Ethnic Cleansing as Euphemism, Metaphor, Criminology, and Law
Forging a Convention for Crimes Against Humanity, ed. Leila Nadya Sadat, Cambridge University Press, 2011
25 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2012
Date Written: September 19, 2012
Euphemistic uses of the concept of ethnic cleansing are often traced to “the burning tradition” in the Balkans and the “Final solution” in Nazi Germany. In this chapter, we review the origins of these euphemisms and consider how they form a backdrop for understanding the further metaphorical influence of the imagery of ethnic cleansing. Cherif Bassiouni and an international commission of experts revealed the incriminating influence of ethnic cleansing as an activating metaphor, and in this way turned the understanding of the term on its head. The result was to spur an international response to the massive and ongoing atrocities in the former Yugoslavia. We examine the further evolution of a social scientific understanding of ethnic cleansing as a topic of criminological study – a topic that is now evolving alongside the law of ethnic cleansing and genocide in the current epicenter of mass atrocity: Darfur.
Keywords: ethnic cleansing, genocide, Cherif Bassiouni, Yugoslavia, social science, criminology, Darfur
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K19, K33, K40, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation