Mary Elizabeth Walters, a Ph.D. candidate in military history at UNC, stresses the importance of challenging genocidal rhetoric and recognizing it as the first step towards violence.
Walters explores the inevitable path connecting genocidal rhetoric and genocidal violence in her recently published Op-Ed, “Words matter: the slippery slope to the unthinkable.” She cites several historical instances in which genocidal rhetoric was ignored or disregarded as “just words,” but developed into mass genocides that shocked the international community.
After spending the past year in Albania and Kosovo, Walters gained a more nuanced perspective towards the effects of genocide and the importance of international humanitarian efforts. Her research focuses on the 1999 Kosovo Refugee Crisis in Albania and humanitarian efforts during the crisis.
During her time in Europe, Walters offered her expertise on the effects of genocide and humanitarian efforts in interviews with TV Albania and TV Kosovo. Her year of research was funded by a National Security Education Program Boren Fellowship in Albania and by FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) grants provided by the U.S. Department of Education.