Colombia: La Violencia

Introduction | Atrocities | Fatalities | Ending | Coding | Works Cited | Notes


Between 1948 and 1958, the Republic of Colombia was the scene of widespread and systematic political violence, known as La Violencia. An estimated 200,000 people were killed during this period, including 112,000 between 1948 and 1950 alone.[i] Two million others migrated, mostly to Venezuela, or were forcibly displaced from their homes. No single analytical framework can adequately capture the various reasons why violence erupted and escalated. However, the majority of historians agree that intense partisan rivalries between Colombia’s two traditional political parties—the Colombian Liberal Party and the Conservative Party—provided the initial catalyst for civil war.

Paul H. Oquist and Jonathan Hartlyn argue that partisan violence created a rift between Liberals and Conservatives, which ultimately triggered a breakdown of existing institutional structures and a partial collapse of the state.[ii] John C. Dugas notes that economic motivations for violence gradually superseded political drivers as mobs and bandits took advantage of the chaotic environment to steal, rape, and carry out vendettas against their neighbors. Mary Roldán in turn focuses on regional patterns of violence, which suggest a high degree of organization. She argues that partisan conflict allowed latent regional and local conflicts to come to the fore. Rather than representing the culmination of partisan hatreds, she suggests that La Violencia “represented a fundamental struggle — and ultimate failure — to impose a hegemonic regional project of rule predicated on notions of cultural, ethnic, and racial difference.”[iii] Norman A. Bailey attributes la violencia to Colombian elites competing with each other to mobilize the peasantry.[iv]

Regardless of these differing explanations, all conclude that partisan conflict represented the beginning of la Violencia. Some trace the roots of the conflict to 1930, the year that liberal Enrique Olaya Herrera came to power after a period of Conservative Party dominance. Liberals “celebrated” their victory at the polls with massacres, assassinations, looting and the destruction of property and burning of churches, especially in Santander and Boyacá.[v] The location of violence was important, as these same areas would be the sites of anti-Liberal violence following the unexpected 1946 election of Conservative Mariano Ospina Pérez. The minority Conservative party primarily won the election due to internal divisions between moderates and populists within the Liberal party, which had fronted two presidential candidates.[vi]. Local partisan violence soon became the overriding national political issue as inflation and growing numbers of strikes created a climate of social unrest. Violence on both sides was fueled by fears of political exclusion, with Liberals anticipating a Conservative power grab and Conservatives afraid that losing the presidency would mean permanent marginalization.[vii] In this chaotic environment, Liberal leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán was assassinated on April 9, 1948, triggering a dramatic escalation of violence.


Although conflict continued through the end of the 1950s, violence against civilians reached its peak between 1948 and 1953, with another high spike occurring in 1956. Oquist describes patterns of partisan violence in late 1947 and early 1948 as sporadic and localized, not dissimilar from previous incidents surrounding the Liberals rise to power in 1930.[viii] However, by the mid-century, local armed groups were more economically integrated and politically mobilized.[ix] These groups unleashed a wave of urban violence in the wake of Gaitán’s assassination in April 1948. A three-day uprising, called El Bogotazo, left Bogotá in ruins and the central government scrambling to quell the violence. The death of Gaitán marked the end of the populist movement and the beginning of an undeclared civil war. 1948 saw a significant surge in violence, with an estimated 43,557 deaths.[x] During this time, Liberal-backed guerrilla bands grew in size and ferocity, and the government employed the military to fight the growing insurgency.

Tensions between the two traditional parties led to the dissolution of the Liberal-controlled congress and Liberal abstention from the 1949 election, allowing the conservative candidate, Laureano Gómez, to win the election without competition. Seriously ill, Gómez discharged the duties of the presidency to Roberto Urdaneta Arbeláez, who oversaw the country until Gómez reassumed the presidency in 1953. The worst of the violence took place under Gómez’ rule from 1950-1953, until Army Commander Gustavo Rojas Pinilla took power in a successful military coup. Army and police units joined by irregular Conservative militias fought Liberal and Communist guerrillas and more loosely organized “bandits.” While la Violencia by this point had developed into a centralized and state-supported campaign of violence, regional and local authorities also employed peasants to promote their own private terror, for example to secure their political positions and carry out local vendettas.[xi] In some areas of the country, the conflict escalated local grievances over land and resources.[xii] Large landowners mobilized their tenants against each other, while some peasant factions began mobilizing against the highly unequal hacienda system.[xiii] Levels of violence drastically decreased after General Rojas took power in 1953. The newly installed government granted a general amnesty, which was accepted by 6,5000 guerrilla fighters.[xiv] The Rojas Pinilla government initially enjoyed political backing from all partisan factions except for the most reactionary and radical parties (Gómez’s wing of the Conservative party and the Communist party), which is reflected in decrease in civilian deaths during this period. However, violence continued in 1954 and 1955 as army troops clashed with organized peasants and some guerilla groups either radicalized or moved into banditry. The departments of Caldas, Valle, Antioquia, Cundinamarca, Tolima, Huila and Carca in particular witnessed continued fighting.[xv]

The establishment of the consociational National Front between the two traditional parties in 1957 facilitated the return to civilian rule. Political leaders agreed to alternate between Liberal and Conservative presidencies for a period of sixteen years and to evenly distribute all government positions between the two parties as a way of limiting partisan violence. As the central government reestablished its authority, it gradually isolated rebel and bandit leaders. However, a number of Communist guerilla groups resisted army efforts to eliminate them, and in the early 1960s joined together to form the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).[xvi]


As in most cases of widespread violence against civilians, the casualty data on La Violencia is weak. Oquist notes that most fatality numbers are based on guesswork.[xvii] However, one important source of information is the national survey research on violence conducted by Dr. Carlos Lemoine of the Compania Colombiana de Datos (COLDATOS). Using municipal level-data, Lemoine drew a representative sample of municipalities affected by violence and in 1973 administered a national survey. Of the 5,800 respondents, 15.6% had suffered deaths in their families, property losses, or displacement. Of these 874 individuals, half had lost one or more relatives in their immediate family. For each fatality, detailed information about the location and circumstances of the death were collected. Lemoine then used this data as well as available demographic information to estimate the total number of victims and geographic distribution of violence. Using this method, he arrives at an estimate of 180,253 fatalities – which Oquist notes is likely to be an under-estimate of the actual number.[xviii]

Broken down by year, Lemoine arrives at the following estimates:

Year Fatality estimate
1948 43,557
1940 18,519
1950 50, 253
1951 10,139
1952 13,250
1953 8,650
1954 900
1955 1,013
1956 11,136
1957 2,877

Data cited in Oquist 1976, 4 – 5.

The first year of Gomez’ presidency (1950) thus seems to have been especially violent, with Lemoine’s estimates pointing to 50,253 deaths. Similarly, Gott notes that at least 50,000 out of la Violencia’s total 200,000 deaths occurred during this period.[xix] These numbers are not disaggregated into deaths of civilians versus armed groups, but the distinction of civilian/combatant is particularly difficult for a peacetime case like la Violencia. According to Bailey, the killings during this period also spread throughout the entire country.[xx]

Lemoine’s numbers also reflect the initial decline and subsequent spike in fatalities under the Rojas military government. After 1953, the total number of deaths drops to 900 in 1954, before escalating again to 1,013 in 1955 and 11,136 in 1956.[xxi] Historians agree that the character of violence changed during this period, although explanations differ. With the surrender of thousands of guerrilla fighters, la Violencia increasingly devolved into criminalized and economically motivated violence and banditry.[xxii] However, genuine peasant rebellions also gave rise to communist zones, or what Bailey describes as “soviet republics.”[xxiii] The spike in 1956 can be traced back to clashes between the Colombian army and Liberal and Communist-organized peasants.[xxiv] The resumption of civilian rule in 1957 with the National Front power-sharing agreement slowly reduced the violence that continued to rage in the countryside, with 2,877 deaths and 3,796 deaths in 1958, respectively. Based on Colombian police estimates, low-level violence continued throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s, with estimated deaths below 5,000 a year.[xxv]


A significant turning point occurred in 1953, when Rojas Pinilla’s military junta declared a general amnesty, which 6,500 guerrilla fighters accepted. Hartlyn argues that national-level party leaders sought an end to the violence because they had not anticipated the rapid escalation of civil conflict. As violence spread, they “began to fear its consequences as well as displacement by the very military government they had helped bring to power.”[xxvi] Party leaders were willing to compromise and rein in the army, paramilitary groups, and the civilian police force for the sake of reestablishing political order.

The National Front government effectively ended the large number of killings by mitigating traditional partisan rivalries (the initial cause of la Violencia) and establishing a power-sharing agreement between Liberal and Conservative parties. The return to civilian rule and the inter-party cooperation facilitated the re-consolidation of state authority in nearly all areas of the country. However, while the National Front resulted in a dramatic reduction of violence, the agreement excluded third parties and, according to some analysts, restricted democratic competition. Consequently, the Colombian Communist Party (PCC) and Communist guerrilla groups, such as the Colombian Armed Revolutionary Forces (FARC), continued to operate in the countryside and gain more followers.[xxvii]

While the early 1960s saw a dramatic reduction in violence, it is arguable that the National Front sowed the seeds for future conflict.[xxviii] While it served as a temporary conflict management mechanism, it also institutionalized the exclusion of leftist groups. From that moment on, much of the country’s experience of violence shifted from organizations centered on partisan identification, toward those organized around class differences. This paved the way for the FARC and the emergence of paramilitary groups.


We code this case as ending through a process of normalization, accompanied by a change in leadership, with domestic moderates exerting influence in a context where the violence had stalemated. Further, we note that the violence can be classified as mass popular violence, targeting multiple victim groups, with significant involvement of non-state actors, and that the initiators were not the primary perpetrators.

Works Cited

Bailey, Norman A. 1967. “La Violencia in Colombia.” Journal of Inter-American Studies 9 (4): 561-575.

Dufort, Philippe. 2014. “The Dual Function of Violence During Civil Wars: The Case of Colombia,” Colombia Internacional 81: 205-235.

Dugas, J. C. 2009. “Colombia.” In Vanden, H. E and Prevost, G., ed. Politics of Latin America. New York: Oxford University Press.

Gott, Richard. 1971. Guerrilla Movements in Latin America. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday.

Guzmán Campos, Germán, Orlando Fals-Borda, and Eduardo Umaña Luna. 2005. La Violencia en Colombia. Bogotá: Taurus.

Hartlyn, Jonathan. 1993.”Civil Violence and Conflict Resolution: The Case of Colombia.” In Roy Licklider, ed. Stopping the Killing: How Civil Wars End. New York: New York University Press pp. 37-61.

Oquist, Paul H. 1980. Violence, Conflict and Politics in Colombia. New York: Academic Press.

Roldán, Mary. 2002. Blood and Fire: La Violencia in Antioquia, Colombia, 1946-1953. Durham: Duke University Press.

Vanden, Harry E., and Gary Prevost. 2006. Politics of Latin America: The Power Game. New York: Oxford University Press.


[i] Oquist, 1980, xi.

[ii] Ibid; Hartlyn 1993.

[iii] Roldán 2002, 29.

[iv] Bailey 1967.

[v] Ibid., 565.

[vi] Hartlyn 1993, 38.

[vii] Hartlyn 1993, 38-39.

[viii] Oquist 1980, 118.

[ix] Hartlyn 1993, 39.

[x] Oquist 1980, 6.

[xi] Roldán 2002, 286.

[xii] Hartlyn 1993, 40.

[xiii] Dufort 2014.

[xiv] Hartlyn 1993, 40.

[xv] Bailey 1967, 561.

[xvi] Hartlyn 1993, 41.

[xvii] Oquist 1980, 4.

[xviii] For further information on Lemoine’s methodology, see Oquist, 4-5.

[xix] Gott 1971.

[xx] Bailey 1967, 567.

[xxi] Oquist 1980, 6-7.

[xxii] Bailey 1967, 567.

[xxiii] Bailey 1967, 568.

[xxiv] Hartlyn 1993, 40.

[xxv] Oquist’s fatality estimates for 1958-1960 stem from police information, which began to be systematically compiled in 1958. He cites the following source: Republica de Colombia, Policia Nacional, Criminalidad en 1964 (Bogotá, 1965), pp. 50-51.

[xxvi] Hartlyn 1993, 49.

[xxvii] Dugas 2009, 508.

[xxviii] Email exchange with Roddy Brett, November 11, 2014.

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China: the Cultural Revolution

Introduction | Atrocities | Fatalities | Ending | Coding | Works Cited | Notes


The end of the Chinese Cultural Revolution is alternatively marked by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress held in 1969 after much of the random urban violence had subsided, the death of Lin Biao (earlier, the head of the PLA) in September 1971, and most commonly, the death of Mao Tse-tung (Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party) in 1976.[i] By implication, this means that the apportionment of blame (or credit) for the Cultural Revolution, and a discussion of the nature and mass killings during it depend, in part, on the interpretation of the events that began, and, as is the focus of this case study, ended it.

Discussions of primary responsibility for the Cultural Revolution usually center on Mao’s role. Following the death of USSR leader Josef Stalin in 1953 and the election of Nikita Krushchev, China and the Soviet Union began to drift apart. Inside China, the Anti-Rightists Campaign in 1957 decreased the influence of others within the CCP with more power accruing to Mao.[ii] In 1958, the CCP commenced the Great Leap Forward, aiming to fully “communize and militarize Chinese society.”[iii] The result was a complete restructuring of daily life and the entire Chinese economy, leading to millions of deaths. With the agricultural rug pulled out beneath the feet of the nation in favor of industrialization, mass famine ensued. The famine finally ended in 1962 when CCP leaders dared to imply that the famine was the result of policies, rather than natural disaster.[iv] Mao appeared to have lost his preeminent position in the CCP, and his grand projects were curtailed in favor of more moderate economic policies.

There is limited information available to researchers about decision-making within the CCP’s leadership, however, many suspect that Mao responded to his weakened positions by mobilizing personal attacks on the apparatus of the CCP and the state. Disturbed by these attempts to restrain his power, Mao began laying the groundwork for the Cultural Revolution in 1965 to purge all potential opposition to his leadership.[v] In the spring of 1966, these internal purges were followed by what is now widely acknowledged to be the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.

Atrocities began with the creation of the Red Guard in August 1966, became more strictly regulated after the demobilization of the Red Guard in 1969.[vi] As the government infrastructure collapsed under the resulting violence, Mao replaced it with “revolutionary committees” made up of the army, the radical organizations, and local CCP members.[vii] With no clear label as to which organizations were “Leftist,” the violence continued to escalate until 1969, when Mao finally demobilized the Red Guard. All aspects of religion and the West were included in this definition of the enemy, resulting in the destruction of priceless artifacts, historical records, and even foreign embassies.[viii] The bulk of violence occurred prior to 1971, the Cultural Revolution formally ended with Mao’s death in September 1976.


From August to December of 1966, violence against civilian “reactionaries” raged in a period known as the Red Terror. Mao personally legitimized a student protest movement calling itself the Red Guard. The Red Guard soon became a mass movement, with the young joining the Red Guard and targeting their educational institutions. Scholars suggest that the initial violence during the Cultural Revolution expressed the social and political inequalities of Mao’s China. Students in secondary schools in urban areas, who formed the different factions of the Red Guard, would have had differential access to university education and employment opportunities, depending on their family background (the CCP classified students into ‘good class’ students and ‘bad class students’) or social networks. [ix] Consequently, their factionalism and conflict may have been an expression of political contestation for power. Their mobilization, however, was not purely spontaneous – purges were organized and students were mobilized by groups of CCP officials called ‘work teams’. Similarly radical organizations were permitted to emerge in other Chinese urban areas.

Violence by the Red Guard: The Red Guard were given explicit authorization to commit violence against “rightists” by CCP leadership in August 1966, initiating the Red Guard’s transformation into a revolutionary paramilitary group.[x] The police and military were simultaneously given direct orders by the Ministry of Public Security to “only [maintain] order” and use “peaceful means” to stop violent conflict.[xi] Sent to major Chinese cities, the Red Guard commenced a preplanned policy of class cleansing upon arrival. The unspecified nature of the “rightist” and “reactionary” threats resulted in the indiscriminate destruction of all things and people deemed non-Leftist (for instance through the ‘Destroy the Four Olds’ Campaign which targeted ‘old ideology, culture, habits and customs’). Other mass organizations originating from the propaganda and general atmosphere of the Cultural Revolution campaign joined in the destructive efforts.

January 1967 to December 1967: A state of near civil war broke out as Mao attempted to have his new anti-Rightist organizations replace the old structures of political power that had been gutted by the Red Terror. His orders to do so, however, failed to specify which organization would take control where–prompting each anti-Rightist organizations attempting to outdo or simply destroy each other. The involvement of the heavily armed Chinese military, given similarly vague orders, accelerated the killing. Atrocities also began to occur in the countryside, as the implicit authorization of violence drove pogroms and enabled the elimination of political rivals and opposition on the local level.

January 1968 to June 1968: Mao and the CCP led a new campaign to “suppress destructive counterrevolutionary activities” in another attempt to get their new political infrastructure off the ground.[xii] The provocation created entirely new levels of violence, with mass killings occurring nationwide.

July 1968 to September 1968: the military and government were ordered to suppress the violence, sometimes resulting in further mass killings.   The revolutionary committees were formally established as the organs of government.

January 1970 to the end of 1972: CCP leadership ran the “One Strike, Three Anti” campaign, executing large numbers of minor criminals and conducting repeated crackdown raids (“red typhoons”) that arrested and executed any who operated in the “vast gray zone” of illegal activities.[xiii] Once again, vague definitions of illegal behavior meant that even the slightest “subversive” behavior, even the mere act of meeting with any other person, could result in execution. While the campaign supposedly targeted corruption and counterrevolutionaries, it was intended to clearly establish public concepts of law and order with the punishment of non-political criminals.[xiv] The campaign was at its most intense in its first year, but continued for years in some major cities.

February 1971 to 1976: Mao and the CCP campaigned to investigate the counterrevolutionaries that had supposedly caused the violence of the previous years, enabling the arbitrary elimination of any potential opponents of the revolutionary committees. Thousands of deaths occurred as a result.

Overall, the dynamics of escalation during the Cultural Revolution were fed by several sources. Above all, were the policies implemented by Mao and Party leaders that authorized and encouraged use of violence. Second, socio-economic factors created competition–incentive–within overlapping social networks, in, for instance, factories, educational institutions and rural areas.[xv] Third, were the dynamics of violence itself, which, once initiated fed further radicalism. [xvi] China’s immediate history had been intensively violent: the Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese Civil War, the Korean War, the People’s War of Liberation, the Great Leap Forward, and the Great Famine that followed. In the midst of such social turmoil, personal trauma, and the profound alternations to the Chinese political system and social structure,[xvii] mechanisms of restraint were sorely tested.


We use the figure of 1.5 million fatalities within our criteria for this period.

Estimates of fatalities during the Cultural Revolution vary wildly – ranging between one million and 20 million (though the former is probably closer to the true number than the latter).[xviii]

Some sources categorize these deaths according to the time-period in which they occurred, and estimate that, in total, around 1,500,000 casualties took place throughout the country. This tallies with official estimates of the number of non-conflict related deaths reported by a book credited to the Party History Research Institute (which estimated that 1,490,300 deaths took place in China during the Cultural Revolution).[xix]

Violence by the Red Guard: An estimated 100,000 deaths occurred during this phase.[xx]

January 1967 to December 1967: An estimated 500,000 deaths occurred during this phase.[xxi]

January 1968 to June 1968: An estimated 550,000 deaths occurred during this phase.[xxii]

July 1968 to September 1968: An estimated 140,000 deaths occurred during this phase, but this figure is extremely speculative.[xxiii]

January 1970 to the end of 1972 (The ‘One Strike Three Anti Campaign’): An estimated 200,000 deaths occurred during this phase.[xxiv] 

February 1971 to 1976: The occasional outburst of civilian unrest during this time period resulted in mass killings, as in the case of the razing of the Muslim town of Shadian (resulting in roughly 1,600 deaths) and the Tiananmen uprising of 1976 (resulting in close to 10,000 deaths nationwide).[xxv]

Using accounts of fatalities set out in county annals (xianzhi) published in the 1980s, some authors estimate that the death toll in the countryside in China was between 750,000 and 1.5 million. These estimates re-examine the characterization of the Cultural Revolution as a primarily urban phenomenon and suggest that the largest proportion of these deaths took place between 1968-1971, after the end of the period of ‘popular rebellion’ and factional conflict.[xxvi] Methodologically, these estimates attempt to control for under-reporting by the county annals, since there are good reasons to suspect that local authorities interpreted the wide latitude granted by the CCP for compiling these annals in different ways. Some suppressed information that might show the CCP in bad light whereas others appear to have been surprisingly frank. That said, it is difficult to check these estimates in the absence of access to the Chinese national archives that remain restricted.


The worst of the urban violence ended after the government wound down the Revolution’s central campaigns by the end of 1968. The leadership of the Red Guard were told that the organization’s role in history had come to an end, and its members, along with the members of all extremist organizations, were crushed by the military as the government attempted to restore some semblance of public order.[xxvii] In the military’s wake, Mao’s revolutionary committees were finally set up, creating political stability at last. However, given the size of China, it should come as no surprise that reports of outsize deaths in the tens of thousands continued to come in from distant border provinces, where violence continued.[xxviii] The CCP declared the Cultural Revolution a resounding success and announced a return to the political status quo, officially ending the campaign.[xxix]

Mao clearly saw the public disorder resulting from the campaign, and he attempted to dismantle the Red Guard in 1967 prior to their forcible suppression by removing its leadership to the countryside for reeducation, and continuing to rusticate urban youth from former Red Guard hub cities for years afterwards.[xxx] Officials and cadres were also effectively exiled from the world of the CCP and the power they had wielded during the Cultural Revolution.[xxxi] In the post-Cultural Revolution period, the government temporarily tolerated outbreaks of open dissent during a period from 1977 to 1978 known as the Beijing Spring, resulting in the Democracy Wall Movement and numerous works expressing frustration with the Cultural Revolution and Mao and calling for democratization as part of modernization.

Mao’s attempt to find a political successor failed over and over again as each candidate was revealed to possibly challenge Mao or his policies. At the time of Mao’s death in 1976 following protracted illness, power had become concentrated in the hands of the “Gang of Four,” a group of CCP officials led by Jiang Qing, Mao’s wife. At the same time Hua Guofeng, the new Chinese premier, was Mao’s designated successor. After Mao’s death, Hua quickly arrested the Gang of Four so as to prevent a coup (and in some readings, authorizing a coup himself).[xxxii] Relative moderate Deng Xiaoping — one of many considered as a successor, and then discarded — used his political exile to appear to be clean of the taint of the Gang of Four, and hijacked Hua’s ascension to power with a program that focused on economic modernization and returning to normal relations with the West. The Cultural Revolution is thus thought, by some authors, to definitively end with Deng’s ascension to power in 1976.

Once in power, Deng quickly tried and imprisoned radical generals and the Gang of Four, and began the long process of delicately putting a lid on the volatile history of Mao and reversing the enormous economic damage done by his policies. The Cultural Revolution was finally denounced in 1981, with Mao portrayed as “a misguided ‘tragic hero’” by a CCP Resolution on Party History.[xxxiii]

Mass killings on this scale have not occurred in China since the Cultural Revolution, with even such prominent incidents as the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 producing casualties numbering in the thousands, rather than even the tens of thousands, let alone over a million as occurred in earlier phases of violence.


The key contributor to ending in this case was Mao’s death in 1976, which finally forced a leadership change, with the immediate ascension of the far more moderate Deng Xiaoping. Hence, we code this case as ending ‘as planned’ and normalization, because the violence ended in phases that were directed by the central government, even though there was a key leadership change that allowed for the rise of moderating domestic forces that ultimately concluded the pattern of atrocities. We code for mass popular violence, although it was state directed in many ways, there is an element of this character to how the violence was encouraged and pursued. We also note ‘multiple victim groups’ to account for the different logics at play in why various civilian groups were targeted across the longer atrocities period.

Works Cited

Amar, Nathanel. 2013. “Violences De Masse En République Populaire De Chine Depuis 1949.” Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence. Sciences Po, 3 Jan. 2013. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. <>.

Chan, Anita, Stanley Rosen and Jonathan Unger. 1980. “Students and Class Warfare: The Social Roots of the Red Guard Conflict in Guangzhou (Canton).” The China Quarterly 83: 397-446.

Dikötter, Frank. 2010. Mao’s Great Famine: The History of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-1962. New York: Walker & Company.

Gong, Xiaoxia. 2003. ““The Logic of Repressive Collective Action: A Case Study of Violence in the Cultural Revolution.” .” In The Chinese Cultural Revolution Reconsidered., edited by Ed. Kam-Lee yee Law, 113-132.. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. 113-32.

Hutchings, Graham. 2001. Modern China: A Guide to a Century of Change. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Lee, Hong Yung. 2003. ““Historical Reflections on the Cultural Revolution.” in The Chinese Cultural Revolution Reconsidered: Beyond Purge and Holocaust. , Ed. Jinyi Luoedited by Kam-yee Law, 92-112..New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

MacFarquhar, Roderick, and Michael Schoenhals. 2006. Mao’s Last Revolution. Cambridge MA and London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2006.Mao’s Last Revolution. Cambridge, MA: Belknap of Harvard UP.

Meisner, Maurice J. 1999. Mao’s china and after: A history of the people’s republic. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Free Press.

Schoenhals, Michael. 2005. ““Why Don’t We Arm the Left?” Mao’s Culpability for the Cultural Revolution’s “Great Chaos” of 1967.” The China Quarterly 182: 277-300

Schoppa, R. Keith. 2000. The Columbia Guide to Modern Chinese History. New York: Columbia University Press.

Song, Yongi. 2011. “Chronology of Mass Killings during the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).” Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence. Sciences Po, 25 Aug. 2011. Web. 12 Nov. 2013. <>.

Su, Yang. 2011. Collective Killings in Rural China during the Cultural Revolution. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Unger, Jonathan. 1998. “Cultural Revolution Conflict in the Villages.” The China Quarterly 153: 82-106.

Walder, Andrew, and Yang Su. 2003. “The Cultural Revolution in the Countryside: Scope, Timing and Human Impact.” The China Quarterly 173: 74-99.

Walder, Andrew. 2009. Fractured Rebellion: The Beijing Red Guard Movement. Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press.

White III, Lynn T. 1989. Policies of Chaos: The Organizational Causes of the Violence in China’s Cultural Revolution. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

White III, Lynn and Kam-yee Law. 2003. “Explanations for China’s Revolution at its Peak.” In The Chinese Cultural Revolution Reconsidered: Beyond Purge and Holocaust, edited by Kam-yee Law. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

White III, Lynn T., Steven Levine, Yafeng Xia, Joseph Esherick, David Apter, Roderick Macfarquhar, and Michael Schoenhals. 2008. “Forum: Mao and the Cultural Revolution in China: Commentaries on Mao’s Last Revolution and Reply by the Authors.” Journal of Cold War Studies 10(2): 97-130.


[i] White 1989, 4. See also White, Levine, Xia, Esherick, Apter, Macfarquhar, and Schoenhals 2008 and Schoenhals 2005.

[ii] Macfarquhar and Schoenhals 2006, 3-9.

[iii] Schoppa 2013, 112.

[iv] Dikötter 2010, Epilogue.

[v] Macfarquhar and Schoenhals 2006, 13.

[vi] Macfarquhar and Schoenhals 2006, 3.

[vii] Hutchings 2001, 91.

[viii] Hutchings 2001, 91.

[ix] Walder 2009, 5. A seminal work on this is Chan, Rosen and Unger 1980.

[x] Amar 2013.

[xi] Gong 2003, 119.

[xii] Ibid.

[xiii] Macfarquhar and Schoenhals 2006, 304.

[xiv] Macfarquhar and Schoenhals 2006, 303.

[xv] White and Law 2003.

[xvi] Gong 2003, 127.

[xvii] Ibid.

[xviii] White 1989, 7.

[xix] Cited in Su 2011, 37.

[xx] Song 2011, 37.

[xxi] Song 2011, 9.

[xxii] Ibid.

[xxiii] Ibid.

[xxiv] Song 2011, 9.

[xxv] Song 2011, 12.

[xxvi] Walder and Su 2003; Unger 1998.

[xxvii] Meisner 1999, 362.

[xxviii] Macfarquhar and Schoenhals 2006, 258.

[xxix] Meisner and and Schoenhals, Mao’s China and After, 365.

[xxx] Macfarquhar and Schoenhals 2006, 251-252.

[xxxi] Meisner 1999, 362.

[xxxii] Macfarquhar and Schoenhals 2006, 445.

[xxxiii] Macfarquhar and Schoenhals 2006, 457.

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