Coming Soon!
The Politics of Defining Genocide
International Relations, Denialism, and Prevention
by Christi A. Yoder, Kerri J. Malloy, and Jeff Benvenuto
April 2023, 284pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7878-7
$77, £58, 67€, A105
Available for purchase 30 days prior to publication.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7879-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Argues that debates surrounding definitions of genocide are political byproducts of the modern nation-state system.

This book bridges a growing divide in genocide studies between politics and academia to argue that ongoing debates surrounding genocide and its definitions are political byproducts of the modern nation-state system.

Modern academic and political definitions of genocide are neither universally understood nor widely accepted by researchers and politicians alike. As such, the debate surrounding what exactly genocide is, and the reasons that often lead to its widespread misidentification, are timely and critically important to study. In this book, the authors broaden arguments around the epistemology of genocide to include the realities of realpolitik, and, following research by Mark Levene, argue that the misidentification or denial of genocide derives from the rise and scope of the modern nation-state. Examining case studies in Bosnia, Darfur, Cambodia, and Myanmar, the authors claim that genocide misidentification began with the drafting of the UN Genocide Convention, which allowed for complex geopolitical negotiations that left innocent state bystanders dangerously exposed. Appealing to both prevention practitioners and scholars, this book offers ways to identity and prevent genocide before it begins, as well as a blueprint for humanitarian intervention when and where genocide occurs around the globe.


  • Bridges a gap in genocide studies between politics and academia
  • Suggests that the contemporary debate around genocide and its complex definitions is a byproduct of the modern nation-state
  • Clarifies what genocide is and why it is often misidentified or poorly understood
  • Applies key concepts and theories to case studies in Bosnia, Cambodia, Darfur, and Myanmar
Christi A. Yoder is the executive director of the Center for Genocide Research and Education in Longmont, CO.

Kerri J. Malloy is assistant professor of global humanities at San Jose State University.

Jeff Benvenuto is an instructor in the genocide and Holocaust studies program at Gratz College.

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