Final Solutions - Benjamin A. Valentino

Final Solutions

Mass Killing and Genocide in the 20th Century

Benjamin A. Valentino finds that ethnic hatreds or discrimination, undemocratic systems of government, and dysfunctions in society play a much smaller role in mass killing and genocide than is commonly assumed. Les mer
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Benjamin A. Valentino finds that ethnic hatreds or discrimination, undemocratic systems of government, and dysfunctions in society play a much smaller role in mass killing and genocide than is commonly assumed. He shows that the impetus for mass killing usually originates from a relatively small group of powerful leaders and is often carried out without the active support of broader society. Mass killing, in his view, is a brutal political or military strategy designed to accomplish leaders' most important objectives, counter threats to their power, and solve their most difficult problems.

In order to capture the full scope of mass killing during the twentieth century, Valentino does not limit his analysis to violence directed against ethnic groups, or to the attempt to destroy victim groups as such, as do most previous studies of genocide. Rather, he defines mass killing broadly as the intentional killing of a massive number of noncombatants, using the criteria of 50,000 or more deaths within five years as a quantitative standard.

Final Solutions focuses on three types of mass killing: communist mass killings like the ones carried out in the Soviet Union, China, and Cambodia; ethnic genocides as in Armenia, Nazi Germany, and Rwanda; and "counter-guerrilla" campaigns including the brutal civil war in Guatemala and the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Valentino closes the book by arguing that attempts to prevent mass killing should focus on disarming and removing from power the leaders and small groups responsible for instigating and organizing the killing. -- Cornell University Press
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Utgitt:
Forlag: Cornell University Press
Innbinding: Paperback
Språk: Engelsk
Sider: 336
ISBN: 9780801472732
Format: 24 x 16 cm
Winner of the 2004 Edgar S. Furniss Book Award (Me null
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"In this brilliant study of genocides and mass murders, Valentino analyzes conditions leading to such monstrous crimes based on more than eight cases.... Valentino's extraordinary scholarship provides a challenge to conventional wisdom about what can and should be done about genocide."

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Choice

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"In trying to make sense of such violence, scholars have tended to look within societies: at collective psychology, ethnic and racial hatred, and the character of government. In this astute and provocative study, Valentino argues instead that leaders, not societies, are to blame. In most cases, he finds that powerful leaders use mass killing to advance their own interests or indulge their own hatreds, rather than to carry out the desires of their constituencies.... Valentino cleverly notes that if mass killing is not deeply rooted in society but a tactic of state power, the rest of the world has fewer excuses for inaction."

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Foreign Affairs

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"Valentino's analysis is flawless. His empirically rooted case studies are appropriate and interpretive strategies rigorous."

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Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism
Introduction: Mass Killing in Historical and Theoretical Perspective

1. Mass Killing and Genocide

2. The Perpetrators and the Public

3. The Strategic Logic of Mass Killing

4. Communist Mass Killings: The Soviet Union, China, and Cambodia

5. Ethnic Mass Killings: Turkish Armenia. Nazi Germany, and Rwanda

6. Counterguerrilla Mass Killings: Guatemala and Afghanistan

Conclusion: Anticipating and Preventing Mass Killing

Notes
Index
Benjamin A. Valentino is Assistant Professor of Government at Dartmouth College. -- Cornell University Press