What is a genocide? Coined in 1944, the word “genocide” corresponds to a concept that attempts to represent mass violence. Despite the formalization of its meaning in international law via a specific Convention in 1948, it remains a controversial term, featuring a complex, ongoing history. This book provides an account of the term’s use in relation to the Shoah and examines the genocides of the 1990s (in Rwanda and Bosnia) and the 21st century. The text critically evaluates the genocidal nature of massacres that have taken place in recent history and underscores the fundamentally political and legal nature of this “crime without a name”, as it was called by Winston Churchill before the term “genocide” was introduced.
Marcello Flores formerly taught at the Universities of Siena and Trieste.