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A mass killing, as defined by a genocide scholar Ervin Staub, is "killing members of a group without the intention to eliminate the whole group or killing large numbers of people without a precise definition of group membership".This term is used by a number of genocide scholars because the term "genocide" (its strict definition) does not cover mass killing events when no specific ethnic or religious group is targeted, and when perpetrators are not intended to eliminate of the whole group or its significant part. This article primarily discusses different models used by genocide scholars to explain and predict the onset of mass killing events.
Ervin Staub is a professor of psychology, emeritus, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is the founding director of the doctoral program on the psychology of peace and violence. He is most known for his works on helping behavior and altruism, and on the psychology of mass violence and genocide. He was born in Hungary and received his Ph.D. from Stanford. He later taught at Harvard University. He worked in many settings, both conducting research and applying his research and theory. He worked in schools to raise caring and non-violent children, and to promote active bystandership by students in response to bullying, in the Netherlands to improve Dutch-Muslim relations, in Rwanda, Burundi and the Congo to promote healing and reconciliation. He has served as an expert witness, for example, at the Abu Ghraib trials, lectured widely on topics related to his work in academic, public, and government settings in the U.S. and other countries, and is the recipient of numerous honors.
Genocide is intentional action to destroy a people in whole or in part. The hybrid word "genocide" is a combination of the Greek word γένος and the Latin suffix -caedo. The United Nations Genocide Convention, which was established in 1948, defines genocide as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group".
According to Weiss-Wendt, any attempts to develop a universally accepted terminology describing mass killings of non-combatants was a complete failureBelow are listed the terms used by genocide scholars to describe mass killings.
Rummel's "democide" concept is very similar to "geno-politicide", however there are two important differences. First, an important prerequisite for geno-politicide is government's intent to destroy a specific group.In contrast, "democide" deals with wider range of cases, including the cases when governments are engaged in random killing either directly or due to the acts of criminal omission and neglect.
Second, whereas some lower threshold exists for a killing event to be considered "geno-politicide" (Valentino uses 50,000/five years, other authors use lower threshold), there is no low threshold for democide, which covers any murder of any number of persons by any government.
Benjamen Valentino, who sees ruler's motives as the key factor explaining the onset of mass killings, outlines two major category of mass killings, dispossessive mass killings and coercive mass killings.The first category included ethnic cleansing, killings that accompany agrarian reforms in some states led by communists, mass killings during colonial expansion, etc. The second category includes mass killings during counter-guerilla warfare, killings during the Axis imperialist conquests during the World War II, etc. Although Valentino does not consider ideology or regime type as an important factor that explains mass killings, he outlines communist mass killings as a subtype of dispossessive mass killings, which is considered as a complication of original theory his book is based on.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
Mass killings occurred under several 20th-century Communist regimes. Death estimates vary widely, depending on the definitions of deaths included. The higher estimates of mass killings account for crimes against civilians by governments, including executions, destruction of population through man-made hunger and deaths during forced deportations, imprisonment and through forced labor. Terms used to define these killings include "mass killing", "democide", "politicide", "classicide" and a broad definition of "genocide".
Two global databases of mass killings are currently available. The first compilation, by Rudolph Rummel, covers a time period from the beginning of the 20th century till 1977, and the second compilation, by Barbara Harff, combines all mass killing events since 1955. The Harff database is the most frequently used by genocide scholars.These data are intended mostly for statistical analysis of mass killings in attempt to identify the best predictors for their onset. According to Harff, these data are not necessarily the most accurate for a given country, since some sources are general genocide scholars and not experts on local history. A comparative analysis of these two databases revealed a significant difference between the figures of killed per years and low correlation between Rummel's and Harff's data sets. Tomislav Dulić criticized Rummel's generally higher numbers as arising from flaws in Rummel's statistical methodology.
Rudolph Joseph Rummel was professor of political science who taught at the Indiana University, Yale University, and University of Hawaii. He spent his career studying data on collective violence and war with a view toward helping their resolution or elimination. Rummel coined the term democide for murder by government, such as the Stalinist purges and Mao's Cultural Revolution.
Barbara Harff is Professor of Political Science Emerita at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. In 2003 and again in 2005 she was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University. Her research focuses on the causes, risks, and prevention of genocidal violence.
|Country and date||Start||End||Nature of episode||Estimated number of victims||Related articles|
|Sudan||Oct 1956||Mar 1972||Politicide with communal victims||400,000–600,000||First Sudanese Civil War|
|South Vietnam||Jan 1965||Apr 1975||Politicide||400,000–500,000||South Vietnam|
|China||Mar 1959||Dec 1959||Genocide and politicide||65,000||1959 Tibetan uprising|
|Iraq||Jun 1963||Mar 1975||Politicide with communal victims||30,000–60,000||Ba'athist Iraq|
|Algeria||Jul 1962||Dec 1962||Politicide||9,000–30,000|
|Rwanda||Dec 1963||Jun 1964||Politicide with communal victims||12,000–20,000|
|Congo-Kinshasa||Feb 64||Jan 1965||Politicide||1,000–10,000|
|Burundi||Oct 1965||Dec 1973||Politicide with communal victims||140,000|
|Indonesia||Nov 1965||Jul 1966||Genocide and politicide||500,000–1,000,000||Indonesian mass killings of 1965–1966|
|China||May 1966||Mar 1975||Politicide||400,000–850,000|
|Guatemala||Jul 1978||Dec 1996||Politicide and genocide||60,000–200,000||Guatemalan genocide|
|Pakistan||Mar 1971||Dec 1971||Politicide with communal victims||1,000,000–3,000,000|
|Uganda||Dec 1972||Apr 1979||Politicide and genocide||50,000–400,000||Genocides in central Africa|
|Philippines||Sep 1972||Jun 1976||Politicide with communal victims||60,000|
|Pakistan||Feb 1973||Jul 1977||Politicide with communal victims||5,000–10,000|
|Chile||Sep 1973||Dec 1976||Politicide||5,000–10,000|
|Angola||Nov 1975||2001||Politicide by UNITA and government forces||500,000|
|Cambodia||Apr 1975||Jan 1979||Politicide and genocide||1,900,000–3,500,000||Cambodian genocide|
|Indonesia||Dec 1975||Jul 1992||Politicide with communal victims||100,000–200,000|
|Argentina||Mar 1976||Dec 1980||Politicide||9,000–20,000|
|Ethiopia||Jul 1976||Dec 1979||Politicide||10,000|
|Congo-Kinshasa||Mar 1977||Dec 1979||Politicide with communal victims||3,000–4,000|
|Afghanistan||Apr 1978||Apr 1992||Politicide||1,800,000|
|Burma||Jan 1978||Dec 1978||Genocide||5,000|
|El. Salvador||Jan 1980||Dec 1989||Politicide||40,000–60,000|
|Uganda||Dec 1980||Jan 1986||Politicide and genocide||200,000-500,000||Genocides in central Africa|
|Syria||Mar 1981||Feb 1982||Politicide||5,000–30,000|
|Iran||Jun 1981||Dec 1992||Politicide and genocide||10,000–20,000||Casualties of the Iranian Revolution, 1988 executions of Iranian political prisoners|
|Sudan||Sep 1983||?||Politicide with communal victims||2,000,000|
|Iraq||Mar 1988||Jun 1991||Politicide with communal victims||180,000|
|Somalia||May 1988||Jan 1991||Politicide with communal victims||15,000–50,000|
|Burundi||1988||1988||Genocide||5,000–20,000||Hutu massacres of 1988|
|Sri Lanka||Sep 1989||Jan 1990||Politicide||13,000–30,000|
|Bosnia||May 1992||Nov 1995||Genocide||225,000||Bosnian genocide|
|Burundi||Oct 1993||May 1994||Genocide||50,000||Burundian genocides|
|Rwanda||Apr 1994||Jul 1994||Genocide||500,000–1,000,000||Rwandan genocide|
|Serbia||Dec 1998||Jul 1999||Politicide with communal victims||10,000|
This list does not include deaths from the Great Chinese Famine and Great Leap Forward.
The term "mass killing" was proposed by genocide scholars in attempts to collect a uniform global database of genocidal events and identify statistical models for prediction of onset of mass killings.
Frank Wayman and Atsushi Tago use the term "mass killing" as defined by Valentino, and they concluded that, even with a lower threshold (10,000 killed per year, 1,000 killed per year, or even 1), "autocratic regimes, especially communist, are prone to mass killing generically, but not so strongly inclined (i.e. not statistically significantly inclined) toward geno-politicide".[ citation needed ]
Democide is a term proposed by R. J. Rummel since at least 1994 who defined it as "the intentional killing of an unarmed or disarmed person by government agents acting in their authoritative capacity and pursuant to government policy or high command". According to him, this definition covers a wide range of deaths, including forced labor and concentration camp victims; killings by "unofficial" private groups; extrajudicial summary killings; and mass deaths due to the governmental acts of criminal omission and neglect, such as in deliberate famines, as well as killings by de facto governments, i.e. civil war killings. This definition covers any murder of any number of persons by any government.
Homicide is the act of one human killing another. A homicide requires only a volitional act by another person that results in death, and thus a homicide may result from accidental, reckless, or negligent acts even if there is no intent to cause harm. Homicides can be divided into many overlapping legal categories, including murder, manslaughter, justifiable homicide, killing in war, euthanasia, and capital punishment, depending on the circumstances of the death. These different types of homicides are often treated very differently in human societies; some are considered crimes, while others are permitted or even ordered by the legal system.
Politicide is the deliberate physical destruction of a group whose members share the main characteristic of belonging to a political movement. It is a type of political repression, and one means of the political cleansing of population, with another being forced migration. It may be compared to genocide or ethnic cleansing, which involve killing people based on membership in a racial or ethnic group rather than holding a political ideology.
The term genocidal massacre was introduced by Leo Kuper (1908–1994) to describe incidents with a genocidal component but which are committed on a smaller scale when compared to genocides such as the Rwandan Genocide. Others such as Robert Melson, who also makes a similar differentiation, class genocidal massacres as "partial genocide".
Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious or national group. The term was coined in 1944 by Raphael Lemkin. It is defined in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) of 1948 as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the groups conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."
David Edward Stannard is an American historian and Professor of American Studies at the University of Hawaii. He is particularly known for his book American Holocaust, in which he argues that the genocide against the Native American population was the largest genocide in history.
Policide is a neologism used in political science to describe the intentional destruction of an independent political and social entity, such as a city or nation. The term is used with some regularity within political science, generally to refer to a policy of destruction that falls short of genocide or ethnocide.
The Political Instability Task Force (PITF), formerly known as State Failure Task Force, is a U.S. government-sponsored research project to build a database on major domestic political conflicts leading to state failures. The study analyzed factors to denote the effectiveness of state institutions, population well-being, and found that partial democracies with low involvement in international trade and with high infant mortality are most prone to revolutions. One of the members of the task force resigned on January 20, 2017 in protest of the Trump administration.
This is a list of scholarly and international legal definitions of genocide, a word coined with genos and an English suffix -cide by Raphael Lemkin in 1944. The precise etymology of the word however, is a compound of the ancient Greek word γένος or Latin word gēns and the Latin word caedō. While there are various definitions of the term, almost all international bodies of law officially adjudicate the crime of genocide pursuant to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG). This and other definitions are generally regarded by the majority of genocide scholars to have an "intent to destroy" as a requirement for any act to be labelled genocide; there is also growing agreement on the inclusion of the physical destruction criterion. Writing in 1998 Kurt Jonassohn and Karin Björnson stated that the CPPCG was a legal instrument resulting from a diplomatic compromise. As such the wording of the treaty is not intended to be a definition suitable as a research tool, and although it is used for this purpose, as it has an international legal credibility that others lack, other definitions have also been postulated. Jonassohn and Björnson go on to say that for various reasons, none of these alternative definitions have gained widespread support.
A massacre is a killing, typically of multiple victims, considered morally unacceptable, especially when perpetrated by a group of political actors against defenseless victims. The word is a loan of a French term for "butchery" or "carnage".
Classicide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of a social class through persecution and violence. The term "classicide" was termed by sociologist Michael Mann as a term that is similar but distinct from the term genocide. Examples includes Joseph Stalin's mass killing of the affluent middle-class peasant Kulaks who were identified as "class enemies" by the Soviet Union. Similar classicide has been committed by China during the Great Leap Forward, by North Vietnam as part of the Land Reform, and by the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia.
In 1996 Gregory Stanton, the founding president of Genocide Watch, presented a briefing paper called "The 8 Stages of Genocide" at the United States Department of State. In it he suggested that genocide develops in eight stages that are "predictable but not inexorable". In 2012, Stanton added two additional stages, Discrimination and Persecution, to his model, which resulted in a 10-stage model of genocide. The stages are not linear, and usually several occur simultaneously. Stanton's model is a logical model for analyzing the processes of genocide, and for determining preventive measures that might be taken to combat or stop each process.
The assessment of risk factors for genocide is an upstream prevention mechanism for genocide. This means that, if used correctly, the international community would be able to foresee a genocide before the killing took place, and prevent it. Countries can have many warning signs that it may be leaning in the direction of a future genocide. If signs are presented the international community takes notes of them and watches over the countries that have a higher risk. Many different scholars, and international groups, have come up with different factors that they think should be considered while examining whether a nation is at risk or not. One predominant scholar in the field James Waller came up with his own four categories of risk factors; including, governance, conflict history, economic conditions, and social fragmentation.