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This book trenchantly diagnoses the law's limits in making sense of mass atrocity.
"Is it possible that the soldiers of wartime mass atrocities - Adolph Eichmann in Nazi Germany and Alfred Astiz in Argentina's Dirty War, for example - act under conditions that prevent them from recognizing their crimes? In the aftermath of catastrophic, state-sponsored mass murder, how are criminal courts to respond to those who either gave or carried out the military orders that seem unequivocally criminal?" "This book adresses political theorist Hannah Arendt's controversial argument that perpetrators of mass crimes are completely unaware of their wrongdoing, and therefore existing criminal laws do not adequately address these defendants. Mark Osiel applies Arendt's ideas about the kind of people who implement bureaucratized large-scale atrocities to Argentina's Dirty War of the 1970s, and he also delves into the social conditions that could elicit such reprehensible conduct. He focuses on Argentine naval captain Astiz, who led one of the most notorius abduction squads, to discover how this soldier and other junior officers could justify the murders of more than ten thousand suspected "subversives.""--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
This book examines reciprocity between asymmetrical sides in war and conflict.
Within sociology and criminology the dominant view is that genocide and other mass atrocities are committed by technologically-lobotomized perpetrators. Somehow the process of rationalization is believed to have transformed these people from emotionally healthy people into hollow soulless shells of human beings or zombies, devoid of a full range of normal emotions. However it is difficult to imagine crime without emotions, There is, therefore, a need to revisit existing assumptions around the role of emotions in mass atrocities. This book rehumanizes perpetrators of mass atrocities.
To this end, writes Osiel, we should pay closer attention to the way an experience of administrative massacre is framed within the conventions of competing theatrical genres. Defense counsel will tell the story as a tragedy, while prosecutors will present it as a morality play. The judicial task at such moments is to employ the law to recast the courtroom drama in terms of a "theater of ideas," which engages large questions of collective memory and even national identity. Osiel asserts that principles of liberal morality can be most effectively inculcated in a society traumatized by fratricide when proceedings are conducted in this fashion.
Within sociology and criminology the dominant view is that genocide and other mass atrocities are committed by technologically-lobotomized perpetrators. Somehow the process of rationalization is believed to have transformed these people from emotionally healthy people into hollow soulless shells of human beings or zombies, devoid of a full range of normal emotions. However it is difficult to imagine crime without emotions, There is, therefore, a need to revisit existing assumptions around the role of emotions in mass atrocities. This book rehumanizes perpetrators of mass atrocities.
What lessons are conveyed implicitly and explicity in teaching and learning about the Holocaust? Through case studies, the author reflects on the lessons taught, highlighting strengths and missed opportunities and illuminating important implications for the teaching of other historical episodes.

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