The political motivations of genocides

Other Title(s)

الدوافع السياسية لجرائم الإبادة الجماعية


Kalawi, Sami Ahmad


The International and Political Journal


Vol. 2016, Issue 33-34 (31 Dec. 2016), pp.665-688, 24 p.


Al-Mustansiriyah University College of Political Science

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Main Subjects

Political Sciences


Abstract EN

This research aims at determining the political motivations of perpetrating genocide.

To achieve this goal, it is inevitable to make difference between ‘genocide’ and ‘politicide’.

While the first term refers to an eradication targeting an ethnic group, the second one refers to mass killing targeting a large number of people who are defined in the term of their political and ideological orientations.

Distinguishing ‘genocide’ from ‘politicide’ is of a high significance for protecting political parties, groups, and individuals, and preventing political regimes from committing politicide against them.

Relying on several theories and assumptions within the field of social and political sciences, four hypotheses regarding the sources of geno- or politicide, are formed and tested against many empirical observations.

It is concluded that ‘plural societies’ or societies which are divided amongst more than two competing ethnic groups are more likely to have geno- or politicides, especially when they ruled by totalitarian regimes.

However, the homogeneous societies could also be subjects for geno- or politicide if the rulers reject the principles of democracy and human rights.

The colonial legacy in the so-called Third World is also an important factor for creating geno- or politicides.

Thus, the policy of ‘divide and rule’ has resulted in dividing many societies into competing groups and then deepening the struggle amongst these groups.

The ‘destructive’ interventions of the great powers in the interior affairs of the Third World countries, such as the US intervention in Syria, also contribute to flame the ethnic conflicts from which those nations suffer.

While the ‘constructive’ interventions, such as the NATO intervention in the Yugoslavian conflict, contribute to deter the aggressors and prevent geno- or politicides.

Additionally, widening the United Nations’ definition and convention of genocide to include crimes against political individuals, groups, and parties would provide an effective protection to the world’s nations against genocides.

Moreover, supporting the efforts made by the world’s tribunals to prosecute perpetrators of geno- or politicide, wherever they are, is an effective way to fight and prevent geno- or politicides.

American Psychological Association (APA)

Kalawi, Sami Ahmad. 2016. The political motivations of genocides. The International and Political Journal،Vol. 2016, no. 33-34, pp.665-688.

Modern Language Association (MLA)

Kalawi, Sami Ahmad. The political motivations of genocides. The International and Political Journal No. 33-34 (2016), pp.665-688.

American Medical Association (AMA)

Kalawi, Sami Ahmad. The political motivations of genocides. The International and Political Journal. 2016. Vol. 2016, no. 33-34, pp.665-688.

Data Type

Journal Articles




Text in English ; abstracts in English and Arabic.

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