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Why Not Kill Them All? The Logic and Prevention of Mass Political Murder


Our world today is dangerous. It has always been dangerous, but modern technology, a globalized economy, easy communications, and massive migration now spread the effects of crisis in one part of the world to other parts very quickly. We do indeed live in a “global village.” But like ancient village societies, we still have our clans and tribes, each with their territories, whose competitive disputes can degenerate into violence and occasional genocidal massacres. Like the agrarian states and civilizations that emerged from stateless societies thousands of years ago, we still have competing religions that usually coexist but set boundaries that can lead to very violent wars and genocidal purges. Like the modern technological societies that came into being in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, we still have competing nationalisms, and we still struggle to cope with all the changes brought about by modernity. We still generate new ideologies and adapt old ones to support one side or another in the disputes that are produced by the conflicting demands of the modern world. These have produced massive genocidal violence in the twentieth century and may do so again.

Publication Information

Full Citation:

McCauley, Clark, and Daniel Chirot. 2006. Why Not Kill Them All? The Logic and Prevention of Mass Political Murder. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. https://press.princeton.edu/books/paperback/9780691145945/why-not-kill-…

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