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The Problems of Genocide


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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Problems of Genocide; Part I. The Language of Transgression: 1. The Language of Transgression, 1500s to 1890s; 2. The Language of Transgression, 1890s to 1930s; 3. Raphael Lemkin and the Protection of Small Nations; 4. The Many Types of Destruction; 5. Inventing Genocide in the 1940s; Part II. Permanent Security: 6. Permanent Security in History: Empire and Settler Colonialism; 7. The Nazi Empire as Illiberal Permanent Security; 8. Human Rights, Population 'Transfer', and the Foundation of the Postwar Order; 9. Imagining Nation-Security in South Asia and Palestine: Partition, Population Exchange, and Communal Hostages; Part III. The Language of Transgression, Permanent Security, and Holocaust Memory: 10. Lemkin, Arendt, Vietnam, and Liberal Permanent Security; 11. Genocide Studies and the Repression of the Political; 12. Holocaust Memory, Exemplary Victims, and Permanent Security Today.

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Historically delineates the problems of genocide as a concept in relation to rival categories of mass violence.

About the Author

A. Dirk Moses is the Frank Porter Graham Distinguished Professor in Global Human Rights History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the co-editor of Decolonization, Self-Determination, and the Rise of Global Human Rights Politics (2020) and The Holocaust in Greece (2018).


'This refreshingly original book turns the problem of genocide on its head. Contrariwise to international law and the dominant memory regimes, Moses points at the aspiration for permanent security as the crux of the matter. Passionate and historically sweeping.' Maria Malksoo, author of The Politics of Becoming European: A Study of Polish and Baltic Post-Cold War Security Imaginaries
'A pioneer of genocide studies, A. Dirk Moses has written a terrific, transgressive book destined to upend the field he has helped to define. Uncomfortable with morality tales, Moses is intent on smashing the hierarchy of international crimes established in the aftermath of World War II. A gut punch to conventional wisdom, this is critical global history at its best.' Jens Meierhenrich, author of Lawfare: A Genealogy (forthcoming)
'This brilliant, closely argued, and exhaustively referenced book makes a deeply persuasive case for replacing the prism of genocide with the crime of permanent security, calling out the multiple standards at play in the global order. A seminal paradigm-changer.' Nandini Sundar, author of The Burning Forest: India's War Against the Maoists
'Dirk Moses is the most original and provocative scholar writing on the problem of genocide. At its core deeply humanitarian, his book challenges every comfortable assumption of the meaning of genocide. This is essential reading for everyone concerned with human rights and mass atrocities.' Eric D. Weitz, author of A World Divided: The Global Struggle for Human Rights in the Age of Nation-States
'The Problems of Genocide can be strongly recommended to readers of this journal who have an interest in the macro-issues relating to criminal law and criminal justice, broadly conceived.' David O. Friedrichs, Rutgers

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