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Games in Multiple Arenas, Foreign Intervention and Institutional Design on the Eve of the Rwandan Genocide


  • Verwimp Philip

    (Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium and Yale University)


This paper studies the strategic behavior of four parties in the crucial years preceding the Rwandan genocide, namely 1990-1994. For that purpose a nested game is developed in which the autocratic regime plays a transition game with the domestic opposition in the principal arena and at the same time that regime is involved in a civil war game with a rebel movement. The change of preference orderings is studied when the civil war is introduced as a shock in the transition game. The fourth player, the international community interferes in the nested game as a provider of military and financial aid to the autocratic regime. The Nash equilibria of different games are studied with and without the interference of the international community and with and without human rights conditionality of donor aid to the autocratic regime. When players realize that the rules of the game prevent them from reaching their preferred outcome, they may redesign these rules. The elimination of the moderate Hutu opposition is studied as an example of institutional design. This elimination cleared the way for an even more innovating strategy, the genocide of the Tutsi minority.

Suggested Citation

  • Verwimp Philip, 2004. "Games in Multiple Arenas, Foreign Intervention and Institutional Design on the Eve of the Rwandan Genocide," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-47, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:pepspp:v:10:y:2004:i:1:n:1

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