Genocidal Crimes – Alex Alvarez

Genocidal Crimes – Alex Alvarez

genocidal crimesSynopsis

Genocide has emerged as one of the leading problems of the twentieth century. No corner of the world seems immune from this form of collective violence. While many individuals are familiar with the term, few people have a clear understanding of what genocide is and how it is carried out. This book clearly discusses the concept of genocide and dispels the widely held misconceptions about how these crimes occur and the mechanisms necessary for its perpetration.

Genocidal Crimes differs from much of the writing on the subject in that it explicitly relies upon the criminological literature to explain the nature and functioning of genocide. Criminology, with its focus on various types of criminality and violence, has much to offer in terms of explaining the origins, dynamics, and facilitators of this particular form of collective violence. Through application of a number of criminological theories to various elements of genocide Alex Alvarez presents a comprehensive analysis of this particular crime. These criminological perspectives are underpinned by a variety of psychological, sociological, and political science based insights in order to present a more complete discussion of the nature and functioning of genocide.

My Thoughts

This book is a great introduction into the concept of genocide studies. Genocide studies and research has been the crux of my thesis research for about a year now. This book offered a basic definition which I can fine-tune for my thesis with more research and sources. It also explains that genocide studies are multifaceted, like most areas of criminology. It is an interdisciplinary field of study which requires a combination of all forms of social sciences and humanities to come together to offer a full, rich, and impressive understanding of genocide and genocidal crimes.

The author has extensively researched this topic, and offers a well-rounded understanding of genocide and genocidal crimes. The book is sectioned off very nicely into concise, neat chapters which explain various facets of the state and genocide, as well as the perpetrators of genocide.

The sections of the perpetrators of genocide were or particular interest to me, as that is the main area of focus for my thesis. The author uses examples from many instances of genocide and genocidal mass violence to illustrate and explain the concepts being presented.

Overall, this book is a great starting point for anyone wanting to learn about genocide and genocidal crimes, before diving head-first into researching the particulars of genocide. Having a base understanding is key to genocide studies, and this book offers that brilliantly. This is one of many books I will be reading to gain a general understanding of genocide, perpetrator motivations, and the specific case of the Cambodian genocide at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. From here, I can only hope to gain more knowledge, and enhance my understanding of this case.


~ by Aubrey Smith on December 23, 2014.

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