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Title: The architecture of genocide
Author: Pinnetti, Carlo Gerardo
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2007
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The central purpose of this thesis is to reinterpret the crime of genocide. To accomplish this task, I explore genocide by external and immanent critique. An external critique means comparing genocide as a policy to other kinds of contrasting practices which rest upon different standards of value than those which substantiate genocide. An immanent critique entails turning the language, intentions and consequences of genocide in on itself by evaluating this policy internal to the governmental authority’s own standards of value. To establish a basis for this critique, I first explore the history of genocide in international law and politics, and critically evaluate its current conceptual meanings within genocide studies. I argue for a reading of genocide that is consistent with the work of Rafael Lemkin, while exploring the limits of other approaches. Secondly, I address the theories of genocide and argue for a conceptual distinction between war and genocide. I then establish a central proposition of the thesis: that genocide is a deeply paradoxical policy in two essential respects, one concerning victimology, whilst the other in reference to perpetrator intention. I explore these two paradoxes through a cooperative examination of Rwanda and Stalinist Russia. To account for these paradoxes, I then turn to an examination of the form of government empirically most associated with genocide: totalitarianism. Through an examination of Arendt’s theory of politics and totalitarianism I show how genocide is fundamentally opposed to authentic politics because of how this policy diverges from positive law. Through this analysis of genocide and law, I argue for a new understanding of genocide in topographical terms, which specifically entails that genocide is a policy that collapses political and social space. I explore how a policy of genocide constrains the purposes of subjective action in perverse and puzzling ways.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available