|Institutions||University of Florida|
|Known for||Research on ethnic conflict and genocide in Rwanda, Burundi and Darfur|
|Notable awards||African Studies Association Melville J. Herskovits Award for Rwanda and Burundi, 1971|
René Lemarchand (born 1932) is a French political scientist who is known for his research on ethnic conflict and genocide in Rwanda, Burundi and Darfur. Publishing in both English and French, he is particularly known for his work on the concept of clientism. He is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida, and continues to write, teach internationally and consult. Since retiring he has worked for US AID (Agency for International Development, Dept. of State) out of Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire) as a Regional Consultant for West Africa in Governance and Democracy, and as Democracy and Governance advisor to USAID / Ghana.
Early life and education 
René Lemarchand was born in 1932 in France. After doing undergraduate work in France, he went to the United States for doctoral studies in political science. He completed his PhD at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), specializing in studies of Central Africa.
Lemarchand joined the Political Science faculty of the University of Florida in 1971. He worked there for his entire academic career. He has specialized in political issues in African nations, especially ethnic conflicts leading to warfare, and has published works in both French and English.
In July 1971, while on a two-month research trip to Chad, Lemarchand was arrested and charged with visiting a restricted zone and failing to respond to a summons by the country's president. He was released at the end of August 1971.
Lemarchand has become an expert in ethnic populations and conflicts, such as that in Burundi, the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, and Darfur. He is internationally known as an expert on the cycle of violence in central Africa. He has taught as a visiting professor at universities in Europe, Africa and North America.
Now Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Florida, Lemarchand has worked as a consultant in governance for the USAID in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire and as governance and democracy adviser to USAID/Ghana.
- Political Awakening in the Belgian Congo (University of California Press, 1964)
- '"Rwanda and Burundi"' (Praeger, 1970).
- Selective Genocide in Burundi (1974)
- African Kingships in Perspective (1977)
- African Policy in Southern Africa (1978)
- Political Clientelism in Patronage and Development (1981)
- The World Bank in Rwanda (1982)
- Green and the Black: Qadhafi's Policies in Africa (1988)
- Burundi: Ethnocide as Discourse and Practice (1994),
- Burundi: Ethnic Conflict and Genocide (Woodrow Wilson Center Press/Cambridge University Press, 1996)
- The Dynamics of Violence in Central Africa (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009)
- "Disconnecting the Threads: Rwanda and the Holocaust Reconsidered", Idea Journal, Vol. 7, No. 1, 29 March 2002
Legacy and honors 
- 1971, Melville J. Herskovits Award for Rwanda and Burundi, African Studies Association
- The René Lemarchand Collection of African Political Papers at the University of Florida, featuring materials on Rwanda, Burundi, Zaire, Chad, Gabon, and Libya, mostly in French, with emphasis on the period of the 1950s through independence, and increasing democratization in the 1980s and 1990s.
- "The René Lemarchand Collection at the University of Florida". University of Florida. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
- "Dr. René Lemarchand to lecture about Rwandan Genocide at Manhattan College". Manhattan College. 2007-02-06. Retrieved 2008-05-10.
- "Professor out of Chad jail". St. Petersburg Times. 1971-08-28. Retrieved 2009-04-13.[dead link]
- "Melville J. Herskovits Award winners". African Studies Association. Retrieved 2008-05-10.
- "Lemarchand Collection of African Political Papers", University of Florida