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Title:Do we understand life after genocide? Center and periphery in the construction of knowledge in postgenocide Rwanda
Author:Ingelaere, BertISNI
Periodical:African Studies Review (ISSN 1555-2462)
Geographic term:Rwanda
sociology of knowledge
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/african_studies_review/v053/53.1.ingelaere.pdf
Abstract:Do we really understand life after genocide? A reflection on the construction of knowledge in and on Rwanda reveals that it is rife with contradictory assertions and images, and that there is a discrepancy between image and reality. This article, which is based on research in Rwanda between 2004 and 2008, maps the centre(s) of knowledge construction in postgenocide Rwanda, the place not only where policy is made, but also where knowledge is actively construed, managed, and controlled. It discusses the 'scientific' construction of knowledge on the basis of four examples: reports by the UN World Food Programme, the UNDP, the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, and the World Bank. The first two are well known as the findings were made public; in the latter two cases, interference occurred before the results were published.The article stresses the need for scholars and observers to reveal the social and historical context for the knowledge being generated. It also urges them to physically and mentally move away from the centre of society: to adopt a bottom-up perspective that captures the voices of ordinary people. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]