genocide in 1994; and the Rwandan government itself utilised the genocide guilt card to maximise its negotiations for aid from the West. However, since the end of the Second Congo in 2003, Rwanda's foreign policy has oriented itself more towards state development than security. It accumulates political and economic power through its peacekeeping missions, interventions to secure regional stability, economic and governmental development. Based on its visible commitments to state development and regional peace initiatives, Rwanda has strengthened its strategic relationships with the Western powers with particular focus towards the United States. It has moved away from its earlier reliance on the genocide guilt card, having accepted their responsibilities and failures in stopping the genocide, Rwanda's international donors became less susceptible to feelings of guilt, and challenged Rwanda to prove that it was prepared to orient itself to a brighter future, as a means of securing financial and political aid, and is fomenting a position of regional power and hegemony through its proven and ongoing track record as an agile negotiator and peace-keeper.

PhD Publications

Journal Publications:

China’s Political Economic Policies in Africa, Stockton Innovations (2012), Vol. 1, Issue 1.

How Piracy is Affecting Economic Developing in Puntland, Somalia. The Journal of Strategic Security, (2013) Vol 6, No 1.

The Relationship between M23 Rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Rwandan Defense Force. Perspectives on Global Issues (2013) Vol 8, Issue 1.

Leadership Mindsets: The Social and Political Development of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) of the Past Twenty Years, Journal of African Union Studies, (2014) Vol 3, Issue 3.

Book Reviews:

Rwanda Fast Forward: Social, Economic, Military and Reconciliation Prospects: African Studies Quarterly: Volume 13, Issue 4 (Winter 2013)

Rwanda, Inc: How a Devastated Nation Became an Economic Model for the Developing World: Journal of Modern African Studies: Volume 51, Issue 2 (June 2013)

The Horn of Africa: For the LSE Review of Books:

Rwanda Before the Genocide: Catholic Politics and Ethnic Discourse in the Late Colonial Era
African Studies Quarterly: Volume 14, Issue 3 (March 2014)

Africa’s Urban Revolution: For the LSE Review of Books:

Democratic Trajectories in Africa: Unraveling the Impact of Foreign Aid: For the LSE Review of Books:
http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsereviewofbooks/2014/03/19/book-review-democratic-trajectories-in-africa- unravelling-the-impact-of-foreign-aid/

Book Chapters:

“The Real Hero of Hotel Rwanda?” Confronting Genocide in Rwanda: Dehumanization, Denial, and Strategies for Prevention, CNLG/Apidama Ediciones (2014), p. 255-74.

“The Historical Relationship between Religion and Government in Rwanda”
For the upcoming, Global Secularisms in a Post-Secular Age. Publishing company: Forthcoming from DeGruyter. Expected published date: Late 2015

‘Double Genocide’ or Revenge Killings? Did the Liberators of the Rwandan Tutsi Genocide Commit their own Genocide?’
Accepted pending final peer review. Publishing company: Intersentia


“Rwanda Ponders own Security While FDLR Remains a Strategic Threat” African Arguments (2014), http://africanarguments.org/2014/06/05/rwandan-ponders-own-security-while-fdlr-remains-a-strategic-threat- by-jonathan-beloff/

Beloff, J., & Sitters, B. (2014, August 29). Rusesabagina continues to exploit a naive West. The New Times. Retrieved from http://allafrica.com/stories/201408290310.html

Blog Series on Rwanda-Israel/Jewish Relations for Times of Israel,

PhD Conferences

  • Rwanda 20 Years After: Memory, Justice, and Recovery in the Shadow of Genocide conference on March 28-30, 2014: Paper being presented: “Double Genocide’ or Revenge Killings? Did the Liberators of the Rwandan Tutsi Genocide Commit their own Genocide?’
  • New York University Global Secularism on November 15-16, 2013: Panel: The Public Sphere
Paper: “The Development of the Relationship between the Public Sphere and the Church in Rwanda”
  • SOAS MPhil Politics and International Studies Conference on June 8, 2014
    Title: The Geopolitical Effects of Rwanda’s Possible Mineral Wealth


  • Researcher/Editor for the Research and Documentation Center on Genocide at the National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide
  • The Kigali Genocide Memorial Center


The Great Lakes Region of Africa, Horn of Africa, Economic Development, International Trade and Genocide Studies