The publication of the Duclert report and of the final version of the Muse report illustrates the interest of the notion of cindynic hyperspace, which enables the description of the actors concerned by a situation of danger or conflict, their organisations and their behaviour.

The basic entity in cindynical analysis is the actor, who can be individual, or collective. Each actor is described by five aspects or dimensions: data, models (or, more broadly, knowledge), objectives, rules and values. These five dimensions constitute its cindynical hyperspace. Historically, a first space formed by the data, models and objectives dimensions was inspired by Herbert Simon, since situation evolution  depends on the decisions of actors, which depend on the information and knowledge at their disposal. Then the rules and values dimensions were added when their roles were highlighted by the post-disaster reports.

If the analysis of these dimensions enables to diagnose gaps or deficits in each of them, it is important to notice that the plans formed by these dimensions are the place of the analysis of the relations between these dimensions. For example, the decision of an actor, therefore his objective, depends on his knowledge, which is limited: this is the main idea of bounded rationality conceptualised by Herbert Simon.

But the relation can also be in the opposite direction: the knowledge produced by an actor can depend on its objectives: for example, in the case of the Muse report, the analyst may notice that this report was requested from a US law firm by the Rwandan government. This enables to immediately ask two questions relating to the impact of this firm's objectives on the content of its report. The first concerns the neutrality of the speech of a lawyer with regard to his client's request. The second stems from the fact that this law firm is American: the fact that the Muse report denounces a French responsibility while omitting the behaviour of other UN members may have the advantage of obfuscating the crucial role of the confidential presidential directive PDD 25 issued by the Clinton administration in the inability of the UN to vote an intervention that would have enabled to put an immediate end to the genocide.

With regard to data, in its methodological presentation, the Duclert commission itself mentions significant statistical gaps, since the only accessible sources were French written archives, and the lack of oral archives limited the scope of its work. Aware of the limitations and errors of its report, and being comfortable with them, the commission nevertheless hopes that its publication will encourage the emergence of new testimonies. This hope is partially fulfilled by a recent interview with Edouard Balladur, who was Prime Minister in 1994, during which he pointed out the obstructive actions of Madeleine Albright at the UN against the French requests for intervention.


"The point that we can take from de Waal is that ‘ethnicity’ seems to have become fatally conflated with ‘race’ in the popular or journalistic mind. And not ‘race’ as a contemporary sociological category and tool of analysis, but ‘race’ as a nineteenth-century category of spurious biological worth."


Marcus Banks1


Another problem with the Duclert report is the readability of certain passages. From a cindynical point of view, semantic information is what an actor is capable of extracting from data with the knowledge at his disposal: the cindynometric plane formed by the data and knowledge dimensions is the site of the entire data / information / knowledge field. When actors do not have the same knowledge, there is a relativity (or subjectivity) of the semantic information extracted from the same set of data. In the case of the Duclert report, it is not obvious that the public has the same theoretical knowledge as the commission, this problem arising in particular with the ambiguity of the expression "ethnicist interpretive framework" ("grille de lecture ethniciste"), which the authors of the report do not communicate the precise meaning they give it. While the pre-genocidal Hutu / Tutsi distinction appears to have been fabricated by the Belgian coloniser from initial socio-economic characteristics which were then interiorised by Rwandan elites, beyond the specific Rwandan case, this ambiguity could give rise to a generalisation leading to overlook the ethno-cultural fact in Africa. Although the real situations there are complex and multifactorial, and cannot be analysed solely according to the ethno-cultural dimension alone, on the other hand ignoring the ethno-cultural fact can hinder the reduction of conflictualities and the defense of diversity.

A final risk, linked to an objective / knowledge relationship, concerns the use for political or diplomatic purposes of a scientific work requested by Emmanuel Macron from French academics: from this point of view, the French President risks appearing as having adopted a positivist stance. The problem with a positivist stance being that when it is adopted by a country that has been a coloniser vis-à-vis a country that has been colonised, it can be seen as a neo-colonialist stance. This last risk can be mitigated by the relativisation of the Duclert report, which can be facilitated by the fact that the commission itself insisted on the imperfection and the errors of its report.


1 BANKS, Marcus. Ethnicity: anthropological constructions. London ; New York : Routledge, 1996. ISBN 978-0-415-07800-9.