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39 J. Conflict Resol. 3 (1995)

handle is hein.journals/jcfltr39 and id is 1 raw text is: 







Democracy, Power, Genocide,

and Mass Murder



R. J. RUMMEL
University of Hawaii at Manoa



   From 1900 to 1987, state, quasi-state, and stateless groups have killed in democide (genocide,
massacres, extrajudicial executions, and the like) nearly 170,000,000 people. Case studies and
quantitative analysis show that ethnic, racial, and religious diversity, economic development,
levels of education, and cultural differences do not account for this killing. Rather, democide is
best explained by the degree to which a regime is empowered along a democratic to totalitarian
dimension and, second, the extent to which it is characteristically involved in war or rebellion.
Combining these results with those that show that democracies do not make war on each other,
the more democratic two nations are the less foreign violence between them, and that the more
democratic a regime the less internal violence, strongly suggests that democracy is a general
method of nonviolence.




Political   regimes-governments-have probably murdered nearly
170,000,000  of their own citizens and foreigners in this century-about four
times the number killed in all international and domestic wars and revolutions
(Rummel   1994). Why?  I will offer both a theory and empirical results on this
question and then sketch the variety of tests of the theory that were conducted.
But first, I will define what I mean by government murder and, in doing this,
propose  an appropriate concept.
   A  concept  that has provided  yeoman   service in denoting government
murder  is genocide. But this concept hardly covers the variety and extent of
ruthless murder carried out by governments. To  be more specific, in interna-
tional conventions  and the general literature, genocide has been defined in
part as the intentional killing by government of people because of their race,
religion, ethnicity, or other indelible group membership. Cold-blooded gov-
ernment  killing, however, extends beyond  genocide  so defined: as starving
civilians to death by a blockade;  assassinating supposed  sympathizers  of
antigovernment   guerrillas; purposely creating a famine; executing prisoners

JOURNAL OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION, Vol. 39 No. 1, March 1995 3-26
@ 1995 Sage Publications, Inc.
                                                                          3


from the SAGE Social Science Collections. All Rights Reserved.

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