What is Genocide?

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Polity, Feb 12, 2007 - Political Science - 222 pages
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In this intellectually and politically potent new book, Martin Shaw proposes a way through the confusion surrounding the idea of genocide. He considers the origins and development of the concept and its relationships to other forms of political violence. Offering a radical critique of the existing literature on genocide, Shaw argues that what distinguishes genocide from more legitimate warfare is that the enemies targeted are groups and individuals of a civilian character. He vividly illustrates his argument from a wide range of historical episodes, and shows how the question 'What is genocide?' matters politically whenever populations are threatened by violence.

This compelling book will undoubtedly open up vigorous debate, appealing to students and scholars across the social sciences and in law. Shaw's arguments will be of lasting importance.

 

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Contents

1 The Sociological Crime
3
Contradictions of Genocide Theory
15
2 Neglected Foundations
17
3 The Maximal Standard
37
4 The Minimal Euphemism
48
5 Conceptual Proliferation
63
Sociology of Genocide
79
6 From Intentionality to a Structural Concept
81
8 The Missing Concept
113
9 Explanations
131
Conclusion
151
10 The Relevance of Conceptual Analysis
153
Notes
172
References and Bibliography
196
Index
209
Copyright

7 Elements of Genocidal Conflict
97

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About the author (2007)

Martin Shaw, Professor of International Relations and Politics, University of Sussex

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