While those killed in war are described as ‘victims,’ those who experienced torture, sexual violence, kidnapping, or witnessed atrocities without having experienced physical violence directly are often described as ‘survivors.’ Language matters not only because it seeks to represent acts of violence, but also because it has the capacity to accord agency to – or diminish the agency of – those affected by the violence. Yet, ‘victim’ and ‘survivor’ are often insufficient terms for capturing the varied and layered experiences of violence.Continue Reading →
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?Continue Reading →
Bridget Conley poses a challenging question, that is, for us to think about our own research practice in which we face people who have lived through violence and conflict. She asks Does it matter if the subject of mass atrocities is named as: an ethnic, national, racial or religious group; civilian; population; perpetrator, victim, [...]Continue Reading →
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 [...]Continue Reading →
This piece was originally published by The New York Times on December 18, 2013.
When France decided to send soldiers to the Central African Republic on Nov. 26, it did the right thing for the wrong reason.
France, the United Nations and the African Union dispatched some 4,000 troops soon after the French foreign [...]Continue Reading →
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 [...]Continue Reading →
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