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Genocide and Political Groups$
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David L. Nersessian

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199588909

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588909.001.0001

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Human Groups and Genocide

Human Groups and Genocide

(p.47) 4 Human Groups and Genocide
Genocide and Political Groups

Dr. David Nersessian

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses whether political groups merit equal treatment to the four groups enumerated in the Genocide Convention. It first discusses what human ‘groups’ really are and the inherent difficulties of defining them for legal and social purposes. It details the linkages and interactions between international law and broader understandings of human groups as social collectives. It then proposes a new theoretical understanding of genocide as a rights-based offence. This theory links the legal protection of groups to certain individual rights of a collective nature that give rise to the group's existence in this context. This sets the stage for the subsequent analysis demonstrating that political collectives have many similar characteristics to the existing four groups, such that they likewise deserve specific protection from physical and biological destruction ‘as such’ through a separate crime of political genocide.

Keywords:   political genocide, political groups, rights based approach, group theory, genocide, group rights, human rights, international criminal law, international crimes

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