Governments, Citizens, and Genocide

Governments, Citizens, and Genocide

A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Approach
Alex Alvarez
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 02/22/2001
Format: Hardback 1 bibliog., 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-33849-5
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Governments, Citizens, and Genocide
A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Approach

Alex Alvarez

A comprehensive analysis demonstrating how whole societies come to support the practice of genocide.

Alex Alvarez has produced an exceptionally comprehensive and useful analysis of modern genocide... [It] is perhaps the most important interdisciplinary account to appear since Zygmunt Bauman’s classic work, Modernity and the Holocaust."
—Stephen Feinstein, Director, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Alex Alvarez has written a first-rate propaedeutic on the running sore of genocide. The singular merit of the work is its capacity to integrate a diverse literature in a fair-minded way and to take account of genocides in the post-Holocaust environment ranging from Cambodia to Serbia. The work reveals patterns of authoritarian continuities of repression and rule across cultures that merit serious and widespread public concern." —Irving Louis Horowitz, Rutgers University

More people have been killed in 20th-century genocides than in all wars and revolutions in the same period. Recent events in countries such as Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia have drawn attention to the fact that genocide is a pressing contemporary problem, one that has involved the United States in varying negotiating and peace-keeping roles. Genocide is increasingly recognized as a threat to national and international security, as well as a source of tremendous human suffering and social devastation.

Governments, Citizens, and Genocide views the crime of genocide through the lens of social science. It discusses the problem of defining genocide and then examines it from the levels of the state, the organization, and the individual. Alex Alvarez offers both a skillful synthesis of the existing literature on genocide and important new insights developed from the study of criminal behavior. He shows that governmental policies and institutions in genocidal states

Author Bio

Alex Alvarez earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of New Hampshire in 1991 and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Northern Arizona University. His primary areas of study have focused on minorities, crime, and criminal justice, as well as on collective and interpersonal violence. He has published on Native Americans, Latinos, and African Americans, fear of crime, sentencing, justifiable and criminal homicide, and genocide. He is currently writing a book on patterns of American murder.


“"Alex Alvarez has produced an exceptionally comprehensive and useful analysis of modern genocide." — Stephen Feinstein, Director, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies Governments, Citizens, and Genocide discusses the crime of genocide through a distinctly social science lens, with specific references to the ideas and concepts that have been developed to explain criminal behavior. ”

“This is a disturbing account of a crime that has plagued humankind throughout recorded history. As Alvarez (criminal justice, Northern Arizona Univ.) notes, Genocides do not suddenly happen, nor are they precipitated by age-old animosity between groups. Rather, they are the result of conscious choices made by political and military leaders. The author then takes the reader on an excursion into the political, social, legal, and military justifications employed by governments in the 20th century to justify mass killings of essentially innocent human beings. He begins his investigation with the massacre of the Armenians in Turkey after WW I and ends with a discussion of the Balkan genocides in the 1990s. The author goes into meticulous detail about the Nazi and Imperial Japanese mass killings in WW II, Stalin's great purges of the Russian peasantry in the 1930s, and the Cambodian genocide by the Pol Pot regime in the 1970s. Alvarez maintains that nationalism and the concept of sovereignty are driving forces behind most acts of genocide. Academic collections.November 2001”
 — J. C. Watkins, Jr., University of Alabama

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Table of Contents

Preliminary Table of Contents:

Chapter 1. The Age of Genocide
Chapter 2. A Crime By Any Other Name
Chapter 3. Deadly Regimes
Chapter 4. Lethal Cogs
Chapter 5. Accommodating Genocide
Chapter 6. Confronting Genocide