Straus, Scott 1970-

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Straus, Scott 1970-

PERSONAL: Born 1970.

ADDRESSES: Office— Department of Political Science, University of Wisconsin—Madison, 110 North Hall, 1050 Bascom Mall, Madison, WI 53706. E-mail— [email protected].

CAREER: University of Wisconsin—Madison, assistant professor of political science and international studies. Former freelance journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya.


(With David K. Leonard) Africa’s Stalled Development: International Causes and Cures, Lynne Rienner Publishers (Boulder, CO), 2003.

(Author of introduction and interviewer) Robert Lyons, Intimate Enemy: Images and Voices of the Rwandan Genocide, photographs by Robert Lyons, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 2006.

The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War in Rwanda, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 2006.

Also translator of The Great Lakes of Africa, MIT Press. Contributor of articles to academic journals, including Foreign Affairs.

SIDELIGHTS: As a former journalist, political science professor Scott Straus became familiar with modern African conflicts, particularly with the war and genocide in the southeastern nation of Rwanda. His first work, Africa’s Stalled Development: International Causes and Cures, written with David K. Leonard, looks at the more general problem of underdevelopment in Africa, however. Acknowledging that the continent’s problems arise from its colonial history, the two authors suggest that a lasting answer to Africa’s widespread poverty and violence can only be found through systemic change fostered by the rest of the world. “The authors,” concluded Andrew Francis Clark in Africa Today, “argue that the lack of development, caused largely by Africa’s relationship with the international system and the weak states it has fostered, can be solved only with international cooperation and profound structural change within the continent and in the international community’s understanding and approach to African problems. Based on an extensive review of the literature and a series of original proposals, this book is essential reading for Africanists concerned with issues related to economic and political development.”

In Intimate Enemy: Images and Voices of the Rwandan Genocide, a photographic depiction of the conflict there by Robert Lyons for which Straus wrote the introduction, Straus “brings a more intimate dimension to attempts to understand the personal and cultural issues surrounding the genocide” in 1994—the largest mass killing of one group by another in the twentieth century, reported Vanessa Bush in Booklist.“Teachers, businessmen, a plumber, farmers, an accountant, etc.... committed horrific crimes,” observed Library Journal contributor James Thorsen. “Most confessed to killing, and few will be allowed to leave prison.”

Straus’s book places perpetrators and victims in close proximity, trying to demonstrate that, as a Publishers Weekly critic explained, we all have a “generalized potential for evil.”



Africa Today, Volume 51, number 1, 2004, Andrew Francis Clark, review of Africa’s Stalled Development: International Causes and Cures, pp. 129-130.

Booklist, March 15, 2006, Vanessa Bush, review of Intimate Enemy: Images and Voices of the Rwandan Genocide, p. 21.

Library Journal, May 15, 2006, James Thorsen, review of Intimate Enemy, p. 115.

Publishers Weekly, February 13, 2006, review of Intimate Enemy, p. 79.


University of Wisconsin Department of Political Science Web site, (December 5, 2006), faculty profile of Scott Straus.

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Straus, Scott 1970-

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