By Neil J. Mitchell
Who's accountable for the phobia, atrocities, and violations of human rights that ensue in civil wars? Blame could be without delay attributed to the particular perpetrators of the massacres, rapes, and pillaging--but it might even be put on the leaders who usually cover at the back of their ambivalent orders. putting accountability basically within the fingers of political management, Mitchell explores the interplay of leaders, their administration practices and repressive rules, utilizing the Arab-Israeli clash and the English and Russian civil wars to make clear while leaders are roughly prone to flip to atrocities to accomplish their targets. With civil wars carrying on with to rage around the globe, Agents of Atrocity offers a well timed background of atrocities and the leaders and henchmen who carried them out, whereas supplying a brand new context for knowing why they take place and the way they are often avoided within the future.
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Additional info for Agents of Atrocity: Leaders, Followers, and the Violation of Human Rights in Civil War
Nobody may end up satisfied, but the key must lie in finding a way between losing the social science in the narrative and offending historical sensibilities in the effort to generalize. This page intentionally left blank T W O The Principals and the Agents of Political Violence Naming a principal and agent in the use of violence recognizes that there are actors involved and awakens us to the possibility of multiple motives at work. Principal-agent scholars examine lines of control between the two and have made important progress in specifying an underlying logic.
Clearly, the information inequality in the principal-agent relationship is compounded by the number of agents and the number of principals involved. Multiple agents make specific actions more difficult to attribute to individuals. 29 Multiple principals are more of an issue in the Arab-Israeli conflict than in the English and Russian civil wars in which Cromwell and Lenin asserted control. I argue that these information problems are likely to be particularly acute in the area of repression, as a consequence of the unique and immediate temptations and rewards, and of the particular diffi- 46 / AGENTS OF ATROCITY culty of getting good information about violence.
On the other hand, Lenin’s agenda of having a proper revolution in order to create a brand new society pushed him to violations beyond what adverse circumstances and foreign intervention necessitated in order to hold on to power. As he defined a revolution, it had to be violent. There is also the Insincere Inquisitor, which in Dostoevsky’s account is the crux of Alyosha’s accusation as Ivan’s story unfolds. The Insincere Inquisitor is the opportunist who recognizes the personal gain and the reservoir of political support to be tapped by dogmatic appeals to collective identities.