Chapter

Genocide, Historical Aspects of

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Abstract

Mass atrocities - that were not defined as genocide before 1948 or as crimes of war before 1899 - are followed through the ages from tribal communities to modern nation-states with a special focus on ecological, demographical, and ideological factors behind major annihilations.Initiatives to criminalize genocide are exemplified from first steps in ancient Hebrew law via similar approaches after the atrocities in sixteenth-century European colonies to the international conventions passed after the Holocaust, and the most recent efforts like the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) initiative of 2005. The probability for contemporary and future perpetrations is illuminated by the youth bulge concept that helps to develop an index for mega-killing potential.

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