Genocide in the 20th century

Although genocide is not a new phenomenon, the past hundred years have witnessed the killing of civilian populations on a wider and more systematic scale than ever before—from the Armenian genocide of through the slaughters in Bosnia, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and elsewhere during the s. In the years ahead, continuing advances in weaponry, electronic communications, and information technology will make it easier to identify and annihilate target populations. Global population growth, along with the depletion of critical resources such as water, arable land, and fossil fuels, may intensify the potential for political and ethnic conflicts. Other factors such as pandemic diseases and extremist religious ideologies may further destabilize fragile political communities around the world.

Genocide in the 20th century

The two general objectives of genocide studies have been to develop more systematic explanations of causes of genocide and a deeper understanding of consequences than previously available in the literature. Genocides in the 20th century are estimated to have cost more than forty million lives.

Herero in —, the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire in —, the Holodomor in the former Soviet Ukraine in —, the Jewish Holocaust in —, Bangladesh inCambodia in —, East Timor in —, Bosnia in —, and Rwanda in The diversity of subject areas, theories, and methodologies in genocide studies notwithstanding, most work is primarily concerned with the role of the perpetrator state; the nature of leadership; the ability of the leaders to transform ordinary men into murderers and bureaucracies into instruments of murder; and, finally, how to prevent future genocides.

Although a small number of scholarly works have also paid attention to followers and bystanders, this area requires more research, as does genocide prevention.

The History Place - Genocide in the 20th Century: Rwanda

Regardless of the paucity of scholarly literature on genocide prevention, the European Union, in cooperation with the government of Hungary, took the significant step of establishing, inthe Genocide in the 20th century Centre for the International Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities. General Overviews The literature on genocide consists of general surveys; comparative analyses of two or more cases; anthologies on a specific genocide, with individual chapters analyzing various aspects of the case; and case studies that offer historical analyses with varying degrees of detail and units of analysis.

The comparative approaches develop theoretical frameworks and identify key factors common in the cases under consideration. The comparative approach has registered limited success in furthering the subfield; frequently, these books contain chapters on individual cases rather than systematic comparative analyses of two or more cases.

Melson and Midlarsky are successful comparative studies.

The History Place - Genocide in the 20th Century

Anthologies covering a case of genocide usually contain chapters that address different aspects of the case, such as the chronological sequence of events, the leadership of the perpetrator regime, the psychology of trauma suffered by the survivors, and the international or geopolitical situation.

The largest body of scholarship consists of single case studies, which provide fairly detailed analyses of the events and personalities, while advancing a specific theory or theories about the causes and consequences of the genocide.

The scholarship on genocide in the 20th century underscores several variables that contribute to such human catastrophes.

Genocide in the 20th century

Rummel and Valentino stress the role and nature of the state; Valentino pays particular attention to the personal characteristics of the leaders and their ability to mobilize the machinery of murder e.

Staub focuses on the psychology, culture, and ideology of the perpetrator group.

Genocide in the 20th century

Charny is a monumental, two-volume encyclopedia of genocide, covering various dimensions of mass murder and genocide. The significant growth in genocide studies clearly reflects efforts to understand genocides, with the hope of finding effective means of preventing future genocides.

Hamburg proposes new approaches to conflict resolution and management. Similarly, Staub discusses various social and psychological factors contributing to conflict escalation and approaches to early prevention. Particularly strong are the sections on the study of genocide, the Armenian genocide, and the Holocaust.


The guiding principle, as articulated by Charny, is that genocide is a universal phenomenon. Hamburg recommends the creation of international centers for the prevention of genocide, one within the UN system and one in the European Union.

Democratic and economic development would further strengthen preventative measures. On the Origins of the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust. University of Chicago Press, Discusses the significance of several variables, including revolutionary regime, the personal characteristics of the leadership, the ideology of the perpetrator e.

War creates the political and bureaucratic space for the implementation of a policy of annihilation. Genocide in the Twentieth Century.

Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge University Press, He correctly contends that comparative analyses of genocide are necessary for more meaningful understanding of genocide and mass murder.The term 'Genocide' was coined by Polish writer and attorney, Raphael Lemkin, in by combining the Greek word 'genos' (race) with the Latin word 'cide' (killing).

I.2 Historical Genocides. Although the word genocide was only created in the 20th century, there exist many historical examples of genocide. One of the earliest examples identified is the destruction of Melos in BCE by the Athenian army.

“Genocide and Gender in the Twentieth Century is a well-compiled and stirring book.” – Women's History Review “Obviously gender matters for understanding genocide: the Holocaust as well as the genocides in Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Rwanda which are at .

33 rows · The term genocide is contentious and its academic definition varies. This list only considers mass killings recognized as genocides by the legal definition in significant scholarship and criteria by the UN Genocide Convention.

Late 19th century Early 20th century.

A Comparative Survey I want to begin not just by thanking the US Holocaust Memorial Museum for bringing the question of genocide to public attention but also to thank you for coming.
Other Subject Areas Genocides of The 20th Century The 20th century saw the rise of a new humanity. A thoroughly educated, civilised and innovative society was predominant throughout the world.
INTRODUCTION Initially it was carried out in German-occupied Eastern Europe by paramilitary death squads Einsatzgruppen by shooting or, less frequently, using ad hoc built gassing vansand later in extermination camps by gassing.
Genocides within The 20th & 21st Century While it is uncertain how successful such attempts were against the target population, [50] historians have noted that, "history records numerous instances of the French, the Spanish, the British, and later on the American, using smallpox as an ignoble means to an end. For smallpox was more feared by the Indian than the bullet:
About Genocide and Gender in the Twentieth Century While it is uncertain how successful such attempts were against the target population, [50] historians have noted that, "history records numerous instances of the French, the Spanish, the British, and later on the American, using smallpox as an ignoble means to an end. For smallpox was more feared by the Indian than the bullet:

Genocide and Other State Murders in the Twentieth Century a great advance in international law in the 20th century. Genocide had to be defined generically to protect groups whose enduring nature and right to exist was agreed upon.

Its Political Use in the Twentieth Century (New Haven: Yale University Press, ): , 46, , 20th century DEMOCIDE IMPORTANT NOTE: Among all the democide estimates appearing on this website, and in the table on the lower right, some have been revised upward.

The worst genocides of the 20th and 21st Century