This book addresses two closely related questions: what is the process by which the relatively short and violent genocides of the twentieth century and beyond have occurred? Why have these instances of mass violence been genocidal and not some other form of state violence, repression, or conflict?
Hiebert answers these questions by exploring the structures and processes that underpin the decision by political elites to commit genocide, focusing on a sustained comparison of two cases, the Nazi ' Final Solution' and the Cambodian genocide. The book clearly differentiates the structures and processes - contained within a larger overall process - that leads to genocidal violence. Uncovering the mechanisms by which societies (at least in the contemporary era) come to experience genocide as a distinct form of destruction and not some other form of mass or political violence, Hiebert is able to highlight a set of key process that lead to specifically genocidal violence.
Providing an insightful contribution to the burgeoning literature in this area, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of genocide, international relations, and political violence.
Maureen S. Hiebert is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary, Canada.
Chapter 1: The genocidal process: a constructivist approach Introduction Part I: Theorizing the "permissive" socio-political environment of genocide Introduction I. The `permissive' socio-political environment: a theoretical overview II. Three dimensions of the permissive socio-political environment of genocide Chapter 2: Germany I. Exclusionary and unequal patterns of group interaction II. Exclusionary conceptions of the community III. Authoritarian modes of conflict management Chapter 3: Cambodia I. Exclusionary and unequal patterns of group interaction II. Exclusionary conceptions of the community III. Authoritarian modes of conflict management Conclusion to Part I Part II: Introduction crises and interpretation: the catalyst for killing Introduction Chapter 4: Inter-war Germany: crises and interpretation I. Security crises II. Economic crises III. Political crises Chapter 5: Cambodia: the Sihanoukist and Lon Nol years: crises and interpretation I. Economic crises II. Political crises III. Military and security crises Conclusion to Part II Part III: Reconceptualizing the victim group: the "three switches" of genocide Introduction I. Genocide as a strategic or rational choice? II. Constructing victims: a constructivist explanation III. The "three switches" III. Warrants for genocide Chapter 6: Nazi final solution I. Switch one: victims as foreigners II. Switch two: victims as mortal threats III. Switch three: victims as sub-humans Chapter 7: The Khmer Rouge killing fields I. Switch one: victims as foreigners II. Switch two: victims as mortal threat III. Switch three:victims as sub-humans Chapter 8: Vietnam: abuses without genocide I. Switch one: victims as wayward opponents II. Switch two: the threat of actors with real power Conclusion to Part III