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

See all articles by John Hagan

John Hagan

Northwestern University - Department of Sociology

Todd Haugh

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business

Date Written: September 19, 2012

Abstract

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

Hagan, John and Haugh, Todd, Ethnic Cleansing as Euphemism, Metaphor, Criminology, and Law (September 19, 2012). Forging a Convention for Crimes Against Humanity, ed. Leila Nadya Sadat, Cambridge University Press, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2149264

John Hagan

Northwestern University - Department of Sociology ( email )

1810 Chicago Ave
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Todd Haugh (Contact Author)

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business ( email )

1309 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

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