Date of Award

Winter 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Sociology & Criminal Justice

Committee Director

Dawn L. Rothe

Committee Member

Ronald C. Kramer

Committee Member

Scott Maggard


Violence has plagued the westernmost region of Sudan, known as Darfur, since 2003. The conflict contains elements of political and ethnic divisiveness, desertification, and resource scarcity. The violence there continues to date. Many have declared genocide in Darfur while others maintain that the conflict is instead a crime against humanity. The labeling of the conflict is critical because this process determines the interventions available. This paper focuses on the decision-making process of the United Nations and its Security Council to determine if the labeling of the conflict impacted the discourse and intervention decisions by those bodies. Discourse analysis results indicate that the labeling did impact intervention decisions and that realpolitik played a large role in the discourse and decision-making of the UN Security Council in relation to Darfur. Most importantly, labeling the events in Darfur as crimes against humanity and war crimes permitted the UN and its Security Council to circumvent the intervention mandate in the Genocide Convention. Finally, the paper suggests that the variable realpolitik be added to the integrated theory of state crime model to bridge the gap between the criminological and international relations theories in order to better describe and explain state reaction to the state criminality of other states.


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