Is there is a moral obligation to militarily intervene in another state to stop a genocide from happening (if this can be done with proportionate force)? My answer is that under exceptional circumstances a state or even a non-state actor might have a duty to stop a genocide (for example if these actors have promised to do so), but under most circumstances there is no such obligation. To wit, “humanity,” states, collectives, and individuals do not have an obligation (...) to make such promises in the first place or to create institutions that would impose a legal obligation of intervention upon them. Nor do states or persons or humanity “collectively” have – originally, without specifically creating such duties by contracts or promises – any pro tanto or special duties to save strangers at considerable cost to themselves or their own citizens (including their soldiers). That is, these costs do not merely override a duty to intervene, but rather there is no such duty to begin with – as shown by the fact that in such cases of non-intervention agents would not owe those they let die any compensation: if I do not save someone’s life because saving him would have cost me my arm or would have come with a high risk of losing my own life or would have forced me to kill innocent bystanders, I do not owe this person compensation. Thus the point of this chapter is that there is no “natural” or “general” or “original” duty to militarily intervene (or to create a legal obligation) to stop a genocide. I will consider and refute a number of arguments to the contrary, for example by Lango, Tan, and Pattison. (shrink)
1. Introduction: a name, not an essence -- 2. Why Jewish thought and what makes it Jewish? -- 3. Deadly philosophical abstraction -- 4. The stranger in your midst -- 5. Nefesh: the soul as flesh and blood -- 6. The environmentalist contribution to genocide -- 7. Torture -- 8. Hunger and homelessness -- 9. Philosophy, religion, and genocide -- 10. A concluding reflection on body and soul.
Genocide is evil or nothing could be. It raises a host of questions about humanity, rights, justice, and reality, which are key areas of concern for philosophy. Strangely, however, philosophers have tended to ignore genocide. Even more problematic, philosophy and philosophers bear more responsibility for genocide than they have usually admitted. In Genocide and Human Rights: A Philosophical Guide, an international group of twenty-five contemporary philosophers work to correct those deficiencies by showing how philosophy can and (...) should repsond to genocide, particularly in ways that defend human rights. (shrink)
Between 1904 and 1908, German colonialists in German South West Africa (GSWA, known today as Namibia) committed genocide and other international crimes against two indigenous groups, the Herero and the Nama. From the late 1990s, the Herero have sought reparations from the German government and several German corporations for what occurred more than a hundred years ago. This article examines and contextualizes the issues concerning reparations for historical human rights claims. It describes and analyzes the events in GSWA at (...) the time. It further explores whether international humanitarian law and international human rights law today permit reparatations to be obtained. The article therefore examines the origins of international criminal law, as well as international human rights and humanitarian law, to determine whether what occurred then were violations of the law already in force. Finally, the article examines and evaluates the Herero reparations cases, as well as the potential impact of the cases on the wider reparations movement that sees an increasing number of claims for events that occurred during colonial times. (shrink)
Philosophers of religion have written a great deal about the problem of evil. Their reflections, however, have not concentrated, at least not extensively or sufficiently, on the particularities of evil that manifest themselves in genocide. Concentrating on some of those particularities, this essay reflects on genocide, which has sometimes been called the crime of crimes, to raise questions such as: how should genocide affect the philosophy of religion and what might philosophers of religion contribute to help check (...) that crime against humanity? (shrink)
There is a common intuition that genocide is qualitatively distinct from, and much worse than, mass murder. If we concentrate on the most obvious differences between genocidal killing and other cases of mass murder it is difficult to see why this should be the case. I argue that many cases of genocide involve not merely individual evil but a form of collective action manifesting a collective evil will. It is this that explains the moral distinctiveness of genocide. (...) My view contrasts with one put forward by Claudia Card, though we both agree that the notion of ‘‘social death’’ plays a significant role here. (shrink)
Taking as a test case biblical texts in which the God of Israel commands the destruction other nations, the present paper defends the legitimacy and the necessity of ethical criticism of the Bible. It takes issue with the suggestions of several contemporary Christian philosophers who have recently defended the view that (in Israel’s early history) God had good and morally sufficient reasons for commanding genocide.
In the wake of the Cold War a characteristic style of genocide narratives emerged in the West. For the most part, philosophers did not pay attention to this development even though they are uniquely qualified to address arguments and conceptual issues discussed in this burgeoning genocide genre. While ostensibly a response to a specific recent article belonging to the genre, this essay offers an outline of an ethics of genocide narratives in the form of four lessons on (...) how not to write about genocide. It is argued that to the extent that works on the subject of genocide are dominated by narrativism, genocidalism, activism, or extreme pacifism, they cannot properly be classified as scholarly endeavors and must be met with resistance per the requirements of academic ethics and proper scholarly methodology. (shrink)
Drawing on my recent work using inferential role semantics and elements of speech act theory to analyze the role of derogatory terms (a.k.a. ‘hate speech’, or ‘slurs’) in the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda, as well as the role of certain kinds of reparative speech acts in post-genocide Rwanda, this paper highlights key pragmatist commitments that inform the methods and goals of this practical analysis of real world events. In “Genocidal Language Games”, I used conceptual tools (...) from Wittgenstein, Sellars, Lewis, and Brandom, with a nod to Searle’s concept of status-functions, to develop an analysis that helps to make sense of the view that a steady, deep, and widespread derogation of a group can at least partially constitute genocide, not only be an antecedent to it. In this paper, I sketch some of the tools and lessons of this project, with an eye to highlighting their pragmatist roots and the directions to which such real-world investigations lead. (shrink)
This article analyzes the claim that “deliberate denial [of genocide] is a form of aggression that ought to be regarded as a contribution to genocidal violence in its own right.” Its objective is to demonstrate that the claim is substantially correct: there are instances of genocide negation that are genocidal acts. The article suggests that one such instance is contained in a letter sent to Professor Robert Jay Lifton by Turkey's ambassador to the United States. The article is (...) divided into three parts. In the first part, it delineates and discusses the unexpected contents of the letter to Lifton. In the second, it primarily deals with three topics: lying, genocide, and Austinian performatives. In the third part, it takes the points made in the second part and applies them to the contents of the letter to Lifton, and demonstrates that the letter is an instance of genocide negation that is genocidal. (shrink)
An imperfect “politics of justice” seems to be inevitable in the aftermath of genocide. In Rwanda, this is especially true, given the scale of the atrocities, the breadth of participation, and the need to build a justice system from scratch while establishing security and restoring the rule of law. Official contexts for survivor testimony and corresponding perpetrator punishment are crucial for establishing shared norms and narratives, but these processes can destabilize social relations in important ways. Accordingly, without development, these (...) justice mechanisms can undermine social stability and emerging cohesion. The converse is also true: without official contexts of testimony and judgment, development is only material support, and has no recognitive force. Learning from Rwanda’s post-’94 transitional justice, broadly construed, I argue that without development, platforms for testimony and the meting out of punishment yield insufficient recognition and so undermine social stability and emerging cohesion. The converse is also true: without official contexts of testimony and judgment, development is only material support, and lacks crucial recognitive force. The crucial interdependence of development, which provides distributive justice, with criminal proceedings, which offer retributive and restorative justice, has the potential to secure a lasting and stable peace. (shrink)
This paper examines the design and teaching of "Genocide and Human Rights," an innovative, higher education course introduced in 2002 to provide training for a new generation of scholars and teachers. The course was developed and funded by a small non-profit organization, the Zoryan Institute, in Toronto, Canada. One purpose of the course is to teach about the Armenian genocide within a comparative genocide and human rights framework. Another goal is to fill a gap in the curriculum (...) in response to increased student interest and research in genocide and human rights. The course serves as a valuable pedagogical model including its comparative framework, teaching by invited specialists, adjusting the curriculum to reflect student interest and new scholarship, and setting up and maintaining formal and informal scholarly networks. Features of critical pedagogy include classroom dialogue and critique and respect for differences in background and opinion. For example, interactions between students of Turkish and Armenian background provide an opportunity to explore issues of stereotypes, memory, denial and reconciliation. The course provides training for a new generation in research, publications, teaching and advocacy in fields related to genocide and human rights. (shrink)
The present article discusses the broadening of the concept of genocide in Lithuanian national criminal law with regard to the principle of nullum crimen sine lege. The broadened definition, which includes two groups, social and political raises serious problems when the national provisions on genocide are applied retroactively. However, in the case of Lithuania, such a broadening of the definition may be interpreted not as an introduction of distinct independent groups, but of groups that closely overlap with the (...) groups defined by the UN Genocide convention of 1948. The article suggests that potential problems with the principle of nullum crimen sine lege may be avoided by qualifying crimes against the Soviet regime as crimes against humanity. (shrink)
The recent literature on genocide shows signs of taking what might be called a “processual turn,” with genocide increasingly understood as a contingent process rather than a singular event. But while this second generation's turn may be clear to those within the literature, the theory guiding the change is insufficiently specified. The theory regarding process and contingency is implicit, and, as such, genocide theory does not realize its full generative potential. The primary goal of this article is (...) to provide a more robust theoretical framework for making sense of the continually evolving dimensions of genocide. It builds on the literature's existing foundations, most notably Mann's (2005) notion of “contingent escalations.” In the spirit of the recent revival of American Pragmatism in sociology, it draws on the work of Dewey, Mills, Follett, and Addams (among others) as part of a theoretical reconstruction using pragmatist concepts such as rupture, perplexity, vocabularies of motive, and experimentation to consider examples from the Rwandan genocide and show how we might explore the potential for non-teleological intentionality on the part of genocidal actors. The result is an enhanced theoretical framework that offers “fresh eyes” for considering one of the worst (and most under-theorized) social problems. (shrink)
In this contribution to philosophical ethics, Claudia Card revisits the theory of evil developed in her earlier book The Atrocity Paradigm, and expands it to consider collectively perpetrated and collectively suffered atrocities. Redefining evil as a secular concept and focusing on the inexcusability - rather than the culpability - of atrocities, Card examines the tension between responding to evils and preserving humanitarian values. This stimulating and often provocative book contends that understanding the evils in terrorism, torture and genocide enables (...) us to recognise similar evils in everyday life: daily life under oppressive regimes and in racist environments; violence against women, including in the home; violence and executions in prisons; hate crimes; and violence against animals. Card analyses torture, terrorism and genocide in the light of recent atrocities, considering whether there can be moral justifications for terrorism and torture, and providing conceptual tools to distinguish genocide from non-genocidal mass slaughter. (shrink)
This article discusses how John Dewey's “Report and Recommendation upon Turkish Education” and some of Dewey's related travel narratives reflect “civilizing mission” imperatives and involve multiple utopian operations that have not yet attracted political-philosophical attention. Such critical attention would reveal Dewey's misjudgments concerning issues of diversity, geopolitics, and global justice. Based on an ethicopolitical reading of the relevant sources, the aim here is to expose developmentalist and colonial vestiges, to raise searching questions, and to obtain a heightened view on the (...) stakes of Dewey's utopianism and progressive pragmatism. The article concludes that the acknowledgment of the Armenian genocide constitutes a major challenge to Dewey scholarship. (shrink)
Scholarship in the multidisciplinary field of genocide studies often emphasizes body counts and the number of biological deaths as a way of measuring and comparing the severity and scope of individual genocides. The prevalence of this way of framing genocide is problematic insofar it risks marginalizing the voices and experiences of victims who may not succumb to biological death but nevertheless suffer the loss of family members and other loved ones, and suffer the destruction of relationships, as well (...) as the foundational institutions that give rise to and sustain those relationships. The concept of social death, which Claudia Card offers as the central evil of genocide, marks a radical shift in conceptualizing genocide and provides space for recovering the marginalized voices of many who suffer the evils of genocide but do not suffer biological death. Here her concept of social death is explored, defended, and criticized. (shrink)
: Social death, central to the evil of genocide (whether the genocide is homicidal or primarily cultural), distinguishes genocide from other mass murders. Loss of social vitality is loss of identity and thereby of meaning for one's existence. Seeing social death at the center of genocide takes our focus off body counts and loss of individual talents, directing us instead to mourn losses of relationships that create community and give meaning to the development of talents.
Genocide and mass violence originate in difficult life conditions, conflict between groups, and cultural characteristics such as a history of devaluation of a group, victimization, and overly strong respect for authority. These can join in creating uncertainty and fear, frustrating the fulfillment of basic psychological needs, and shaping destructive psychological reactions and social processes such as scapegoating and destructive ideologies. The evolution of increasing hostility and violence can follow, allowed by the passivity of internal and external bystanders. Halting (...) class='Hi'>genocide and mass violence is very difficult. It is more effective to focus on early prevention: responding to difficult life conditions, developing positive attitudes and constructive ideologies that humanize the “other”; dialogue; healing wounds and memories of past victimization; training about the roots, psychological impact, and prevention of violence in workshops and the media; and supporting development practices and democratization. Early prevention requires leadership in the United Nations, the work of NGOs, cooperating national governments, and citizen groups of active bystanders. (shrink)
Social death, central to the evil of genocide, distinguishes genocide from other mass murders. Loss of social vitality is loss of identity and thereby of meaning for one's existence. Seeing social death at the center of genocide takes our focus off body counts and loss of individual talents, directing us instead to mourn losses of relationships that create community and give meaning to the development of talents.
International law has recently recognized that sexual atrocities can be acts of genocide. This precedent was pioneered through a landmark lawsuit in New York against Radovan Karadžić, head of the Bosnian Serbs (Kadic v. Karadzic , 1993-2000), a case in which I played a central role. I argue that we may situate this development philosophically in relation to Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil . She aims to secure a better understanding of (...) class='Hi'>genocide than was achieved at the Nuremberg Trials (1945) and at the Eichmann trial (1961). Arendt claims that these trials were limited by formalism because they applied familiar paradigms onto these new experiences in a manner that obscured what was distinctive about them and that demanded original thinking and a new paradigm. Nuremberg obscured genocide by miscasting it as a traditional "war crime," a problem that the Jerusalem court exposed but could have better clarified. Through a first-hand account, I show how we too had to secure a new paradigm by treating the facts on their own terms and coining the crime as "genocidal rape." We had to wrest this paradigm from a prevailing approach that also formally applied the category of "war crimes" onto these experiences in a way that obscured them and interfered with justice. (shrink)
The Rwandan genocide of 1994 occurred due to widespread complicity. I will argue that complicity can be the basis for legal liability, even for criminal liability, if two conditions are met. First, the person’s actions or inactions must be causally efficacious at least in the sense that had the person not committed these actions or inactions the harm would have been made significantly less likely to occur. Second, the person must know that her actions or inactions risk contributing to (...) a harmful enterprise, and must intend that these actions or inactions risk making this contribution. But it is not part of this analysis that the defendant must intend the harmful result. I explore the boundaries between legal and moral complicity and end with a discussion of how the analysis defended in the paper affects such questions as how many people in Rwanda should be prosecuted for the genocide which occurred due to widespread complicity. (shrink)
It is a widely shared belief that genocide – the ‘crime of crimes’– is more morally significant than ‘mere’ large-scale mass murder. Various attempts have been made to capture that separate evil of genocide: some have attempted to locate it in damage done to individuals, while others have focused upon the harm done to collectives. In this article, I offer a third, neglected, option. Genocide damages humankind: it is here that the difference is to be found. I (...) show that this understanding has a venerable legal history, and argue that it has the significant benefits of legitimising intervention and justifying universal jurisdiction. (shrink)
This article explores the role of reflective judgement in international relations through the lens of the Rwandan genocide in 1994. It argues that Hannah Arendt's writings on reflective judgement, and the dual perspectives of actor and spectator she articulates, offer us a set of conceptual tools with which to examine the failure of the international community to respond to the genocide as well as more broadly to understand the moral dilemmas posed by such crimes against humanity. Having identified (...) elements which form part of Arendt's concept of judgement, parallels in the case of Rwanda are found, drawing on both empirical evidence and recent interpretations of the genocide. Reflective judgement is offered as both a means of critique and as a source of normative guidance for political actors. (shrink)
Confronted with Adolf Eichmann, evildoer par excellence, Hannah Arendt sought in vain for any 'depth' to the evil he had wrought. How is the philosopher to approach evil ? Is the celebrated criterion of impartiality ill-equipped to guide judgment when its object is evil - as exhibited, for instance, in the recent genocide in Bosnia? This essay questions the ability of the neutral 'third party' to respond adequately to evil from a standpoint of avowed impartiality. Discussing the different roles (...) of perpetrator and victim, I argue that in any knowledge about evil the victim is the supremely privileged source; this being so, the non-party to the occurrence of evil must privilege the testimony of the victimized - even at the cost of strict impartiality of moral judgment. Key Words: Arendt evil genocide Goldhagen impartiality judgment Kant Levinas. (shrink)
Dating back to the very beginning of our knowledge of the events that constituted the Holocaust, some historians, social scientists, philosophers, theologians and public intellectuals argue that it was a unique historical, or even trans-historical, event. The aim of this article is to clarify what the uniqueness question should be about and to ascertain whether there are good reasons for judging that the Holocaust is unique. It examines the core meanings of ‘unique’ that feature in the literature and identifies which (...) of these is most apt for considering the possible uniqueness of the Holocaust. It then works out what it would take for the Holocaust to be unique in the appropriately rigorous sense, which is facilitated by inquiring into the nature of genocide. The key question turns on the relation of the Holocaust to genocide: was the Holocaust more than, or different from, genocide? (shrink)
Review of Final Solutions: Biology, Prejudice, and Genocide, ; Genocide Watch, ; Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland, ; Survivors: An Oral History of the Armenian Genocide, ; The Path to Genocide: Essays on Launching the Final Solution, ; and Why Genocide? The Armenian and Jewish Experiences in Perspective,.
In this paper I explore the notion of collective moral responsibility as it pertains both to nation-states contemplating humanitarian armed intervention in international social conflicts, and as it pertains to social groups perpetrating human rights violations in such conflicts. I take the Rwandan genocide as illustrative of such conflicts and make use of it accordingly. I offer an individualist account of collective moral responsibility, according to which collective moral responsibility is a species of joint responsibility.
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. (shrink)
The fact diat die first formal recognition of die crime of genocide (crimen lesae humanitatis) took place at Nuremberg in 1945 is extremely significant. Those who, to quote Adorno, record the extermination camps as “working incidents” in the victorious advance of civilization, or see “the martyrdom of die Jews as an irrelevant episode in the context of universal history,” fail to grasp die dominating trait of twentieth century atrocities: the perverse secularization of die religious motivations of genocide in (...) modern totalitarian political ideologies. The Nazi regime, with its dystopian vision of a hierarchy of races and societies under German hegemony, represented the most complete expression of diis process of total conditioning of the existence of individuals, with all its genocidal potentials. (shrink)
Political reconciliation involves the repairing of damaged political relationships. This paper considers the possibility and moral justifiability of pursuing political reconciliation in the aftermath of systematic and egregious wrongdoing, in particular genocide. The first two sections discuss what political reconciliation specifically requires. I argue that it neither entails nor necessitates forgiveness. Rather, I claim, political reconciliation should be conceptualized as the (re-)establishment of Fullerian mutual respect for the rule of law. When a society governs by law, publicly declared legal (...) rules establish clear and practicable standards for behavior which are enforced in practice. Subjects of the law thus can form stable and reasonable predictions of how other citizens and officials will respond to their actions. After explaining why this analysis of political reconciliation is compelling, the third section spells out the implications of my analysis for determining the possibility of achieving and the justifiability of pursuing political reconciliation. (shrink)
Genocide is a violent process that aims at the liquidation of protected groups. Like individuals, groups can be killed in a variety of ways and for many different reasons. Only the intention of the perpetrator distinguishes genocide from other forms of mass violence. The implications of the account given are striking. Genocide is not in any sense distinctively heinous. Nor is it necessarily immoral. Under certain conditions, settlercolonialism, ethnic cleansing, and forced assimilation will count as instances of (...) the phenomenon. While the argument undermines the orthodox view, it can accommodate the idea that the Holocaust was distinctively heinous. (shrink)
This essay explores several moral issues raised by global warming through the lens of Claudia Card's theory of evil. I focus on Alaskan villages in the sub-Arctic whose residents must relocate owing to extreme erosion, melting sea ice, and rising water levels. I use Card's discussion of genocide as social death to argue that failure to help these groups maintain their unique cultural identities can be thought of as genocidal.
In this paper, I work through the possible contours of an anti-genocide based on a framework informed by the work of Giorgio Agamben. Such a framework posits the inherent need to circumvent sovereign power within any form of normative activism. To begin, I show how the nascent anti-genocide movement promotes an ideal in which ?Western? states, particularly the USA, accept the global responsibility to protect persecuted life beyond national boundaries. Using Agamben, I argue that this vision also entails (...) an acceptance of a sovereign framework for the valuation of life, thus failing to confront the inherent power of the sovereign to condemn life in the first place. I then highlight the limitations that Agamben's ontology places on us in dealing with this inherent problem within the sovereign-subject relationship. By positing an alternative ontology, I suggest the possibility of establishing communities of solidarity that challenge the sovereign's self-ascribed role as the absolute valuator of life. Counter to Agamben, I argue that the basis for such communities could be a dedication to the universal sacredness of human life, which is maintained independently of, and in challenge to, sovereign power. (shrink)
The UN has to date not been effective in preventing genocide, and has had only a slightly better record in stopping it. There have been occasions when its interventions has occurred only after a genocide has taken place, and even then its major focus has been on facilitating the provision of aid by non-governmental agencies rather than on the task of tracking down the perpetrators and bringing them to justice. The exceptions of the ICTY and the ICTR are (...) so stark, in this regard, that they only serve to throw light on the many other genocidal events where the UN has not initiated measures against those responsible for carrying them out. In short, as a body the UN has no—until very recently—even approached the fulfillment of its mandate as articulated in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and only rarely invoked Chapter VII of the UN Charter in order to intervene physically for the purpose of countering threats to peace or stopping conflict. Its strengths, so far as there have been any, have focused on balancing great power interests with demands to intervene more forcefully. While in the years up to 1989 this could be seen as a way of maintaining the peace (albeit over the broken bodies of victims of genocide in places such as Biafra, Cambodia, and East Timor), since then the UN has been required to act with greater resolve and purpose. The failures of Bosnia, Rwanda, and Kosovo must thus be seen as having been brought on by a transition from one international regime to another; from a Cold War regime in which the UN—s main role was one of preventing a third (and possibly nuclear) World War from breaking out, to a post-Cold War regime which appears increasingly to be characterized by the UN searching for a new role in which humanitarian issues are to assume a higher priority than they once did. Whether or not this will continue, of course, will depend on an extremely wide variety of circumstances—and at this time it is likely that only a few of these can accurately be anticipated. (shrink)
Le génocide du Rwanda constitue l'un des événements majeurs du xxe siècle : 800 000 Tutsis et Hutus de l'opposition au « gouvernement intérimaire » rwandais ont été massacrés entre avril et juin 1994. Or, la reconnaissance de ce génocide ne va pas de soi. Cet article analyse les « contre-feux interprétatifs » mis en place selon trois axes : négation du génocide, euphémisation en « guerre tribale », thèse du « double génocide ». La presse dans cette guerre de (...) mémoire a été un vecteur tout à fait essentiel. The genocide in Rwanda was one of the major events of the 20th century: 800, 000 Tutsis and Hutus opposing Rwanda's "interim government" were massacred between April and June 1994. But recognition of this genocide is by no means taken for granted. This article analyses the different interpretations that were brought in to deflect the issue, such as genocide denial, euphemistic references to the genocide as "tribal warfare" and "double genocide" theory. The role of the press in this "war over memory" was crucial. (shrink)
The crisis in Darfur (Sudan), which sparked in February 2003, only caught the United Nations’ attention in Spring 2004. Questions emerged as to whether the conflict between the rebels and the government was simply insurgency warfare or, in fact, concealed a genocide carried out by the Arab, Muslim-led government against the Animist and Christian-African population. The issue became so divisive that the Security Council requested the creation of an investigation team, the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur, which amongst (...) other tasks had to examine whether genocide had taken place. This article analyzes the facts as well as the legal reasoning that guided the International Commission of Inquiry in drawing the conclusion that a governmental policy to commit genocide had not been formed. (shrink)
Overall, the leading Western states responded to genocide in the 1990s with too little, too late. Their political leaders chose a shortsighted strategy of denial, obfuscation, and deception rather than live, up to their solemn obligation to stop genocide. Humanity suffered greatly as a consequence. However, if genocide scholars can join and give direction to the ongoing debate within the national security community about how to prevent future Rwandas and Srebrenicas, then there is some hope that this (...) new century may be less barbarous than the one we just left. (shrink)
Korey provides a description of the long struggle for ratification of the Genocide Convention, detailing decades of work by a committee of fifty-two nongovernmental organizations lobbying the Senate and the American Bar Association, the treaty's key opponent.
This paper discusses, within the context of analytical theory, some of the implications when rape is subsumed within the international crime of genocide and concludes that this type of enquiry is essential for creating a clearer framework to address and understand this violation. From the analysis undertaken, two critical questions become apparent: a) Does compatibility exist when rape is subsumed within the category of a group violation (genocide), if rape is constructed as a violation of an individual’s sexual (...) autonomy? i b) Is the link between rape and genocide necessarily problematic within this notion of autonomy for the individual victim of rape? The process unfolds within an analytical theoretical approach that touches upon the current concept of human rights with its focus on the individual. Although the key element is the individual, the concept of human rights also creates a space, albeit limited and at times controversial, for the group. As such, this paper identifies some of the theoretical implications that emerge once rape is subsumed within the international crime of genocide, which is defined as a violation committed against particular groups. (shrink)
The problem of revisionism, or efforts to deny and censor the incontrovertible history of known genocides, is a growing one. It is now clear that denial is inevitably a phase of the genocidal process, extending far beyond the immediate politically expedient denials of governments who are currently engaging in genocidal massacre or have just recently done so—i.e., the Chinese government's abject denials of the killings of some 5,000 in Tiananmen Square, or the Sri Lanka government's denials of the state-organized massacre (...) of 5,000 Tamil. Denials of genocide continue long after the event by a variety of groups and people, including successor governments or successor enemies of the victim people, such as anti-Semites against Jews, Turks against Armenians, and bigots and celebrants of violence and murder of all sorts. But such denials also occur—and this is the most perplexing fact—among a variety of not obviously malevolent people, including intellectuals who, in the process of calling for a better world, effectively exonerate, support, encourage, and participate in denials of a known genocide, implicitly condoning and even celebrating its occurrence, meanings, and portents for the future. This article is an effort to study and analyze this latter phenomenon, which has been little recognized. Together with previous essays on the psychology of more explicit malevolent denials of genocide, the intention is to generate a broader psychological theory of denials of genocide and revisionism by proposing that there are also a variety of “innocent denials” of the factual reality or significance of known cases of genocide, and a variety of “innocent disavowals of violence” which in truth celebrate the violence. These “innocent denials” join with the well-known explicit bigots in creating a vast panorama of dangerous denials of genocides and implicit calls to new genocides in our world. (shrink)