Genocide: A Reference Handbook

Genocide: A Reference Handbook

Genocide: A Reference Handbook

Genocide: A Reference Handbook


In 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG), legally defining the crime of genocide for the first time. Amazingly, the United States did not ratify this international agreement until nearly 40 years later, when President Reagan finally signed the genocide convention bill. Attempts to enforce international law against genocide did not begin until the 1990s.

Genocide: A Reference Handbook examines the antecedents of the term "genocide" in the mid-19th century and explains the current challenges of preventing or even stopping genocide, including the nation-state system and principles of state sovereignty. The author documents how crimes of genocide have continued unchecked, and asserts that a collective commitment to humanitarian intervention is the only way to address this ongoing problem.


“The President will not authorize the use of force. Eng
land and Russia are rattling their sabers, but the politi
cal will in Parliament and the Duma just isn’t there. The
leadership in the House and Senate have also indicated
they aren’t willing to defend the … Treaty with Ameri
can lives.” “So that’s it?” Juan said with disgust. “We call
ourselves a moral nation, but when it comes to fighting
for an ideal the politicians ram their heads into the sand.”
(Cussler 2010, 266)

Although these words are uttered by fictional characters in the Cussler novel The Silent Sea, they reflect the truth about the essential dilemma that confronts the civilized world community in the 21st century. Realpolitik, not humanitarian intervention to save lives, is still the operative term to describe international politics. It is a clear consequence of the continued and powerful presence of the sovereign nation-state system in international affairs. Genocide: A Reference Handbook tries to explain the reasons why the most vicious crime in all of human history, genocide, as well as the creators and perpetrators of this crime of crimes, (1) is allowed to run its course without outside interference and (2) why the leaders who ordered the genocide have never been stopped and most have never been punished by an outside world community for crafting and then carrying out their nefarious policy. We live in an age of impunity, an era where national leaders can order genocide without fear of punishment. And it is a world of nation-state publics that see the genocide occurring but, evidently, lack the will to intervene to stop the murderous path taken by a genocidal policy maker.

Genocide, the planned, intentional extermination policy of a state that is implemented against a group of persons based on . . .

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