The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians

OUP Oxford
6
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The Great Game of Genocide addresses the origins, development and aftermath of the Armenian genocide in a wide-ranging reappraisal based on primary and secondary sources from all the major parties involved. Rejecting the determinism of many influential studies, and discarding polemics on all sides, it founds its interpretation of the genocide in the interaction between the Ottoman empire in its decades of terminal decline, the self-interested policies of the European imperial powers, and the agenda of some Armenian nationalists in and beyond Ottoman territory. Particular attention is paid to the international context of the process of ethnic polarization that culminated in the massive destruction of 1912-23, and especially the obliteration of the Armenian community in 1915-16. The opening chapters of the book examine the relationship between the great power politics of the 'eastern question' from 1774, the narrower politics of the 'Armenian question' from the mid-nineteenth century, and the internal Ottoman questions of reforming the complex social and ethnic order under intense external pressure. Later chapters include detailed case studies of the role of Imperial Germany during the First World War (reaching conclusions markedly different to the prevailing orthodoxy of German complicity in the genocide); the wartime Entente and then the uncomfortable postwar Anglo-French axis; and American political interest in the Middle East in the interwar period which led to a policy of refusing to recognize the genocide. The book concludes by explaining the ongoing international denial of the genocide as an extension of the historical 'Armenian question', with many of the same considerations governing modern European-American-Turkish interaction as existed prior to the First World War.
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Additional Information

Publisher
OUP Oxford
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Published on
Apr 28, 2005
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780191500442
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Baltic States
History / Europe / General
History / Modern / 20th Century
Law / International
Political Science / Genocide & War Crimes
Political Science / Human Rights
Political Science / International Relations / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Why did the twentieth century witness unprecedented organized genocide? Can we learn why genocide is perpetrated by comparing different cases of genocide? Is the Holocaust unique, or does it share causes and features with other cases of state-sponsored mass murder? Can genocide be prevented?

Blending gripping narrative with trenchant analysis, Eric Weitz investigates four of the twentieth century's major eruptions of genocide: the Soviet Union under Stalin, Nazi Germany, Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, and the former Yugoslavia. Drawing on historical sources as well as trial records, memoirs, novels, and poems, Weitz explains the prevalence of genocide in the twentieth century--and shows how and why it became so systematic and deadly.

Weitz depicts the searing brutality of each genocide and traces its origins back to those most powerful categories of the modern world: race and nation. He demonstrates how, in each of the cases, a strong state pursuing utopia promoted a particular mix of extreme national and racial ideologies. In moments of intense crisis, these states targeted certain national and racial groups, believing that only the annihilation of these "enemies" would enable the dominant group to flourish. And in each instance, large segments of the population were enticed to join in the often ritualistic actions that destroyed their neighbors.

This book offers some of the most absorbing accounts ever written of the population purges forever associated with the names Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and Milosevic. A controversial and richly textured comparison of these four modern cases, it identifies the social and political forces that produce genocide.

Genocide has scarred human societies since Antiquity. In the modern era, genocide has been a global phenomenon: from massacres in colonial America, Africa, and Australia to the Holocaust of European Jewry and mass death in Maoist China. In recent years, the discipline of 'genocide studies' has developed to offer analysis and comprehension. The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies is the first book to subject both genocide and the young discipline it has spawned to systematic, in-depth investigation. Thirty-four renowned experts study genocide through the ages by taking regional, thematic, and disciplinary-specific approaches. Chapters examine secessionist and political genocides in modern Asia. Others treat the violent dynamics of European colonialism in Africa, the complex ethnic geography of the Great Lakes region, and the structural instability of the continent's northern horn. South and North America receive detailed coverage, as do the Ottoman Empire, Nazi-occupied Europe, and post-communist Eastern Europe. Sustained attention is paid to themes like gender, memory, the state, culture, ethnic cleansing, military intervention, the United Nations, and prosecutions. The work is multi-disciplinary, featuring the work of historians, anthropologists, lawyers, political scientists, sociologists, and philosophers. Uniquely combining empirical reconstruction and conceptual analysis, this Handbook presents and analyses regions of genocide and the entire field of 'genocide studies' in one substantial volume.
Genocide has scarred human societies since Antiquity. In the modern era, genocide has been a global phenomenon: from massacres in colonial America, Africa, and Australia to the Holocaust of European Jewry and mass death in Maoist China. In recent years, the discipline of 'genocide studies' has developed to offer analysis and comprehension. The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies is the first book to subject both genocide and the young discipline it has spawned to systematic, in-depth investigation. Thirty-four renowned experts study genocide through the ages by taking regional, thematic, and disciplinary-specific approaches. Chapters examine secessionist and political genocides in modern Asia. Others treat the violent dynamics of European colonialism in Africa, the complex ethnic geography of the Great Lakes region, and the structural instability of the continent's northern horn. South and North America receive detailed coverage, as do the Ottoman Empire, Nazi-occupied Europe, and post-communist Eastern Europe. Sustained attention is paid to themes like gender, memory, the state, culture, ethnic cleansing, military intervention, the United Nations, and prosecutions. The work is multi-disciplinary, featuring the work of historians, anthropologists, lawyers, political scientists, sociologists, and philosophers. Uniquely combining empirical reconstruction and conceptual analysis, this Handbook presents and analyses regions of genocide and the entire field of 'genocide studies' in one substantial volume.
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