Genocide: Approaches, Case Studies, and Responses

Genocide: Approaches, Case Studies, and Responses

Genocide: Approaches, Case Studies, and Responses

Genocide: Approaches, Case Studies, and Responses

Synopsis

"Twenty authors analyze factors behind genocidal situations worldwide, with detailed case studies, and an evaluation of attempts to prevent genocide and of the implications for human rights policies, with a particular concern to develop new and practical insights"--Provided by publisher.

Excerpt

Erik Allardt, Professor Emeritus, University of Helsinki

In this volume, edited by Graham Kinloch and Raj Mohan, the study of genocide is portrayed as both globally sensitive and as a central issue in contemporary social science. When the field of ethnic studies proliferated in the 1960s and 1970s, its main focus concerned a rebirth of ethnic consciousness in many parts of the world, including those technologically and economically advanced. Today there is an increasing consciousness of a grim and upsetting reality namely, the widespread presence of genocide not only in the history of mankind, but also in the contemporary international milieu.

One of the main purposes of this book is to demonstrate how frames of reference and social science theories such as those associated with sociology can contribute to a better understanding of the wide variety of genocide activity in human societies. Its point of departure, however, involves observations of how genocide and attempts to eliminate ethnically defined populations have taken place in history. Three observations concerning genocide, emphasized in different articles in the book, seem crucial:

(1) It is found in societies which can have either a high or a low formal level of educational attainment. Nazi genocide under Hitler and the Rwanda massacre in 1994 prove this point;

(2) Citizens of countries where genocide has taken place tend to be unaware of the presence of such horrific activity among them. This unawareness was fairly common in many European countries. Hence, it is perhaps under-

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