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.