Beyond the Banality of Evil: Criminology and Genocide

Hardcover | September 11, 2013

byAugustine Brannigan

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Positioning itself within significant developments in genocide studies arising from misgivings about two noteworthy observers, Arendt and Milgram, this book asks what lies "beyond the banality of evil"? And suggests the answer lies within criminology.Offering the author's reflections about how to interpret genocide as a crime, Beyond the Banality of Evil: Criminology and Genocide endeavours to understand how the theories of criminal motivation might shed light on these stunning events and make them comprehensible. While a great deal has beenwritten about the shortcomings of the obedience paradigm and "desk murderers" when discussing the Holocaust, little has been said of what results when investigations are taken beyond these limitations. Through examination and analysis of the literature surrounding genocide studies, Brannigan framesthe events within a general theoretical approach to crime before applying his own revised model, specifically to Rwanda and drawn from field-work in 2004 and 2005. This provides a new and compelling account of the dynamics of the 1994 genocide and its distinctive attributes of speed, popularity,totality and emotional indifference. With a focus on the disarticulation of personal culpability among ordinary perpetrators, Beyond the Banality of Evil questions the effectiveness of individual-level guilt imputation in these politically based, collectively orchestrated crimes, and raises doubts about the utility of criminalindictments that have evolved in the context of models of individual misconduct.

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Positioning itself within significant developments in genocide studies arising from misgivings about two noteworthy observers, Arendt and Milgram, this book asks what lies "beyond the banality of evil"? And suggests the answer lies within criminology.Offering the author's reflections about how to interpret genocide as a crime, Beyond t...

Professor Augustine Brannigan is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Calgary. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 1978 and has written extensively on criminological theory and crime control in Canada. His research interests have extended to the patterns of victimization of non-combatants in contexts...

other books by Augustine Brannigan

Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.01 inPublished:September 11, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199674620

ISBN - 13:9780199674626

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Table of Contents

1. Genocide and the obedience paradigm2. Three paradoxes of genocide in criminology3. Labelling genocide: the constitutive problem4. Explaining crime, explaining genocide: the control perspective5. The psychogenesis and sociogenesis of genocide in Rwanda6. Catalysts and accomplices7. The limits of the criminal law8. The civil remedy for genocide9. Truth and reconciliation commissions: the third option10. Conclusion: Beyond the banality of evil