Genocide and Gross Human Rights Violations
- Publish Date: 1998-01-02
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Kurt Jonassohn
The author in his dedication declares his hopes for the 21st century: May it be kinder than the last one. If that happy thought becomes reality it will be because of scholars like Kurt Jonassohn. Here he provides a conceptual perspective with which to examine a wide variety of themes from famines, refugees and hunger, to the Holocaust denial literature and the prevention of unpunished crimes. A unique feature of the volume is special attention to methods and comparative approaches to data gathering with which to study global issues such as genocide. Genocide and Gross Human Rights Violations offers actual studies of genocide in India, China, Colonial Africa, the Soviet Union, Burma, and the former Yugoslavia. Beyond narrating the most horrendous atrocities, the book focuses on the nature of gross human rights violations and genocides, and how best to stop them. Jonassohn formulates a typology that distinguishes events that have different origins, occur in different situations, and follow different processes. This work is motivated by the hope that it might be possible to reduce the number of genocides and to intervene in those that do occur. Jonassohn argues that genocides occurred throughout history in all parts of the world. As a consequence the subject needs to be approached from a comparative and historical perspective. While each genocide is unique, the author also emphasizes that there is much to be learned by what these unique events have in common. It is this conceptual framework that makes the work special and of enduring value. Jonassohn aims to learn enough to gain an understanding of the underlying situations and processes that will make it possible to prevent new genocidal events in the future, or at least to find ways to intervene in those underway. The book should satisfy both scholar and activist; those who read the book for intellectual guideposts and for political measures against to organized human destruction.