Robert Melson


The present article critiques the views that (1) modern genocide does not substan- tially differ from its historical predecessors, (2) that all genocide is a product of imperialism, and (3) that the study of genocide can be reduced to a study of perpe- trators and collaborators, while the testimonies of victims and survivors need not be taken into account. In contrast, this article suggests (1) that there are signifi- cant differences between modern or contemporary genocide and the mass murders of the past, (2) that there is no single explanation for genocide since there are different types of genocide that require separate explanations, and (3) that the testimonies of victims and survivors must be taken into account in order to better understand the motives of the perpetrators and bystanders and give victims and survivors a voice in the narrative of destruction.