This book addresses two closely related questions: what is the process by which the relatively short and violent genocides of the twentieth century and beyond have occurred? Why have these instances of mass violence been genocidal and not some other form of state violence, repression, or conflict?

Hiebert answers these questions by exploring the structures and processes that underpin the decision by political elites to commit genocide, focusing on a sustained comparison of two cases, the Nazi ' Final Solution' and the Cambodian genocide. The book clearly differentiates the structures and processes - contained within a larger overall process - that leads to genocidal violence. Uncovering the mechanisms by which societies (at least in the contemporary era) come to experience genocide as a distinct form of destruction and not some other form of mass or political violence, Hiebert is able to highlight a set of key process that lead to specifically genocidal violence.

Providing an insightful contribution to the burgeoning literature in this area, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of genocide, international relations, and political violence.

chapter 1|21 pages

The genocidal process

A constructivist approach

part I|62 pages

Theorizing the “permissive” socio-political environment of genocide

chapter 2|25 pages


chapter 3|29 pages


part |3 pages

Conclusion to Part I

part II|41 pages


chapter 4|17 pages

Inter-war Germany

Crises and interpretation

chapter 5|22 pages


The Sihanoukist and Lon Nol years: crises and interpretation

part |3 pages

Conclusion to Part II

part III|69 pages

Reconceptualizing the victim group

chapter 6|23 pages

The Nazi “final solution”

chapter 7|19 pages

The Khmer Rouge killing fields

chapter 8|13 pages


Abuses without genocide

part |5 pages

Conclusion to Part III