Political Science, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Human Rights Review, doi: 10.1007/s12142-008-0102-2 Copyright © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Used by permission.


What sort of person chooses to remain in a place like Rwanda when an easy exit is offered, when leaving seems the only safe or sane option, and when one is not directly connected to the would-be victims? And how does this person come to develop a circle of care that is expansive enough to include those who are radically Other? In what follows, I consider these questions through a detailed examination of the recent example of Paul Rusesabagina, the Hutu hotel manager in Kigali, Rwanda, who sheltered more than a thousand Tutsi and moderate Hutu refugees during the hundred-day genocide. I argue that Rusesabagina was primarily motivated by an awareness of his own mortality, his personal history, a desire to distance himself from the negative behavior of Hutu like himself, and a strong identification with the Tutsi refugees under his protection.