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Dehumanising Ideology, Metaphors, and Psychological Othering as Evidence of Genocidal Intent

Dehumanising Ideology, Metaphors, and Psychological Othering as Evidence of Genocidal Intent <jats:title>Abstract</jats:title> <jats:p>Evidence of genocidal intent is rarely overtly available. Prosecutors arguably avoid prosecuting the crime of genocide because of its too-high evidentiary threshold. This paper argues that psychology, linguistics, and biology provide some of the tools that courts should revert to in the proof of the <jats:italic>dolus specialis</jats:italic>. Every genocide is characterised by dehumanisation. There is an intrinsic connection between the <jats:italic>génocidaire</jats:italic>’s understanding of the victims as dehumanised ‘others’ and the intent to destroy a group. Social psychology has shown that the perpetrator sets apart the victim group as inferior, subhuman, and a threat to the in-group. Dehumanising discourse exposes the perpetrators’ understanding and ideologies and makes the victim group discernible. Linguistic research reveals the significance of metaphors for dehumanisation and intergroup hostility. Lastly, research on bio-signals such as heart rate, breathing, skin conductance response or <jats:sc>eeg</jats:sc> can assist in measuring the impact of dehumanisation and provide the courts with yet another tool to prove genocidal intent. Through recourse to a palette of conceptual and theoretical approaches, this paper provides an account of the ways in which a dark constellation of metaphor, dehumanising ideology, and psychological othering coalesce to form genocidal intent.</jats:p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Criminal Law Review CrossRef

Dehumanising Ideology, Metaphors, and Psychological Othering as Evidence of Genocidal Intent

International Criminal Law Review : 1-24 – Sep 24, 2021

Dehumanising Ideology, Metaphors, and Psychological Othering as Evidence of Genocidal Intent


Abstract

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title>
<jats:p>Evidence of genocidal intent is rarely overtly available. Prosecutors arguably avoid prosecuting the crime of genocide because of its too-high evidentiary threshold. This paper argues that psychology, linguistics, and biology provide some of the tools that courts should revert to in the proof of the <jats:italic>dolus specialis</jats:italic>. Every genocide is characterised by dehumanisation. There is an intrinsic connection between the <jats:italic>génocidaire</jats:italic>’s understanding of the victims as dehumanised ‘others’ and the intent to destroy a group. Social psychology has shown that the perpetrator sets apart the victim group as inferior, subhuman, and a threat to the in-group. Dehumanising discourse exposes the perpetrators’ understanding and ideologies and makes the victim group discernible. Linguistic research reveals the significance of metaphors for dehumanisation and intergroup hostility. Lastly, research on bio-signals such as heart rate, breathing, skin conductance response or <jats:sc>eeg</jats:sc> can assist in measuring the impact of dehumanisation and provide the courts with yet another tool to prove genocidal intent. Through recourse to a palette of conceptual and theoretical approaches, this paper provides an account of the ways in which a dark constellation of metaphor, dehumanising ideology, and psychological othering coalesce to form genocidal intent.</jats:p>

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Publisher
CrossRef
ISSN
1567-536X
DOI
10.1163/15718123-bja10098
Publisher site
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Abstract

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title> <jats:p>Evidence of genocidal intent is rarely overtly available. Prosecutors arguably avoid prosecuting the crime of genocide because of its too-high evidentiary threshold. This paper argues that psychology, linguistics, and biology provide some of the tools that courts should revert to in the proof of the <jats:italic>dolus specialis</jats:italic>. Every genocide is characterised by dehumanisation. There is an intrinsic connection between the <jats:italic>génocidaire</jats:italic>’s understanding of the victims as dehumanised ‘others’ and the intent to destroy a group. Social psychology has shown that the perpetrator sets apart the victim group as inferior, subhuman, and a threat to the in-group. Dehumanising discourse exposes the perpetrators’ understanding and ideologies and makes the victim group discernible. Linguistic research reveals the significance of metaphors for dehumanisation and intergroup hostility. Lastly, research on bio-signals such as heart rate, breathing, skin conductance response or <jats:sc>eeg</jats:sc> can assist in measuring the impact of dehumanisation and provide the courts with yet another tool to prove genocidal intent. Through recourse to a palette of conceptual and theoretical approaches, this paper provides an account of the ways in which a dark constellation of metaphor, dehumanising ideology, and psychological othering coalesce to form genocidal intent.</jats:p>

Journal

International Criminal Law ReviewCrossRef

Published: Sep 24, 2021

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