Ideology and Mass Killing: The Radicalized Security Politics of Genocides and Deadly Atrocities

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en Limba Engleză Hardback – 28 Jun 2022
In research on 'mass killings' such as genocides and campaigns of state terror, the role of ideology is hotly debated. For some scholars, ideologies are crucial in providing the extremist goals and hatreds that motivate ideologically committed people to kill. But many other scholars are sceptical: contending that perpetrators of mass killing rarely seem ideologically committed, and that rational self-interest or powerful forms of social pressure are more importantdrivers of violence than ideology. In Ideology and Mass Killing, Jonathan Leader Maynard challenges both these prevailing views, advancing an alternative 'neo-ideological' perspective which systematically retheorises the key ideological foundations of large-scale violence against civilians. Integratingcutting-edge research from multiple disciplines, including political science, political psychology, history and sociology, Ideology and Mass Killing demonstrates that ideological justifications vitally shape such violence in ways that go beyond deep ideological commitment. Most disturbingly of all, the key ideological foundations of mass killings are found to lie, not in extraordinary political goals or hatreds, but in radicalised versions of those conventional, widely accepted ideasthat underpin the politics of security in ordinary societies across the world. This study then substantiates this account by a detailed examination of four contrasting cases of mass killing - Stalinist Repression in the Soviet Union between 1930 and 1938, the Allied Bombing Campaign against Germany and Japanin World War II from 1940 to 1945, mass atrocities in the Guatemalan Civil War between 1978 and 1983, and the Rwandan Genocide in 1994. This represents the first volume to offer a dedicated, comparative theory of ideology's role in mass killing, while also developing a powerful new account of how ideology affects violence and politics more generally.
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ISBN-13: 9780198776796
ISBN-10: 0198776799
Pagini: 400
Dimensiuni: 162 x 240 x 30 mm
Greutate: 0 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP Oxford
Locul publicării: Oxford, United Kingdom


In explaining why states or armed groups employ extreme violence, Jonathan Leader Maynard questions the sufficiency of dominant rationalist accounts and argues for ideology's central role. He rejects associations of ideology with revolutionary fanaticism, arguing that the key ideological foundations of mass killing are radical reinterpretations of conventional ideas about security. This ambitious and elegantly written book not only offers a fresh conceptualization ofideology, but also demonstrates through careful comparative historical analysis how ideologies shape the goals, organization, and legitimation of mass killing. It is essential reading for all those interested in understanding and preventing atrocity crimes.
In this excellent book, Jonathan Leader Maynard develops a powerful argument about the centrality of ideology to the occurrence of mass killing and genocide. The book takes us farther than previous scholarship in showing how ideology drives the selection and perpetration of mass atrocity. A major contribution to the study of violence, the work should be read widely as a rigorous account of how and why ideas matter in shaping political outcomes
Either dismissed as causally inconsequential or else overstated as the paramount factor, the role of ideology in mass killings has long been a bone of scholarly contention. Jonathan Leader Maynard brings a welcome fresh perspective to this debate and offers a new theory of how and why ideology matters in such violence. We should stop picking sides - strategic security objectives are entirely reconcilable with extremist beliefs. This book explains in legible Englishthe various ways in which ideology operated for the architects and executioners of violence in places as disparate as the Soviet Union, Guatemala, and Rwanda. It will bring much-needed momentum to the debate and move it forward.

Notă biografică

Jonathan Leader Maynard is a Lecturer in International Politics in the Department of Political Economy at King's College London. He received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 2014, where he was also the Rank-Manning Junior Research Fellow and then Departmental Lecturer in International Relations at New College between 2013 and 2020. He has published in leading international journals including the Journal of Peace Research, Ethics, theBritish Journal of Political Science, and Terrorism and Political Violence.