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The example of the Armenian genocide and the role of the millet system in its execution

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The purpose of this essay is to illustrate the validity of the strategic killing model proposed by Benjamin Valentino, which underscores the primary significance of elite group interests in the initiation and implementation of genocidal policies against certain ethnic or political groups. I argue that the Armenian genocide was primarily driven by the policies of the Young Turks' regime whose main objective was to rid the Ottoman Empire of the Armenian population and to consolidate a power base. I substantiate the superiority of the strategic killing model over the national upheaval thesis brought forward by Barbara Harff in her study on genocide, and support the main argument that genocide is a well-organized political strategy of power elites which is aimed at transforming a society through the deportation or extermination of a certain ethnic or political group that is seen as a threat to them.
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Keywords: Armenian genocide; Barbara Harff; Benjamin Valentino; Ottoman Empire; national upheaval; strategic killing model

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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