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  • Shanley Pinchotti

    () (KU Leuven)

  • Philip Verwimp

    (Université Libre de Bruxelles)


This paper applies the theory of social capital to the unfolding of genocide in a Rwandan community located 50 km south of the capital. Using the concepts defined by Putnam, Coleman and Woolcock, we find that the activities of political parties, civil war in the north of the country and the use of coercion and violence inside the community weakened existing ties between members of the two ethnic groups, Hutu and Tutsi. Within these groups however, social ties were strengthened to a degree where collective action against the minority group became a feasible option. In this process, we analyse the role of a small group of key players in the community and link their role with their political and economic status. The genocide is thus situated and interpreted in the social fabric of a Rwandan community. The paper is the result of intensive field work in Rwanda.

Suggested Citation

  • Shanley Pinchotti & Philip Verwimp, 2007. "SOCIAL CAPITAL and the RWANDAN GENOCIDE A Micro-Level Analysis," HiCN Working Papers 30, Households in Conflict Network.
  • Handle: RePEc:hic:wpaper:30

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Verwimp, Philip, 2003. "The political economy of coffee, dictatorship, and genocide," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 161-181, June.
    2. Philip Verwimp, 2003. "The political economy of coffee, dictatorship and genocide," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/223341, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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    Cited by:

    1. Beekman, Gonne & Bulte, Erwin H., 2012. "Social norms, tenure security and soil conservation: Evidence from Burundi," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 50-63.
    2. Dominic Rohner & Mathias Thoenig & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2013. "War Signals: A Theory of Trade, Trust, and Conflict," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(3), pages 1114-1147.
    3. Christophe Muller & Marc Vothknecht, 2011. "Group Violence, Ethnic Diversity, and Citizen Participation: Evidence from Indonesia," Research Working Papers 48, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict.
    4. Rehman, Faiz Ur & Vanin, Paolo, 2017. "Terrorism risk and democratic preferences in Pakistan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 95-106.
    5. Patricia Justino, 2009. "The Impact of Armed Civil Conflict on Household Welfare and Policy Responses," HiCN Working Papers 61, Households in Conflict Network.

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