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Genocide in International Politics and War: From Ukraine to Gaza

10 hour course by Martin Shaw (University of Sussex and IBEI)

  • Schedule: 3 & 4 June

This course examines the role of genocide in international politics and armed conflicts. Beginning with the historical evolution of the concept of genocide, it explores its definition by Raphael Lemkin and the Genocide Convention, together with its sociological variants, alongside alternative concepts like ethnic cleansing and politicide. It scrutinizes the intricate linkages between genocide and war, engaging with recent debates surrounding the concept's complexities, especially the idea of "permanent security" as an alternative to genocide. Focusing on post-Cold War global politics and conflicts, such as those in Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur, and Myanmar, the course analyses evolving international legal and political responses to instances of genocide. It culminates in detailed scrutiny of contemporary conflicts, notably the Ukraine War and the Israel-Palestine conflict, dissecting the role of genocide in shaping these conflicts' dynamics. The seminar sessions offer the opportunity for participants to share their work and proposals on topics related directly or indirectly to the themes of the course and will encourage reflection on the issues involved in working on these difficult issues.

Martin Shaw is Research Professor at IBEI and Emeritus Professor of Sussex University, UK. He is the author of War and GenocideWhat is GenocideGenocide in International Relations and has recently published “Russia’s Genocidal War in Ukraine: Radicalization and Social Destruction”, which is openly available online from the Journal of Genocide Research.

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