Political cleansing of population
Political cleansing of population is the eliminating categories of people in specific areas for political reasons. The means can vary from forced migration to politicide.
Politicide is the deliberate physical destruction or elimination of a group whose members share the main characteristic of belonging to a political movement. It is a type of political repression and one of the means which is used to politically cleanse populations, with another means being forced migration. It may be compared to genocide or ethnic cleansing, both of which involve the killing of people based on their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group rather than their adherence to a particular political ideology.
The term politicide is used to describe the killing of groups that would not otherwise be covered by the Genocide Convention. Social scientists Ted Robert Gurr and Barbara Harff use the term politicide to describe the killing of groups of people who are targeted not because of their shared ethnic or communal traits, but because of "their hierarchical position or political opposition to the regime and dominant groups." Harff studies "genocide and politicide", sometimes shortened as "geno-politicide", in order to include the killing of political, economic, ethnic and cultural groups. Manus Midlarsky uses the term politicide to describe an arc of large-scale killing from the western parts of the Soviet Union to China and Cambodia. In his book The Killing Trap: Genocide in the Twentieth Century, Midlarsky raises similarities between the killings of Joseph Stalin and Pol Pot.
Under the Genocide Convention, the crime of genocide generally applies to mass murder of ethnic rather than political or social groups. Protection of political groups was eliminated from the United Nations resolution after a second vote because many states, including Stalin's Soviet Union, anticipated that clause to apply unneeded limitations to their right to suppress internal disturbances. Scholarly study of genocide usually acknowledges the United Nations omission of economic and political groups and uses mass political killing datasets of "democide" and "genocide and politicide" or "geno-politicide". Killing by the Khmer Rouge in Democratic Kampuchea has been labeled "genocide" or "auto-genocide" and the deaths under Leninism and Stalinism in the Soviet Union and Maoism in Communist China have been controversially investigated as possible cases. In particular, the Soviet famine of 1932–33 and the Great Chinese Famine during the Great Leap Forward have been "depicted as instances of mass killing underpinned by genocidal intent."
Some groups attempt to eliminate the base of support for political opponents, e.g. for insurgents. This happens in many countries with high levels of insurgency such as Colombia. It may be a means for and referred to as pacification.
- "Origins and Evolution of the Concept". Science Encyclopedia. Net Industries. p. 360. "Politicide, as [Barbara] Harff and [Ted R.] Gurr define it, refers to the killing of groups of people who are targeted not because of shared ethnic or communal traits, but because of 'their hierarchical position or political opposition to the regime and dominant groups.'" This reference does not give the book title to go with the page number.
- Harff, Barbara; Gurr, Ted Robert (September 1988). "Toward Empirical Theory of Genocides and Politicides: Identification and Measurement of Cases since 1945". International Studies Quarterly. Wiley on behalf of The International Studies Association. 32 (3): 359–371. doi:10.2307/2600447. JSTOR 2600447.
- Wayman, Frank W.; Tago, Atsushi (January 2010). "Explaining the Onset of Mass killing, 1949–87". Journal of Peace Research Online. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications. 47 (1): 3–13. doi:10.1177/0022343309342944. JSTOR 25654524. S2CID 145155872. "The two important scholars who have created datasets related to this are Rummel (1995) and Harff (2003). Harff (sometimes with Gurr) has studied what she terms 'genocide and politicide', defined to be genocide by killing as understood by the Genocide Convention plus the killing of a political or economic group (Harff & Gurr, 1988); the combined list of genocides is sometimes labeled 'geno-politicide' for short. Rummel (1994, 1995) has a very similar concept, 'democide', which includes such genocide and geno-politicide done by the government forces, plus other killing by government forces, such as random killing not targeted at a particular group. As Rummel (1995: 3-4) says, 'Cold-blooded government killing ... extends beyond genocide'; For example, 'shooting political opponents; or murdering by quota'. Hence, 'to cover all such murder as well as genocide and politicide, I use the concept democide. This is the intentional killing of people by government' (Rummel, 1995: 4). So Rummel has a broader concept than geno-politicide, but one that seems to include geno-politicide as a proper subset." Quote at p. 4.
- Midlarsky, Manus (2005). The Killing Trap: Genocide in the Twentieth Century. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 22, 309–310. ISBN 978-0-521-81545-1.
- Midlarsky, Manus (2005). The Killing Trap: Genocide in the Twentieth Century. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 321. ISBN 978-0-521-81545-1.
- Jones, Adam (2010). Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge. p. 137. ISBN 978-0-415-48619-4.
- Schaack, Beth (1997). "The Crime of Political Genocide: Repairing the Genocide Convention's Blind Spot". The Yale Law Journal. 106 (7): 2259–2291. doi:10.2307/797169. JSTOR 797169.
- Staub, Ervin (June 2000). "Genocide and Mass Killing: Origins, Prevention, Healing and Reconciliation". Political Psychology. 21 (2): 367–382. doi:10.1111/0162-895X.00193. JSTOR 3791796.
- Atsushi, Tago; Wayman, Frank W. (January 2010). "Explaining the Onset of Mass Killing, 1949–87". Journal of Peace Research Online. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications. 47 (1): 3–13. doi:10.1177/0022343309342944. JSTOR 25654524. S2CID 145155872.
- Williams, Paul (2008). Security Studies: An Introduction. London: Taylor & Francis. p. 321. ISBN 978-0-415-42561-2.
- Otis, John (17 October 1999). "'Political cleansing' in Colombia rising". colombiasupport.net. Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on 15 May 2001.
- Davis, Diane E.; Anthony W. Pereira, eds. (2003). Irregular Armed Forces and their Role in Politics and State Formation. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-139-43998-5. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
- Harff, Barbara (2004). "Genocide Politicide". Integrated Network for Societal Conflict Research. University of Maryland, College Park.
- Mesko, Zoltan G. (2003). The Silent Conspiracy: A Communist Model of Political Cleansing at the Slovak University in Bratislava after the Second World War. ISBN 0-88033-514-9.
- Nersessian, David L. (2010). Genocide and Political Groups. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-159455-7.