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international politics and relations in the current era, which define how communities and geographical regions relate to each other, have evolved over a period after time. The human history has been a roller coaster ride, full of violence, bloodshed and genocides. The term genocide refers to a planned and organized destruction against a national, ethnic or religious group.
In every geographical area, there are people from different ethnic, religious and social backgrounds and from different mindsets and school of thoughts. In general, one of the groups remains in the majority while the others remain in the minority. Both the majority and the minority groups have their own respective points-of-view which they aspire to enforce; however, since the majority has the numerical strength, they consider it their natural right to be in the powerful position. In some cases, it had been observed that the minority manages to take over the powerful position; however, it always remains under a threat of being overthrown by the majority. While the inhabitants of any geographical territory have always had a tendency to indulge into some kind of a conflict, the responsibility of maintaining the rule of law, discipline and stability lies on the shoulder of the nation's leadership.
When a deadly international conflict broke out in the twentieth century in form of the First World War, one constructive step that was taken by the nations who were party in the war was the formation of an organization that had the capacity to restore peace in the destabilized regions and can help seeking peaceful solution between the states that were stuck in conflict situations (Destexhe 1995). This organization was then known as the League of Nations. Initially, the aim of the organization was to resolve international conflicts in a peaceful manner. The primary focus was on seeking solutions to conflicts pertaining to geographical and territorial changes resulted due to colonization. However, as international politics evolved and more countries joined in, the League of Nations expanded its mandate to a broader spectrum of activities and emerged as the United Nations Organization. Since then, the United Nations is known for giving political, military, financial and economic assistance to nations that are in any sort of distress or conflict. The United Nations Organization has been a key player as a decision making entity in times of geographical and political conflicts between states. Throughout the history and up to the current age of globalization, the decision making process is always influenced by the people of the state, it political leadership, the foreign stake holders and the super national organization such as the United Nations Organizations (Long & Mills 2008). How these stakeholders and forces influence the decision making process depends on the culture followed in the respective political, administrative and supranational organization. Like any other organizational culture, this culture is also defined by the set of values, norms and belief systems prevalent in the organization and among its people.
This paper evaluates the role of various stake holders along with the supernational organizations like the United Nations Organization in influencing incidents such as the Rwanda Genocide of 1994. The paper analyzes, within the context of management, that how internal and external stake holders influence various decision making processes and make way to provoke or prevent such incidents that may affect history, politics, and human lives across geographical boundaries.
The background of the Rwanda Genocide dates back to the pre-world war colonial time. The Rwandese population is dominated by the dark skinned Hutus, while the white skinned Tutsis constitute the minority of the population. However, when the territory was taken over by the Belgian colonial power, the Tutsis were given an upper hand on ethnic grounds while the Hutus were pushed down to slavish conditions. After the Second World War the colonial powers found it difficult to maintain their power in their colonies, and the rise in nationalist and revolutionary ideas resulted in a series of independence of various colonies. Rwanda was one of them. After its independence the Tutsis were overthrown to be replaced by the Hutus however, the new government was installed on dictatorial lines. The Tutsis, many of whom were forced to seek refuge in neighboring countries, due to Hutu atrocities against them, created insurgent groups to invade the new territory. The government supervised Hutu militias and the Tutsi insurgents were ready to for a deadly clash at any time. As a result, the case was referred the United Nations so that it can assist in restoring peace. The United Nations, in turn, sent a peace mission to supervise the peace agreement in Rwanda, under the leadership of a Canadian military man, Lieutenant Dallaire.
Power and Politics of Organization
The reason why super national organizations such as the United Nations organizations are able to influence, provoke, generate, and prevent incidents like Rwanda Genocide is the power and position these organizations hold in the international politics. Countries around the world are dependent on the United Nation to a great extent, when it comes to strengthening their foreign relations with other countries, or getting their conflicts resolved. The United Nations Organization is well aware of this fact. Moreover, the United Nation itself is an institution which is made up of many member states, which means all those countries have a stake in the organization. The permanent members such as the United States of America are the major stakeholders, of the United Nations. Although it is not a written regulation, however, it has been a practice of the United Nations that they are influenced by the permanent members to a great extent and the Security Council keeps in view the interests of these permanent members before taking any decisions.
As mentioned earlier supranational organizations and strong stakeholders within the organization have power to influence major decisions and outcomes. The term power under management theory refers to ability to make things go the way one wants. In general there are three power bases, namely Coercive, Utilitarian and Normative Power (Etzioni, 1968). The most prominent power base in the case of Rwanda Genocide was Coercive and Normative Power. Coercive Power base involves making someone comply with one's wishes by force. On the other hand, normative power refers to a belief system under which the members of the organization believe that the organization has the right to control their behavior.
Both these power bases, Normative and Coercive were evident in Rwanda's case at various instances. For example, influential members of the United Nations such as Belgium, France and the United States, played a major role in influencing United Nation to withdraw its peacekeeping force from Rwanda. This was an example of Coercive Power where these strong stakeholders easily pressurized the United Nations to deviate away from the objectives it had set. Similarly, when Dallaire's assistance request were being processed slowly by the United Nations, an intervention by a Tutsi lobby played a major role in speeding up the process. This implies that the United Nation's power is greatly overshadowed by its stakeholders and their strong political pressures and lobbying makes it difficult for the United Nations to keep in line with its organizational objectives.
General Dallaire was leading the peace keeping force that was sent to Rwanda. Leadership has a key role to play in success and failure of any organization. Here Dallaire had a double test to take. His leadership was being tested in a cross cultural setting. He had to supervise a peace mission in a foreign land where two different cultures wre face off with each other. Dallaire tried his best to handle the situation. The management theory suggests that a leader must possess the confidence and courage to face challenges and take initiatives. Dallaire had possessed this skill well. However, his leadership skills were sabotaged by his superior, that is the United Nation. He did not get the required support and assistance that was necessary for the successful implementation of his mission.
The mandate of the delegation sent by the United Nations was to monitor the implementation of the peace process and prevent any further violence in the Rwandese territory. However, the militias sponsored and supervised by the Rwandese government were in constant process of triggering ethnic violence. Although Dallaire was assigned a leading position in the peace delegation, however, he was not given the required authority to take the necessary decisions. This was something that contributed in the greatest violence of the twentieth century (Long & Mills 2008).
One thing which Dallaire lacked as a leader was the skill to engage with both the cultures, Hutus and Tutsis, and create an alliance and built a trust relationship with both the parties. However, this needed some time which Dallaire was not allowed.
Dallaire's leadership skills could have been useful for the United Nations if the superiors would have shown considerable support. Under contemporary management theory it is important that superiors delegate responsibilities to lower hierarchy levels, however, it is also important that the superiors give the necessary…[continue]
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