How to Prevent Genocide: A Guide for Policymakers, Scholars, and the Concerned Citizen

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Genocide—the deliberate destruction, usually through mass murder, of an ethnic, racial or religious group—is the ultimate crime against humanity. Drawing upon a wide variety of disciplines, this study assesses ways to prevent this crime. While most books about genocide focus on the history of a particular event, such as the Holocaust, or compare case studies to derive empirical theories, this book outlines many practical aspects of genocide prevention.

Heidenrich covers a broad spectrum of expert opinions, from Stanley Hoffmann to Henry Kissinger, as well as political opinions regarding genocide that range from Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton. Topics include international law, humanitarian intervention, early warning measures, and the effectiveness of such methods as diplomacy, economic pressure, and nonviolent resistance. Preventing genocide in a tense socio-political environment is no easy task, but such prevention is easier and more cost-effective than trying to put an end to genocide once it is already occurring.

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Editorial Reviews

An analyst of genocide and instability warning issues with close ties to the US military, Heidenrich explores the idea of a United Nations legion for humanitarian intervention purposes and alternatives to such a force. He looks at what genocide is, international law, nonviolent pressure, covert action, military expedients and their limits, feasibility options for an International Legion of Volunteers, and other aspects. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275969875
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/30/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 294
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN G. HEIDENRICH was for two years the Senior Analyst for Genocide and Instability Warning Issues at Open Source Solutions (OSS), Inc. Formerly an analyst with the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), he later joined the Institute for Defense & Disarmament Studies (IDDS), a nonprofit think-tank in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he directed its Project on Genocide Prevention.

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Table of Contents

1 What Is Genocide? 1
2 The Faith Behind Genocide 21
3 War Crimes and Acts of Genocide: Matters of International Law 49
4 Forecasting and Detection of Genocide 73
5 Forms of Nonviolent Pressure: Diplomacy, Economic Trade, and Nonviolent Resistance 93
6 Covert Action Against Genocide 113
7 Ethical Principles of Humanitarian Intervention 131
8 Peacekeeping and Peace Enforcement 147
9 Military Expedients Against Genocide 163
10 The Limits of National Military Forces 185
11 The Limits of Multinational Forces 195
12 The Evolution of an Idea 213
13 Feasibility Options for an International Legion of Volunteers 233
14 The Future Belongs to You 251
Index 265
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