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    The Complexity of Identifying Genocide in the Midst of Bloodshed

    Timmons, Kieran (2020) The Complexity of Identifying Genocide in the Midst of Bloodshed. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    In the time since UN member states came together in 1948 to adopt the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the crime of genocide has been tragically perpetrated multiple times across the globe, often without those same member states taking meaningful action to prevent genocide or even categorise it as such. This thesis sets out to interrogate the premise that this failure to respond to such violence as it unfolds is simply due to a lack of political will amongst states, and to analyse whether it is instead better explained by the indeterminacy of the definition and elements of the legal crime of genocide itself. To address this contention, the thesis proceeds along three core strands of research which illustrate the complexities involved in identifying the crime of genocide in the midst of violence utilising case studies of past and present accepted or alleged instances of genocide in Rwanda, Srebrenica, Darfur, Central African Republic, northern Iraq (Islamic State), Burundi, and South Sudan. The thesis examines firstly the contestations around the definition of genocide, due to competing legal and social understandings of what genocide entails, and secondly how these understandings impact on identifying the crime of genocide in the midst of violence. These two strands raise questions as to the utility of the genocide label as a means of prevention, with the nature of the definition of genocide often rendering it indeterminate in times of violence. Given this indeterminacy, the final strand of this thesis contends that, for the purposes of prevention, ongoing violence should be assessed under the more general rubric of atrocity crimes, and that the term genocide should instead be reserved for after a conflict has ended and a clearer analysis can be made by an international court or tribunal.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Complexity; Identifying; Genocide; Midst of Bloodshed;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Law
    Item ID: 13648
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2020 11:57
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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