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Beyond conflict : the structure and purposes of genocide in the 20th century / by M. Catherine Barnes.

Publication | Library Call Number: HV6322.7 .B369 1999 v. 1-2

This study sets out to explore the etiology of genocide as a form of conflict. Based on comparison of ten cases (Aché of Paraguay, Ottoman Armenians, Burundi, Bosnia, Cambodia, Herero, Indonesia, Maya, Nazi, and Rwanda), a conflict theory of genocide in the 20th century is developed, centered around the functions of genocide for the organizers and the structural conditions that enables it to occur. The dissertation includes a substantial write-up of each case and concludes with ideas for genocide transformation. It is argued that genocide is inherently a political phenomenon; it is ‘about’ obtaining and maximizing power and control. Genocide is functionally useful for regime consolidation (establishing hegemony), regime expansion (forcible incorporation of new resources), and regime maintenance (eliminating threat). Distinctions are made between the intent of the perpetrator (genocide as instrumental tactic versus integral goal) and primary motives (political, economic, strategic). The perpetrators assume the power to define and choose their victims, who are typically seen as either active or implicit communities of resistance . They are perceived as either an ‘existential threat’ to the safety and well-being of the regime's constituency or as a‘ strategic obstacle’ that must be eliminated to achieve the regime's ideal. Each case was studied systematically to ascertain the existence and relative salience of 38 pre-identified factors and to identify other patterns in the dynamics and structure of genocide within and across cases. These factors comprise situational characteristics (economic and social stress), historical factors, group identity and ideological characteristics, positional dynamics in the victim/perpetrator relationship, political and regime factors, strategic factors, and international relations characteristics. Regime characteristics are identified as the primary causal factors in genocide. The other factors are significant in: (a) enabling the emergence of a genocidal regime; (b) supporting the mobilization of a genocidal movement; (c) facilitating implementation of a genocidal plan. These form the genocidal calculus: the factors that accelerate the motivation and potential success of genocide in the perpetrator's calculations, countered by the factors that decelerate its development. An activist approach to genocide transformation is advocated based on addressing the needs for recognition, justice, political transformation, development, and reconciliation.

Barnes, M. Catherine, 1965-
Record last modified: 2018-05-24 14:01:00
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