1st Edition

Logics of Genocide
The Structures of Violence and the Contemporary World

ISBN 9781003056614
Published May 27, 2020 by Routledge
302 Pages

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Book Description

This book is concerned with the connection between the formal structure of agency and the formal structure of genocide. The contributors employ philosophical approaches to explore the idea of genocidal violence as a structural element in the world.

Do mechanisms or structures in nation-states produce types of national citizens that are more susceptible to genocidal projects? There are powerful arguments within philosophy that in order to be the subjects of our own lives, we must constitute ourselves specifically as national subjects and organize ourselves into nation states. Additionally, there are other genocidal structures of human society that spill beyond historically limited episodes. The chapters in this volume address the significance—moral, ethical, political—of the fact that our very form of agency suggests or requires these structures. The contributors touch on topics including birthright citizenship, contemporary mass incarceration, anti-black racism, and late capitalism.

Logics of Genocide will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working in philosophy, critical theory, genocide studies, Holocaust and Jewish studies, history, and anthropology.

Table of Contents


Donald Bloxham


Anne O’Byrne and Martin Shuster

Part I Agency and Institutions

  1. Hegel and State Homogenization
  2. Martin Shuster

  3. The Friends of War and Genocide
  4. Jacqueline Stevens

  5. The ‘Criminal’ and the Crime of Genocide
  6. Lissa Skitolsky

  7. Genocide and Agency in the Americas: Methodological Considerations
  8. Rocío Zambrana

    Part II Bodies and Beyond

  9. Generational Being
  10. Anne O’Byrne

  11. Epigenetics and Existential Reflections on Trauma
  12. Ada S. Jaarsma

  13. "We Charge Genocide": Anti-Black Racism in the United States as Genocidal Structural Violence
  14. Lisa Guenther

  15. Pornographic Ways of Looking and the Logic of Disposability
  16. Kelly Oliver

    Part III Time and Violence

  17. Totalitarianism as Structural Violence: Towards New Grammars of Listening
  18. María del Rosario Acosta López

  19. Gendercide, Rwanda, and Post-Genocidal Violence
  20. Al Frankowski

  21. Law and Oral History: Hearing the Claims of Indigenous Peoples
  22. Jill Stauffer

    IV Ethos and Violence

  23. Violence, Right, and Righteousness: Thinking the Political with and Against Lévinas
  24. Carly Lane

  25. Structure and Fantasy: Holocaust Perpetrators and Genocide Studies
  26. Dan Stone

  27. Reasonable Religion, Reasonable States, and Invisible Violence

Heather Rae


Theses on Our Only Possible Future

James R. Watson

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Anne O’Byrne is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Stony Brook University. She is author of Natality and Finitude (2010), co-editor of Subjects and Simulations: Between Baudrillard and Lacoue-Labarthe (2014), translator of Jean-Luc Nancy’s Being Singular Plural and Corpus II, and author of numerous articles on politics, ontology, biology, and generational being.

Martin Shuster is associate professor of philosophy at Goucher College, where he also directs the Center for Geographies of Justice and where he is jointly appointed in the Humanities Center. In addition to many articles and book chapters, he is the author of Autonomy after Auschwitz: Adorno German Idealism and Modernity (2014), New Television: The Aesthetics and Politics of a Genre (2017), and How to Measure a World? A Philosophy of Judaism (2021).