Genocides by the Oppressed

Genocides by the Oppressed

Subaltern Genocide in Theory and Practice
Edited by Nicholas A. Robins and Adam Jones
Distribution: World
Publication date: 4/22/2009
ISBN: 978-0-253-00297-6
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In the last two decades, the field of comparative genocide studies has produced an increasingly rich literature on the targeting of various groups for extermination and other atrocities, throughout history and around the contemporary world. However, the phenomenon of "genocides by the oppressed," that is, retributive genocidal actions carried out by subaltern actors, has received almost no attention. The prominence in such genocides of non-state actors, combined with the perceived moral ambiguities of retributive genocide that arise in analyzing genocidal acts "from below," have so far eluded serious investigation. Genocides by the Oppressed addresses this oversight, opening the subject of subaltern genocide for exploration by scholars of genocide, ethnic conflict, and human rights. Focusing on case studies of such genocide, the contributors explore its sociological, anthropological, psychological, symbolic, and normative dimensions.

Author Bio

Nicholas A. Robins is a lecturer in the Department of History at North Carolina State University. He is author of Native Insurgencies and the Genocidal Impulse in the Americas (IU Press, 2005); Genocide and Millennialism in Upper Peru; and The Culture of Conflict in Modern Cuba.

Adam Jones is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in Kelowna, BC. He is author or editor of a dozen books, including Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction.


"The study of comparative genocide is one of the most important of our era. By focusing on acts of genocide (or near genocide) committed by oppressed people (or people who imagine themselves to be oppressed), this book sheds light on an important dimension of the problem." —Roger Smith, College of William and Mary

"[This] book offers connections between mass killing based on ethnicity and mass killing based on religion or politics, and between mass killing and the usually smaller killing of riots, massacres, and hate crimes. Although the book is framed as a challenge to genocide theory, perhaps its greater challenge is to any account of intergroup conflict that does not attend to intergroup emotions." —
Contemporary Sociology

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Table of Contents

1. Symbolism and Subalternity: The 1680 Pueblo Revolt of New Mexico and the 1780-82 Andean Great Rebellion
Nicholas Robins
2. On the Genocidal Aspect of Certain Subaltern Uprisings: A Research Note
Adam Jones
3. Ethical Cleansing? The Expulsion of Germans from Central Europe during and after World War Two
Eric Langenbacher
4. Oppression and Vengeance in the Cambodian Genocide
Alexander Laban Hinton
5. Genocide in Self-Defense? Serbian Victimization and Historical Justifications for War, 1980-2000
David B. MacDonald
6. The Imaginary in Rwanda's Pre-Genocidal Media
Christopher C. Taylor
7. Genocide, Humiliation, and Inferiority: An Interdisciplinary Perspective
Evelin Gerda Lindner
8. Subaltern Genocide and Evolutionary Theory
E.O. Smith
9. Subaltern Strands of the Genocidal Continuum
Adam Jones