International Crimes and Other Gross Human Rights Violations

A Multi- and Interdisciplinary Textbook


International crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as well as other gross human rights violations are manifestations of collective violence which endanger international peace and security. and warrant our full attention. It however takes a multi- and interdisciplinary approach to understand the true nature and causes of this type of criminality. The aim of this book is to take such an approach and to provide university students, scholars, professionals and practitioners within the field with the knowledge they need. The legal background and particularities of international crimes; the social context in which these crimes are committed as well as the perpetrators and bystanders thereof are studied. Within the book many case studies are presented as illustrations.
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Biographical Note

, Ph.D (2003) in Law, Maastricht University is Director of the Amsterdam Centre of Interdisciplinary Study of International Crimes and Security at VU University Amsterdam. She recently published and edited volume Collective Violence and International Criminal justice (Intersentia 2010). Fred Grünfeld, Ph. D (1991), Maastricht, is Professor in the Causes of Gross Human Rights Violations and in International Relations at the Universities of Utrecht and Maastricht at the Centre of Conflict Studies in Humanities and the Centre for Human Rights in Law Faculties plus at the University College Maastricht. In 2007 he published The failure to prevent genocide in Rwanda in this International and Comparative Criminal Law Series of Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Table of contents

Excerpt of table of contents: Preface; List of abbreviations; Part I Introduction; Chapter 1 International crimes and other gross human rights violations around the world: 1.Introduction; 2. International human rights law; 3. International criminal and humanitarian law; 4. International crimes and other GHRV as manifestations of political violence; 5. Measuring the incidence and prevalence of international crimes and other GHRV; 6. Conclusion; Part II International Crimes: Chapter 2 War crimes: 1.Introduction; 2. Definition; 3. A short history of war crimes as a legal concept; 4. The social context of war; 5. War crimes: types and case studies; 6. Conclusion; Chapter 3 Crimes against humanity: 1. Introduction; 2. Definition; 3. A short history of the development of the concept crimes against humanity; 4. The social context of crimes against humanity; 5. Crimes against humanity: case studies; 6. Conclusion; Chapter 4 Torture: 1. Introduction; 2. Definition; 3. A short history of the legal prohibition of torture; 4. The social context of torture; 5. Torture in democratic states: two case studies; 6. Conclusion; Chapter 5 Genocide: 1. Introduction; 2. Definition; 3. A short history of the development of the concept of genocide; 4. The social context of genocide; 5. Case studies; 6. Conclusion; Part III The Perpetrators: Chapter 6 Human nature and social-psychological insights: 1. Introduction; 2. Aggression and sadism; 3. Obedience to authority; 4. Situational factors; 5. Conclusion; Chapter 7 Conformism, group behaviour and collective identities: 1. Introduction; 2. The effect of others and especially groups on human behaviour; 3. Mass movements; 4. Conclusion; Chapter 8 Training and education of perpetrators: 1. Introduction; 2. Military organizations and their environment; 3. The Greek torture school; Chapter 9 Ordinary people in extra-ordinary circumstances: 1. Introduction; 2. Who are the perpetrators?; 3. Transformation process; 4. Typology of perpetrators; 5. A question of gender?; 6. Conclusion Part IV The Bystanders: Chapter 10 Bystanders: 1. Introduction; 2. Definition; 3. Ignorance; 4. Levels of analysis; 5. Time periods; 6. Collaborators and rescuers in combined triangles; 7. No single bystander role; 8. Responsibility; 9. Conclusion; Chapter 11 Prevention by bystanders: 1. Introduction; 2. Prevention of genocide; 3. Opportunities to prevent; 4. Responsibility to protect; 5. Early warning as a concept; 6. Signals for early warning; 7. Preventive action; 8. Peace-keeping forces; 9. Conclusion; Chapter 12 Case studies: failure to prevent genocide in Rwanda (1994), Srebrenica (1995) and Darfur (since 2003) 1. Introduction; 2. Rwanda; 3. Srebrenica; 4. Darfur; 5. Failures to prevent genocide; 6. Conclusion; Chapter 13 Intervention by bystanders 1. Introduction; 2. Enforcement measures by the UN; 3. Security council decision making; 4. Economic sanctions; 5. Effectiveness of sanctions; 6. Smart sanctions; 7. The use of force in military actions; 8. Humanitarian intervention 9. Conclusion; Part V Dealing With The Past: Chapter 14 Post-conflict justice: 1. Introduction; 2. The importance of dealing with the past; 3. Dealing with the past; 4. How to choose the best option?; 5. Conclusion; Bibliography; Index; Biographic note.


Students at bachelor and master level in social sciences, humanities and law in the field of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other gross human rights violations.