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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Genocide in the Modern World: theories and case studies (HIST10368)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThis course seeks to establish an historical understanding of genocide, informed by the theoretical and multi-disciplinary approaches that have so shaped the field of genocide studies. The cases are largely chosen from the record of modern history (primarily the nineteenth and twentieth centuries) but since the course is comparative, it will also include reflection on selected cases from earlier centuries pursuant to reflection on the question of whether genocide is a quintessentially modern phenomenon. Students will emerge from the course being able to think comparatively and conceptually about genocide as well as about individual cases of it and connections between different cases. They will interrogate the utility and problems of the very concept itself. They will also study responses to genocide in the form of 'humanitarian intervention' and war crimes trials. The cases will be drawn from across the world: Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia, with perpetrators ranging from imperialist powers to fascists, communists, nation-state builders, 'developmentalists' and counter-insurgency fighters, and 'enablers' ranging from structural features of the international political economy to regional and world powers and the contours of the Cold War.
Course description Weeks:
1: Introduction: the concept of genocide - interdisciplinary perspectives
2: Is genocide a particularly modern phenomenon?
3: What is 'ethnic cleansing'?
4: Can there be genocide committed against political groups?
5: Can famines be genocidal?
6: What is the relationship between colonialism and genocide?
7: What is the relationship between nation(-state) building and genocide?
8:Settler genocide in North and South America
9: Genocide and its aftermaths in Australasia
10: Tsarist and Soviet policies of mass deportation compared
11: The genocide of the Herero and Nama in the context of other fin de siecle colonial crimes
12: The Armenian genocide and the end of the Ottoman empire
13: The Holocaust and other Nazi genocides
14: Genocide in Postcolonial Asia: Cambodia and Indonesia
15: Genocide and the secession question in Asia: East Pakistan, East Timor, West Papua
16: The Rwandan genocide and the wider context of extreme violence in the Great Lakes Region
17: Post-communist Yugoslavia
18: National Security Doctrine in Latin America and the genocide question
19: The Role of the United Nations
20: 'Humanitarian Intervention'
21: The point of Prosecution
22: Retrospective and Prospective: the relationship between the international political economy, states, their populations, and environmental degradation
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Modernity and Genocide (HIST10380)
Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Secretary to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503783).
Additional Costs No
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, students who complete the course successfully will have demonstrated by way of written coursework as well as participation in seminar discussion:

- knowledge and understanding of key patterns, events, concepts and themes in the modern history of genocide and related atrocities, including responses to those events
- an ability to distinguish critically between the particular and the general
- an ability to develop the tools for broader comparative analysis
- an ability to research for appropriate materials and weigh up the merits of pieces of historical evidence
- an ability to develop and sustain coherent intellectual argument
Reading List
Donald Bloxham and A Dirk Moses (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies (Oxford University Press, 2010)
Dan Stone (ed.) The Historiography of Genocide (Palgrave, 2008)
Adam Jones, Genocide, A Comprehensive Introduction, (2nd edition, London, Routledge, 2010)
Mark Levene, The Meaning of Genocide (Tauris, 2005)
Leo Kuper, Genocide, Its Political Use in the Twentieth Century (London, 1981) :
Alain Destexhe, Rwanda and Genocide in the Twentieth Century (London, West Haven CT, 1995)
Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn, The History and Sociology of Genocide, Analyses and Case Studies (Yale, 1990)
Eric D. Weitz, A Century of Genocide, Utopias of Race and Nation (Princeton and Oxford, 2003)
RC Ben Kiernan and Robert Gellately, eds., The Spectre of Genocide : Mass Murder in
Historical Perspective (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003)
Michael Mann, The Dark Side of Democracy, Explaining Ethnic Cleansing (CUP, 2005)
A.L. Hinton, Genocide, An Anthropological Reader (Oxford, 2001)
idem., Annihilating Difference, The Anthropology of Genocide (University of California Press, 2002)
Samuel Totton and Paul Bartrop, The Genocide Studies Reader(Routledge, 2009).
Manus Midlarsky, The Killing Trap, Genocide in the 20th Century (CUP, 2005)
Benjamin A. Valentino, Final Solutions, Mass Killing and Genocide in the 20th century (Cornell UP, 2004)
Gil Eliot, Twentieth Century Book of the Dead (Penguin, 1972)
Irving Louis Horowitz, Taking Lives, Genocide and State Power (1997)
Israel Charny, Genocide, A Critical Bibliographic Review , 3 volumes(1988 -1994)
Antony Giddens, The Nation-State and Violence (1985)
Barbara Harff and Ted Robert Gurr, ¿Victims of the State: Genocides, Politicides and Group Repression from 1945 to 1995,¿ in Albert J. Jongman, ed., Contemporary Genocides: Causes, Cases, Consequences (1996). Also Ethnic Conflict in World Politics (1994)
Helen Fein, ¿Accounting for Genocide since 1945: Theories and some Findings¿ International Journal on Group Rights 1(1993) 79-106. (ML copy)
Ben Kiernan, Blood and Soil, A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur (Yale, 2007)
A. Dirk Moses ed., Empire, Colony, Genocide, Conquest, Occupation and Subaltern Resistance in World History (Berghahn, 2008)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - enhanced abilities in research, critical thinking, weighing up of arguments and evidence
- production of innovative research pieces that adhere to bibliographical convention
- skills in presenting information and arguments to fellow students / lecturer in class
KeywordsGenocide Modern
Course organiserProf Donald Bloxham
Tel: (0131 6)50 3757
Course secretaryMiss Clare Guymer
Tel: (0131 6)50 4030
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