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Getting away with mass murder

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Despite the enormous attention paid to preventing mass atrocities and holding the perpetrators to account, new cases of mass killing remain as likely to end with outright victory for the perpetrators as with their defeat and punishment. Perpetrators of mass killing are often very well aware of the fact that their behaviour risks attracting adverse foreign intervention and other forms of punishment. To mitigate these risks, they employ strategies designed to conceal the reality of what they are doing, create uncertainty about responsibility for atrocities, establish their own credentials as the most legitimate partner in the affected area, and prevent the emergence of international consensus on punishment or intervention. This article examines some of the chief strategies employed by perpetrators.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2012

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