Posts by: Bridget Conley

World peace today is too often viewed as a topic of the fuzzy-headed; serious people speak of security, stability or conflict resolution. This was not always the case. We are launching a regular blog feature highlighting historical examples of diverse voices and perspectives on peace.

We begin today with a speech from U.S. President John [...]

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The field of genocide and mass atrocities studies has produced significant contributions to knowledge of where, when and why campaigns of large-scale, one-sided violence occur, but offers relatively few explicit examinations of the political, social and military dynamics of the de-escalation of violence. This simple question remains unexplored: how do mass atrocities end?

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Raoul Hilberg’s work on the Holocaust introduced into historical analysis of atrocity a set of subject positions borrowed from the language of criminal law—perpetrator and victim—augmented with a term to capture those whose actions and inaction elude juridical distinctions, bystander. These “subjects” along with rescuer and survivor form the characterology of genocide as inherited from [...]

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It would be unreasonable to argue that there are inherent contradictions between the idea of protecting “civilians” and protecting “populations”—and yet today there is an effort to separate these terms for political reasons. In this essay, we look at some of the subtle differences between these two subjects of mass atrocities, and address why, at [...]

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This essay is part two of a series on “The subjects of mass atrocities.” Part one can be found here.

Studying violence under the rubric of genocide offers one contribution above all others: attention to the ways that violence is targeted at and experienced as a group. The term was coined in [...]

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Does it matter if the subject of mass atrocities is named as: an ethnic, national, racial or religious group; civilian; population; perpetrator, victim, bystander or rescuer; or something else? These are some of the “names” that are currently in use in the broad field that works on large-scale, systematic atrocities under a range of rubrics: [...]

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