Letter from Prof. Schabas

Dear members of IAGS, Several weeks ago, I wrote to you on behalf of the Executive in order to launch a discussion about merging our Association with the International Network of Genocide Scholars. There has been a lively debate, and many members have submitted their views on the issues. I promised to get back to you with a report at the end of September.

There are strong views on both sides of this issue, and it cannot be said that there is any consensus. Some members have quite a negative opinion of the International Network of Genocide Scholars, due in large part to circumstances at the time of its creation, and questions have been raised about the size of its membership and its governance. Other members consider that the goals of the two organizations are broadly the same, and that it is desirable that we all operate under one roof, so to speak. Some of those who are basically favourable to a merger are nevertheless concerned that the name of the Association might change, and that the existence of our journal might be threatened in some way. Our colleagues in the International Network of Genocide Scholars chose to intervene in the discussions so as to clarify some of the issues and to respond to insinuations that were made about them.

It is the opinion of the Executive that there is sufficient support for the general proposal of a merger to justify proceeding with a meeting with the leadership of International Network of Genocide Scholars. We will try to hold this meeting in the next few months. The objective will be to clarify outstanding issues and to discuss in detail how a merger might then proceed.

Let me reassure everyone that there can be no question of anything being finalized without a mandate from the membership in accordance with the bylaws of the Association. Our goal must be to strengthen and reinforce the objectives of the Association, something that can only be achieved if we respect democratic principles.

I will report back to you in due course, once we have met with our colleagues and are in a position to present some concrete proposals.

With all best wishes

William A. Schabas OC MRIA
President, International Association of Genocide Scholars