Genocide since 1945

By Philip Spencer

© 2012 – Routledge

176 pages

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Paperback: 9780415606349
pub: 2012-06-15
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Hardback: 9780415606332
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About the Book

In 1948 the United Nations passed the Genocide Convention. The international community was now obligated to prevent or halt what had hitherto, in Winston Churchill’s words, been a "crime without a name", and to punish the perpetrators. Since then, however, genocide has recurred repeatedly. Millions of people have been murdered by sovereign nation states, confident in their ability to act with impunity within their own borders.

Tracing the history of genocide since 1945, and looking at a number of cases across continents and decades, this book discusses a range of critical and inter-connected issues such as:

  • why this crime is different, why exactly it is said to be "the crime of crimes"
  • how each genocide involves a deadly triangle of perpetrators (with their collaborators), victims and bystanders as well as rescuers
  • the different stages that genocides go through, from conception to denial
  • the different explanations that have been put forward for why genocide takes place
  • and the question of humanitarian intervention.

Genocide since 1945 aims to help the reader understand how, when, where and why this crime has been committed since 1945, why it has proven so difficult to halt or prevent its recurrence, and what now might be done about it. It is essential reading for all those interested in the contemporary world.

Reviews

"An admirable introduction to the 'crime of crimes' since 1945, tackling the key issues and debates surrounding the problem of genocide, wide-ranging, incisive, engagingly argued, and deeply informed by case studies and illustrative testimony. Highly recommended." - Frank Chalk, Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, Concordia University, USA

"An accessible introduction to the problem of genocide, emphasising major episodes that have occurred since the United Nations adopted its Genocide Convention." - Martin Shaw, University of Sussex, UK

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements. Introduction 1. Never Again? From the Holocaust to the Genocide Convention 2. The Genocide Convention 3. Explaining Genocide 4. Perpetrators, Bystanders, Victims and Rescuers 5. Genocide During the Cold War 6. Genocide After the Cold War 7. Genocide and Humanitarian Intervention 8. The Genocide Convention. Conclusion: The Politics of Genocide Today. Appendix. Glossary

About the Series

The Making of the Contemporary World

The Making of the Contemporary World series provides accessible interpretations of contemporary issues and debates within strongly defined historical frameworks. The range of the series is global, with each volume drawing together material from a range of disciplines - including economics, politics and sociology. The books in this series present compact, indispensable introductions for students studying the modern world.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS000000
HISTORY / General
HIS037000
HISTORY / World
HIS037070
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century
HIS037080
HISTORY / Modern / 21st Century
POL000000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / General
POL035010
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Human Rights