Economic motives for total genocide : a comparison of the Armenian, the Holocaust and Rwandan genocides / by Michelle G. Latham.
The twentieth century witnessed an intensification of mass interethnic killings that gave rise to a new term, genocide. “Total genocide” is a state policy to exterminate most or all of a collective group, and destroy its cultural identity. Scholars have tended to focus on ideological explanations to explain the extreme violence of genocide. This study suggests, however, that economic incentives are a motive for total genocide and play a more significant role. A comparative analysis of three cases reveals hardening ethnic and economic minority identities—particularly perceptions of “unjust” wealth and disproportionate representation in lucrative occupations—generates antagonism between minority and majority groups. During periods of crisis, the state enriches itself and supporters by systematically manipulating these identities to justify the minority's extermination and the expropriation of their wealth.
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