The Complexity of Evil: A Multi-Faceted Approach to Genocide Perpetration
Zeitschrifft für Friedens- und Konfliktforschung
28 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2014
Date Written: August 30, 2014
Research on the micro-dynamics of who participates in genocide and why is underdeveloped in the conflict studies literature and there is most of all no recognisable, comprehensive theory on the topic. The aim of this article is to review the psychological literature, as well as the political science, sociological and journalistic investigations of such cases as the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide and the Hutu genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda. From this body of empirical and theoretical results, more general insights on the micro-dynamics of genocide are teased out and synthesised to a more over-arching theory of perpetrator participation and non-participation, identifying some sufficient, though not individually necessary causes. A second model identifies different pathways into becoming a willing, an unwilling, yet persuaded, or a coerced participant, and differentiates this from remaining a non-participant.
Keywords: genocide, perpetrator, motivations, pathway, social psychology
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