- The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies
- List of Contributors
- Editors' Introduction: Changing Themes in the Study of Genocide
- Raphael Lemkin, Culture, and the Concept of Genocide
- ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ versus Genocide?
- Gender and Genocide
- The State and Genocide
- Genocide and Memory
- The Law and Genocide
- Sociology and Genocide
- Political Science and Genocide
- Anthropology and Genocide
- Social Psychology and Genocide
- Philosophy and Genocide
- Genocide in the Ancient World
- Early Medieval Europe: The Case of Britain and Ireland
- Central and Late Medieval Europe
- Colonial Latin America
- Rethinking Genocide in North America
- Genocide and Mass Violence in the ‘Heart of Darkness’: Africa in the Colonial Period
- Genocide at the Twilight of the Ottoman Empire
- Mass Deportations, Ethnic Cleansing, and Genocidal Politics in the Later Russian Empire and the USSR
- The Nazi Empire
- Twentieth‐Century China: Ethnic Assimilation and Intergroup Violence
- Political Genocides in Postcolonial Asia
- State‐Sponsored Violence and Secessionist Rebellions in Asia
- National Security Doctrine in Latin America: The Genocide Question
- Genocide and Population Displacement in Post‐Communist Eastern Europe
- Genocidal Warfare in North‐east Africa
- War and Genocide in Africa's Great Lakes since Independence
- The United Nations, the Cold War, and Its Legacy
- Military Intervention
- Punishment as Prevention?: The Politics of Punishing Génocidaires
- From Past to Future: Prospects for Genocide and Its Avoidance in the Twenty‐First Century
Abstract and Keywords
This article discusses genocide as a legal concept. The crime of genocide has been incorporated within the national legal systems of many countries, where national legislators have imposed their own views on the term, some of them varying slightly or even considerably from the established international definition. The term itself was invented by a lawyer, Raphael Lemkin. He intended to fill a gap in international law, as it then stood in the final days of the Second World War. Over the years, the limited definition of genocide in the 1948 Genocide Convention has provoked much criticism and many proposals for reform. But by the 1990s, when international criminal law went through a period of stunning developments, it was the atrophied concept of crimes against humanity that emerged as the best legal tool to address atrocities.
William Schabas is Professor of International Law at Middlesex University, London, Professor of International Criminal Law and Human Rights at Leiden University and Professor (emeritus) of Human Rights Law at the National University of Ireland Galway.
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