HST3111/3112: Genocide in International Perspective, 1945-1995

40 credits (semesters 1 and 2)

Module Leader: Dr. Gerold Krozewski



A pass in at least two history modules at level two.


Module Summary

Despite the introduction of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the international community proved unable to prevent case of genocide in a number of countries around the world in the postwar period. This special subject examines three key episodes: the use of mass murder in Cambodia, Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Using a variety of primary sources, including reports by the UN and human rights organizations, eyewitness accounts, court transcripts, film footage and press coverage, the module explores questions of how and why genocides took place, and considers the aftermath of these human catastrophes.

This module aims to introduce students to the legal definitions of the crime of genocide and the international framework for its prevention and punishment, exploring the incidence of mass murder in three key case studies from the period through the intensive study of primary source materials and an advanced engagement with the secondary literature.



Seminar discussion of primary and secondary sources will help students to acquire an in-depth knowledge of the historiography of this period and of the principal varieties of primary source material available to historians. Through discussion of these primary and secondary materials students will develop their understanding of the study of genocide in the postwar period.



The word limit for essays includes footnotes, but excludes the bibliography.


Selected Reading

 To follow.


Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, a candidate will be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Understand the processes of persecution, mass murder and genocide in the twentieth century, particularly the postwar era.
  • Recognise and evaluate critically a broad range of primary sources, both written and visual, interpreting these in their historical context.
  • Think comparatively about mass violence, using a thematic focus and theoretical insights from social science.
  • Take responsibility for running seminars, elaborating and defending an intellectual position to other members of the group.
  • Research specific historical questions and present independent arguments in well-written essays, drawing on detailed reading and the use of primary evidence.