Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction – Adam Jones

Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction – Adam Jones


An invaluable introduction to the subject of genocide, explaining its history from pre-modern times to the present day, with a wide variety of case studies.

Recent events in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, East Timor and Iraq have demonstrated with appalling clarity that the threat of genocide is still a major issue within world politics. The book examines the differing interpretations of genocide from psychology, sociology, anthropology and political science and analyzes the influence of race, ethnicity, nationalism and gender on genocides. In the final section, the author examines how we punish those responsible for waging genocide and how the international community can prevent further bloodshed.

My Thoughts

This is a fantastic introduction to genocide studies. Jones offers an interdisciplinary view of genocide studies, as well as perpetrator motivations. Explanations of the various forms of genocide and genocidal mass violence are clear and concise. This book is very well organized – each section and subsection are clearly identified, and unfamiliar terminology is addressed and explained as it comes up.

I haven’t gone through the whole volume as of yet – I’ve read the pertinent sections relating to my thesis. That is to say, I’ve not read any of the case studies outside of the Cambodian case study offered in the book, though I’ve read and critically analyzed all of the other sections of the book.

Where Ben Kiernan’s analysis of the Cambodian genocide in The Pol Pot Regime can get muddled, this book clears up many of the pertinent details. Though not as extensive an analysis, it is exceedingly useful for it’s concise explanations and clearing up the details that get lost in an intense, in-depth case study.

Overall, this volume is a great companion to Alex Alvarez’s Genocidal Crimes for anyone beginning their studies in genocide, or for anyone who is simply interested in learning about genocide. I would greatly recommend that these two books are read together, though either one is a fantastic source of information that is relevant, sourced, and factually stated.


~ by Aubrey Smith on January 7, 2015.

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