Genocide can be defined as a complex process of systematic persecution and annihi- lation of a group of people by a government. In the twentieth century, approximately 40 to 60 million defenseless people became victims of deliberate genocidal policies. The twenty-first century did not begin much better, with genocidal episodes going on in Darfur and the Congo. We can speak of genocide when individuals are perse- cuted and murdered merely on the basis of their presumed or imputed membership in a group rather than on their individual characteristics or participation in certain acts. Although it makes little sense to define genocide by a specific number of victims affected by it, we can state that a genocidal process always concerns a society at large and that genocide destroys a significant and often critical part of the affected community. It can be argued that genocidal processes are particularly malicious and destructive because they are directed against all members of a group, most often against innocent and defenseless people who are persecuted and killed regardless of their behaviour. Genocide always denotes a colossal and brutal collective criminality. For this reason, genocide has been studied as a modern phenomenon that is distinct from other forms of mass violence. After Raphael Lemkin died in 1959, the term seemed to be a dead letter. But in the 1970s historians and social scientists redis- covered the concept and published the first academic work on genocide. Since then, the number of publications has grown and today genocide studies, with journals and research institutes in North America and Europe, is a respectable intellectual specialism.
Üngör, Uğur Ümit
"Team America: Genocide Prevention?,"
Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal:
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/gsp/vol6/iss1/4