The Rwandan genocide and the multiplicity of modernity

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4 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter explores the possibility of a dialogue between Zygmunt Bauman and Shmuel Noah Eisenstadt, a major figure in comparative historical sociology during the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and revealed as a key influence in the acknowledgements of Modernity and the Holocaust. The chapter draws on hitherto unseen correspondence in the Zygmunt Bauman archive at the University of Leeds, and focuses in particular on both authors’ reflections on the possibility for specifically modern forms of mass violence. I situate their dialogue in an extension of the modernity-genocide thesis to the case of the Rwandan genocide in 1994, in effect putting the thinkers’ dialogue into dialogue with an event which continues to pose significant and largely unarticulated questions for sociology and sociologists, including concerning the Eurocentrism and progressivism still inherent to many accounts of modernity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRevisiting modernity and the Holocaust
Subtitle of host publicationheritage, dilemmas, extensions
EditorsDariusz Brzeziński, Jack Palmer
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781003120551
ISBN (Print)9780367637552, 9780367637545
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2022


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