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Genocide and modernity. A comparative study of Bosnia, Rwanda and the Holocaust

Balorda, Jasna (2013) Genocide and modernity. A comparative study of Bosnia, Rwanda and the Holocaust. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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The thesis “Genocide and Modernity: A Comparative Study of Bosnia, Rwanda and the Holocaust” attempts to address a gap in understanding within genocide studies. Within this field, which is dominated by case studies of the Holocaust as an embodiment of modernity, genocidal contexts such as Rwanda and Bosnia are excluded from the category of modern genocide, as a result of which the comparative method has been largely overlooked, negatively affecting the complexity of the scholarly debates. In order to resolve this, I have conducted a comparative study of three genocidal contexts in order to test each for the presence of indicators of modernity. Through the use of Critical theory and other theoretical standpoints, I have compared the genocidal contexts of Rwanda, Bosnia and the Holocaust along the lines of: organic nationalism, scientific racism, instrumental rationality, utopianism, obedience, efficiency, numbing and Gesellschaft/Gemeinschaft social ties, in order to create a complex understanding of the relationship between modernity and genocide. As a result of this analysis, my findings have proven that in relation to the execution of genocide, all three cases fit within the category of modern genocide and are not a result of ancient hatreds. However, in each of the contexts, I have also found a rejection of modernity, particularly obvious in the regressive organic-nationalist ideology of genocide. In fact, genocide itself seems to be a result of a disillusionment with the modern project as seen through the difficulties brought on by the age of industrialisation, but also as the project of Western hegemony, as the perpetrator states seem to be those that are both, at the time of genocide, excluded from the main circle of power, but also have a difficult history of foreign rule, which has made the transition towards the nation state difficult, particularly in terms of confusing identity categories.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Sociology and Social Policy (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.617151
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2014 15:15
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2015 13:45
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6898

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