Author: Christian Davenport

Whoever Wins the American Presidential Election, Democracy is Losing

The nation’s frenzied attention on the presidential election comes amid the backdrop of the crucial issues of the COVID-19 pandemic, police violence, racial protest, militia threats, the Supreme Court and active attempts at voter suppression. Supporters of both presidential candidates see the other side’s win as apocalyptic. Our recent research shows that no matter who… Read more »

Is 2020 = 1968?

People around the world are grappling to understand events in the United States at the moment regarding the current wave of protest and protest policing.  A few events readily come to mind in this comparison but the one that probably carries the greatest resonance would be the uprisings/disturbances/riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther… Read more »

Measuring, “Denying” & “Trivializing” Deaths in the Case of Rwanda

Reading “The Reign of ‘Terror” by Tomis Kapitan in the New York Times on October 19th, I was struck by the following passage: …the rhetoric of “terror” has had these effects: It erases any incentive the public might have to understand the nature and origins of their grievances so that the possible legitimacy of their… Read more »

Activists, Authorities and the Problem of Telling the Difference

Discussion about who killed Anna Mae Aquash of the American Indian Movement in the 1960s raises some interesting thoughts regarding what takes place when governments and challengers square off against one another. Underlying most research on the topic and popular understanding is the idea that governments and challengers represent different sides of a conflict –… Read more »

Rwanda, Remembrance and Research: Or, How Rwandan Violence Taught Me to Embrace Subnational/Disaggregated Conflict Studies and Integral Conflict Research

Fourteen years ago I began a journey to understand the political violence that took place in Rwanda during the year of 1994. Toward this end, I brought with me the skills that I had at that time: 1) an interest in media as well as government-generated data and content analysis, 2) an approach that was… Read more »

Rwanda, Research and the Wisdom of (Non)Responsiveness (or, Email is a Gift Not a Responsibility)

As I prepare for the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan political violence of 1994 (i.e., the genocide, the interstate war, the civil war and the other forms of activity that are not easily named), I am reminded of earlier correspondence and how the modern period conceives of communication as well as what researchers must/need not… Read more »