What is...Genocide?

Show notes

Since South Africa brought the case of applying the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 29 December 2023, the topic of genocide has re-entered both popular and scholarly debates. How is genocide comprehended - or rather, misunderstood - within International Relations, and as a legal concept? In this episode Jo Bluen, educator, writer, and PhD researcher (University of Cape town & London School of Economics) is in conversation with Polly Pallister-Wilkins (University of Amsterdam). Jo Bluen explores the multifaceted interpretations and political ramifications of genocide, highlighting the inherent inadequacies of legal structures in fully grasping the complexity of genocidal violence. Arguing for a critical reassessment of our perception of genocide as a systemic issue, Jo Bluen challenges the traditional paradigms of International Relations rooted in colonial modernity, a history deeply intertwined with acts of genocide. The episode further delves into the nuances of intentionality, practices, and complicity behind genocidal acts, and offers a curated selection of essential readings. Tune in to this timely episode for a compelling exploration of one of the most pressing issues of our time.

Recommended readings:

Journal of Genocide Research, 26 (1), Special Issue (2024)

Moses AD (2021): The Problems of Genocide: Permanent Security and the Language of Transgression. Cambridge University Press.

The Funambulist (37), Sepcial Issue (2021): Against Genocide. Edt. by ZOÉ SAMUDZ.

Grovogui, Siba N. (2001): Come to Africa: A hermeneutics of race in international theory. Alternatives 26 (4), pp. 425-448.

Campt, Tina Marie (2009): Other Germans: Black Germans and the politics of race, gender, and memory in the Third Reich. University of Michigan Press.

Eghbaria, Rabea (2023): The Harvard Law Review Refused to Run This Piece About Genocide in Gaza. The Nation, 21 November 2021.

[Ba, Oumar, K.; Bluen, Jo and Owiso, Owiso (2023): The Geopolitics of Race, Empire, and Expertise at the ICC. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of International Studies. DOI:10.1093/acrefore/9780190846626.013.717](https://oxfordre.com/internationalstudies/display/10.1093/acrefore/9780190846626.001.0001/acrefore-9780190846626-e-717? p=emailAUsuVhqTfNGHM&d=/10.1093/acrefore/9780190846626.001.0001/acrefore-9780190846626-e-717)

Nichanian, Marc (2009): The historiographic perversion. Columbia University Press.

South Africa´s submission to the ICJ, 12/29/2023: Application instituting proceedings and request for the indication of provisional measures. International Court of Justice, Document Number 192-20231228-APP-01-00-EN.

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