If genocide is the murder, not simply the destruction, of a people, then genocide can never be justifiable but is always an evil. I will defend the view that genocide is a kind of murder, even when it is non-homicidal. It is not obvious what it means to murder a people. Neither is it obvious that genocide can never be justified, especially on my hypothesis that social death is central to genocide. For, the vitality lost in social death can surely include evil forms. And so, I am led to explore further than I did a decade ago the implications of the social death hypothesis. I aim to show also its helpfulness for making progress with such commonly asked questions as:
1. How do genocides differ from non-genocidal mass atrocities? 2. As a crime, is genocide redundant, given other war crimes and crimes against humanity in
International Humanitarian Law? Does it identify something distinct? 3. Is genocide the worst crime, or greatest evil, imaginable? 4. Against whom or what can genocide be committed? Could there be a gay genocide? Is
femicide a kind of genocide? What about people with disabilities? Evil groups? 5. What kinds of acts can be genocidal? What about expulsion? Mass rape?