Constructing Genocide and Mass Violence: Society, Crisis, Identity (Hardback) book cover

Constructing Genocide and Mass Violence

Society, Crisis, Identity

By Maureen S. Hiebert

© 2017 – Routledge

230 pages

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pub: 2017-03-17
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Description

This book addresses two closely related questions: what is the process by which the relatively short and violent genocides of the twentieth century and beyond have occurred? Why have these instances of mass violence been genocidal and not some other form of state violence, repression, or conflict?

Hiebert answers these questions by exploring the structures and processes that underpin the decision by political elites to commit genocide, focusing on a sustained comparison of two cases, the Nazi ' Final Solution' and the Cambodian genocide. The book clearly differentiates the structures and processes - contained within a larger overall process - that leads to genocidal violence. Uncovering the mechanisms by which societies (at least in the contemporary era) come to experience genocide as a distinct form of destruction and not some other form of mass or political violence, Hiebert is able to highlight a set of key process that lead to specifically genocidal violence.

Providing an insightful contribution to the burgeoning literature in this area, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of genocide, international relations, and political violence.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The genocidal process: a constructivist approach

Introduction

Part I: Theorizing the "permissive" socio-political environment of genocide

Introduction

I. The ‘permissive’ socio-political environment: a theoretical overview

II. Three dimensions of the permissive socio-political environment of genocide

Chapter 2: Germany

I. Exclusionary and unequal patterns of group interaction

II. Exclusionary conceptions of the community

III. Authoritarian modes of conflict management

Chapter 3: Cambodia

I. Exclusionary and unequal patterns of group interaction

II. Exclusionary conceptions of the community

III. Authoritarian modes of conflict management

Conclusion to Part I

Part II: Introduction crises and interpretation: the catalyst for killing

Introduction

Chapter 4: Inter-war Germany: crises and interpretation

I. Security crises

II. Economic crises

III. Political crises

Chapter 5: Cambodia: the Sihanoukist and Lon Nol years: crises and interpretation

I. Economic crises

II. Political crises

III. Military and security crises

Conclusion to Part II

Part III: Reconceptualizing the victim group: the "three switches" of genocide

Introduction

I. Genocide as a strategic or rational choice?

II. Constructing victims: a constructivist explanation

III. The "three switches"

III. Warrants for genocide

Chapter 6: Nazi final solution

I. Switch one: victims as foreigners

II. Switch two: victims as mortal threats

III. Switch three: victims as sub-humans

Chapter 7: The Khmer Rouge killing fields

I. Switch one: victims as foreigners

II. Switch two: victims as mortal threat

III. Switch three:victims as sub-humans

Chapter 8: Vietnam: abuses without genocide

I. Switch one: victims as wayward opponents

II. Switch two: the threat of actors with real power

Conclusion to Part III

About the Author

Maureen S. Hiebert is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary, Canada.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Genocide and Crimes against Humanity

The Routledge Series in Genocide and Crimes against Humanity publishes cutting-edge research and reflections on these urgently contemporary topics. While focusing on political-historical approaches to genocide and other mass crimes, the series is open to diverse contributions from the social sciences, humanities, law, and beyond. Proposals for both sole-authored and edited volumes are welcome.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POL000000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / General
POL011010
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy
POL012000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security