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Discrimination, Genocide, and Politicide


The first generation of genocide scholars emphasized the role of discrimination in the onset of genocide and politicide. However, second-generation scholars discount such claims and have not found quantitative support for the discrimination hypothesis. We return to first-generation theories linking discrimination to genocide and politicide. We argue that while such policies set the stage for genocide, they do not influence the onset of politicide. This is because genocide is a policy aimed at eradicating the “other” while politicide is a policy designed to eliminate violent threat to the regime elites. Therefore, we encourage scholars not to conflate the logics of genocide and politicide. Statistical analysis of discrimination and government mass murder from 1955 to 2005 reveals that while some causes of genocide and politicide are similar, ethnic discrimination influences genocide but not politicide, as we expect.

Publication Information

Full Citation:

Uzonyi, Gary and Victor Asal. 2019. "Discrimination, Genocide, and Politicide." Political Research Quarterly (February). https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1065912919828827

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