Genocide and crimes against humanity: Dispelling the conceptual fog

Social Philosophy and Policy 29 (1):280-308 (2012)
Genocide and crimes against humanity are among the core crimes of international law, but they also carry great moral resonance due to their indissoluble link to the atrocities of the Nazi regime and to other egregious episodes of mass violence. However, the concepts of genocide and crimes against humanity are not well understood, even by the international lawyers and jurists who are most concerned with them. A conceptual fog hovers around the discussion of these two categories of crime. In this paper, I draw a number of distinctions aimed at clarifying the concepts. I distinguish three concepts of genocide, two legal and one moral, and two concepts of crimes against humanity, a legal and a moral one. I criticize the current legal concept of genocide and, using the idea of discrimination, propose a model for developing a more adequate legal concept and for better understanding the moral concept. I also criticize the moral concept of crimes against humanity, which many thinkers have conflated with the legal concept of such crimes.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0265052511000033
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,189
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Richard Vernon (2002). What is Crime Against Humanity? Journal of Political Philosophy 10 (3):231–249.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Sally Scholz (2006). Just War Theory, Crimes of War, and War Rape. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 20 (1):143-157.
John Roth (2010). Easy to Remember?: Genocide and the Philosophy of Religion. [REVIEW] International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 68 (1):31-42.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

45 ( #105,638 of 1,940,952 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

11 ( #88,226 of 1,940,952 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.