December 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the Genocide Convention, which emerged following the global outrage at the mass atrocities of World War Two. Yet despite the world’s determination to end genocide, the past seven decades have seen numerous mass killings – from Indonesia and Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnia, to the crisis currently unfolding in Myanmar. So is the Genocide Convention still fit for purpose?

On this week’s podcast, hosts Julia Ahrens and Luke Glanville hear from an international legal expert, a historian, and an atrocity forecaster. Topics discussed include whether political groups should be included in the legal definition of genocide, why the recent ethnic cleansing in Myanmar was not just predictable but predicted, and why the rise of China might be bad news for the prevention of genocide.

Melanie O’Brien is a Senior lecturer at the Law School at the University of Western Australia. She specialises in international criminal law, human rights law, peacekeeping and feminist legal theory. She is also the Vice-President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars.

Robert Cribb is a Professor at the Coral Bell School of Asia-Pacific Affairs. His research looks at Indonesia and Southeast Asia more broadly, with a focus on mass violence and crime, national identity, environmental politics, and historical geography.

Ben Goldsmith is a Professor at the School of Politics & International Relations at ANU. His areas of research are international relations, comparative foreign policy, and atrocity forecasting.

Luke Glanville is a Fellow in the ANU Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs. He is the author of the multi-award winning book Sovereignty and the Responsibility to Protect: A new history, and co-editor of the journal Global Responsibility to Protect.

Show notes | The following were referred to in this episode:

Genocide Forecasting: Past Accuracy and New Forecasts to 2020 – by Benjamin Goldsmith and Charles Butcher

Saudi Arabia’s growing sporting influence – by Simon Chadwick and Paul Widdop

Russia and Ukraine’s Australian proxy war – by Elizabeth Buchanan

Australia can’t forget Micronesia – by Anthony Bergin

Policy Forum Pod is available on iTunesSpotifyStitcher, and wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback for this podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or find us on Facebook.

This episode of Policy Forum Pod was written and produced by Julia Ahrens.

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