This article reviews social scientific research on the occurrence of genocide and mass killing, focusing on the underlying, contributing processes. Relevant studies are grouped by their primary analytic focus: () macro-level state and institutional processes, () political elites and policy decisions, () nonelite perpetrator motivation and participation, () social construction of victim group identity, and () local and regional variation within larger episodes. We also discuss issues relating to the conceptualization and definition of genocide, the utilization of different sources of data, methodological tendencies, and general analytic trends. Although recent studies show a promising move toward greater analytic disaggregation and engagement with various causal processes and outcomes at the meso and micro levels, genocide scholars must broaden their theoretical engagement with parallel fields of inquiry, continue to be creative in locating original data sources, and account for both positive and negative cases.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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