Cover image for The crime of all crimes : toward a criminology of genocide
Title:
The crime of all crimes : toward a criminology of genocide
Author:
Rafter, Nicole Hahn, 1939- , author.
Publication Information:
New York : New York University Press, 2016.
Physical Description:
xiv, 299 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Summary:
"Cambodia. Rwanda. Armenia. Nazi Germany. History remembers these places as the sites of unspeakable crimes against humanity, and indisputably, of genocide. Yet, throughout the twentieth century, the world has seen many instances of violence committed by states against certain groups within their borders--from the colonial ethnic cleansing the Germans committed against the Herero tribe in Africa, to the Katyn Forest Massacre, in which the Soviets shot over 20,000 Poles, to anti-communist mass murders in 1960s Indonesia. Are mass crimes against humanity like these still genocide? And how can an understanding of crime and criminals shed new light on how genocide--the "crime of all crimes"--Transpires? In The Crime of All Crimes, criminologist Nicole Rafter takes an innovative approach to the study of genocide by comparing eight diverse genocides--large-scale and small; well-known and obscure--through the lens of criminal behavior. Rafter explores different models of genocidal activity, reflecting on the popular use of the Holocaust as a model for genocide and ways in which other genocides conform to different patterns. For instance, Rafter questions the assumption that only ethnic groups are targeted for genocidal "cleansing, " and she also urges that actions such as genocidal rape be considered alongside traditional instances of genocidal violence. Further, by examining the causes of genocide on different levels, Rafter is able to construct profiles of typical victims and perpetrators and discuss means of preventing genocide, in addition to delving into the social psychology of genocidal behavior and the ways in which genocides are brought to an end. A sweeping and innovative investigation into the most tragic of events in the modern world, The Crime of All Crimes will fundamentally change how we think about genocide in the present day."--Publisher's description.
Language:
English
Contents:
1. Genocide, Criminology, and Evolution of the "Crime of Crimes". The Katyn Forest Genocide, 1940 -- 2. What Kind of a Crime Is Genocide? Capsule Summaries of Eight Genocides -- 3. The Big Picture: The Macro Dynamics of Genocide. The Herero Genocide, 1904-1907 -- 4. The Emotional Dynamics of Genocide: Meso-Level Analyses : The Indonesian Genocide, 1965-1966 -- 5. Extermination Up Close and Personal : Genocide on the Micro Level. The Cambodian Genocide, 1975-1979 -- 6. Mobilization for Destruction. The Armenian Genocide, 1915- 923 -- The Nazi Genocide of the Disabled, 1939-1945 -- 7. Gender and Genocide. The Rwandan Genocide, 1994 -- 8. How Do Genocides End? Do They End? The Guatemalan Genocide, 1981- 983 -- 9. Treating Genocide as a Crime -- Appendix A: Twentieth-Century Genocides -- Appendix B: Case-Study Questions.
ISBN:
9781479859481
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Cambodia. Rwanda. Armenia. Nazi Germany. History remembers these places as the sites of unspeakable crimes against humanity, and indisputably, of genocide. Yet, throughout the twentieth century, the world has seen many instances of violence committed by states against certain groups within their borders--from the colonial ethnic cleansing the Germans committed against the Herero tribe in Africa, to the Katyn Forest Massacre, in which the Soviets shot over 20,000 Poles, to anti-communist mass murders in 1960s Indonesia. Are mass crimes against humanity like these still genocide? And how can an understanding of crime and criminals shed new light on how genocide--the "crime of all crimes"--transpires? In The Crime of All Crimes, criminologist Nicole Rafter takes an innovative approach to the study of genocide by comparing eight diverse genocides--large-scale and small; well-known and obscure--through the lens of criminal behavior. Rafter explores different models of genocidal activity, reflecting on the popular use of the Holocaust as a model for genocide and ways in which other genocides conform to different patterns. For instance, Rafter questions the assumption that only ethnic groups are targeted for genocidal "cleansing," and she also urges that actions such as genocidal rape be considered alongside traditional instances of genocidal violence. Further, by examining the causes of genocide on different levels, Rafter is able to construct profiles of typical victims and perpetrators and discuss means of preventing genocide, in addition to delving into the social psychology of genocidal behavior and the ways in which genocides are brought to an end. A sweeping and innovative investigation into the most tragic of events in the modern world, The Crime of All Crimes will fundamentally change how we think about genocide in the present day.


Reviews 1

Choice Review

Rafter (emer., criminology, Northeastern Univ.) attempts a comparative criminological analysis of eight cases of genocide, emphasizing desistence, retributive, and restorative (such as Rwandese gacaca courts) justice philosophies. The author's originality lies in her attempt to go beyond the UN definition of genocide--which was crafted by Raphael Lemkin, who coined the word "genocide"--and extend it to cultural genocide, Nazi "euthanasia," and genocidal "state rape." Her sampling method was purposive to ensure wider geopolitical coverage of cases, but it inevitably increased selection biases by excluding many important cases, such as the Biafra genocide, documented by Arthur Nwankwo, Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, and Chinua Achebe, in which an estimated three million Igbo people died from 1967 to 1970; this is only mentioned in Appendix A, and erroneously dated as occurring in 1970-1970. Instead, cases of "massacres" such as the killing of 22,000 Polish troops by Stalinist forces were sampled without differentiating massacres from genocides. The author's biases go beyond the inevitable sampling errors to include ideological historical revisionism by repeatedly asserting that the Herero of Namibia initiated their own genocide through a "suicidal war" against German settlers, who used them to develop the model for the Holocaust. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. --Biko Agozino, Virginia Tech


Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
1 Genocide, Criminology, and Evolution of the "Crime of Crimes": The Katyn Forest Genocide, 1940p. 1
2 What Kind of a Crime Is Genocide?: Capsule Summaries of Eight Genocidesp. 24
3 The Big Picture: The Macro Dynamics of Genocide: The Herero Genocide, 1904-1907p. 54
4 The Emotional Dynamics of Genocide: Meso-Level Analyses: The Indonesian Genocide, 1965-1966p. 80
5 Extermination Up Close and Personal: Genocide on the Micro Level: The Cambodian Genocide, 1975-1979p. 106
6 Mobilization for Destruction: The Armenian Genocide, 1915-1923 The Nazi Genocide of the Disabled, 1939-1945p. 131
7 Gender and Genocide: The Rwandan Genocide, 1994p. 152
8 How Do Genocides End? Do They End?: The Guatemalan Genocide, 1981-1983p. 181
9 Treating Genocide as a Crimep. 202
Appendix A Twentieth-Century Genocidesp. 229
Appendix B Case-Study Questionsp. 235
Notesp. 239
Referencesp. 267
Indexp. 291
About the Authorp. 299