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Blood in the Village: A Local-Level Investigation of State Massacres


  • Christopher Michael Sullivan


Although policymakers, NGOs, and academics have all expressed interest in accounting for mass killing, it is still unclear why states perpetrate massacres against their citizens. The present article identifies how strategic incentives can motivate states to commit massacres in particular settings. The article contends that massacres are committed to pursue two strategic goals: threat removal and projecting state control over territory. This theory is tested using local-level data from Guatemala’s Commission for Historical Clarification. The results have significant implications for how we understand as well as attempt to reduce mass killing.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Michael Sullivan, 2012. "Blood in the Village: A Local-Level Investigation of State Massacres," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 29(4), pages 373-396, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:compsc:v:29:y:2012:i:4:p:373-396

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    Cited by:

    1. Scott Straus, 2015. "Triggers of Mass Atrocities," Politics and Governance, Cogitatio Press, vol. 3(3), pages 5-15.


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