War and Genocide

War and Genocide : Organised Killing in Modern Society

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This comprehensive introduction to the study of war and genocide presents a disturbing case that the potential for slaughter is deeply rooted in the political, economic, social and ideological relations of the modern world. Most accounts of war and genocide treat them as separate phenomena. This book thoroughly examines the links between these two most inhuman of human activities. It shows that the generally legitimate business of war and the monstrous crime of genocide are closely related. This is not just because genocide usually occurs in the midst of war, but because genocide is a form of war directed against civilian populations. The book shows how fine the line has been, in modern history, between a degenerate wara involving the mass destruction of civilian populations, and a genocidea , the deliberate destruction of civilian groups as such. Written by one of the foremost sociological writers on war, War and Genocide has four main features: ? an original argument about the meaning and causes of mass killing in the modern world; ? a guide to the main intellectual resources -- military, political and social theories -- necessary to understand war and genocide; ? summaries of the main historical episodes of slaughter, from the trenches of the First World War to the Nazi Holocaust and the killing fields of Cambodia, Bosnia and Rwanda; ?
practical guides to further reading, courses and websites. This book examines war and genocide together with their opposites, peace and justice. It looks at them from the standpoint of victims as well as perpetrators. It is an important book for anyone wanting to understand -- and overcome -- the continuing salience of destructive forces in modern society.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 156 x 228 x 26mm | 521.64g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0
  • 0745619061
  • 9780745619064

Back cover copy

This comprehensive introduction to the study of war and genocide presents a disturbing case that the potential for slaughter is deeply rooted in the political, economic, social and ideological relations of the modern world.

Most accounts of war and genocide treat them as separate phenomena. This book thoroughly examines the links between these two most inhuman of human activities. It shows that the generally legitimate business of war and the monstrous crime of genocide are closely related. This is not just because genocide usually occurs in the midst of war, but because genocide is a form of war directed against civilian populations. The book shows how fine the line has been, in modern history, between 'degenerate war' involving the mass destruction of civilian populations, and 'genocide', the deliberate destruction of civilian groups as such.

Written by one of the foremost sociological writers on war, "War and Genocide" has four main features:
- an original argument about the meaning and causes of mass killing in the modern world;
- a guide to the main intellectual resources - military, political and social theories - necessary to understand war and genocide;
- summaries of the main historical episodes of slaughter, from the trenches of the First World War to the Nazi Holocaust and the killing fields of Cambodia, Bosnia and Rwanda;
- practical guides to further reading, courses and websites.
This book examines war and genocide together with their opposites, peace and justice. It looks at them from the standpoint of victims as well as perpetrators. It is an important book for anyone wanting to understand - and overcome - the continuing salience of destructive forces in modern society.
show more

Table of contents

Boxes. Tables. Acknowledgements. Introduction. The History of Mass Slaughter and Its Threat. Attitudes to War. The Argument of this Book. The Organization of this Book. Sources and Resources. EPISODE 0 THE TRENCHES. 1. War and Slaughter. Mass Killing. War. Degenerate War. Categories of Violence. Revolution as War. EPISODE I THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE. 2. Genocide as a Form of War. Destruction. Intention. A Form of War. On Slaughter. Post--Degenerate, and--Genocidal War?. EPIDODE II STALINISM'S MASS MURDERS. 3. Organizing Violence. State Power. Systems and Politics. World War to World Order?. Future Wars. EPISODE III NAZISM, WAR AND THE HOLOCAUST. 4. Producing Destruction. Industrialism and War. New Technology, New War Economy. Economy of Slaughter Zones. EPISODE IV JAPAN'S GENOCIDAL WARS. 5. Thinking War. Ideologies of War and Peace. Cultures of Slaughter. Nations and Nationalism. Race and Gender. Media of War. EPISODE V ALLIED BOMBING IN 1939--45. 6. Killing Spaces. Historical Battlefields. Modern Killing Spaces. Media as Battlespace. EPISODE VI NUCLEAR WAR PREPARATION. 7. Combatants and Participants. Combatants and Non--Combatants. Armed Forces. New Killing Forces. Social Groups and War Participation. EPISODE VII THE CAMBODIAN GENOCIDE. 8. Victims. Victimhood and Its Appropriation. From Battlefield to Civilian Death. Military Logic in Genocide. Ethnic and Cosmopolitan Victims. Gendered Violence. Irrationality of Slaughter. EPISODE VIII GENOCIDAL WAR IN YUGOSLAVIA. 9. Movements. Resistance. Movements. Change. EPISODE IX WAR AND GENOCIDE IN RWANDA. 10. Just Peace. Old thinking About War. War Management. Demands for Justice. From Slaughter to Safety. Peace and Cosmopolitan Democracy. EPISODE X THE NEW WESTERN WAY OF WAR. Conclusion. Index.
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About Martin Shaw

Professor of International Relations and Politics, University of Sussex
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