An existentialist victimology of genocide?

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Victimology is developing increasingly more understanding of genocide, considering different perspectives, such as, but not limited to, sociological, psychological, and cultural approaches. Nevertheless, the existential perspective on genocide has hardly been integrated into victimological explorations of genocide. This contribution will consider existentialism as a useful paradigm for victimology to frame genocide as an existential act. It will be argued that victimology ought to explore several key existential dimensions of genocide by looking at survival of nothingness, the human origin of genocide, and the devastating effects of genocide laws and regulations to shape a new understanding of genocidal victimhood. In doing so, this chapter shall consider the strong yet long denied link between existentialism, victimology, and genocide. Then it will review to which extent genocide is existential destruction and its consequences for surviving such destruction, followed by a critical consideration of the politico-legal concept of genocide. The chapter will conclude by suggesting (genealogical) ways towards an existentialist victimology of genocide.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGenocide and Victimology
EditorsYarin Eski
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780429458675
ISBN (Print)9781138311718
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameVictims, Culture and Society
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group


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