Ethnic hatreds or discrimination, undemocratic systems of government, and dysfunctions in society play a much smaller role in mass killing and genocide than is commonly assumed. Rather, the impetus for mass killing usually originates from a relatively small group of powerful leaders and is often carried out without the active support of broader society. Mass killing is a brutal political or military strategy designed to accomplish leaders' most important objectives, counter threats to their power, and solve their most difficult problems.
Sustainable Security (with Jeremi Suri)
As the world shifts away from the unquestioned American hegemony that followed in the wake of the Cold War, the United States is likely to face new kinds of threats and sharper resource constraints than it has in the past. However, the country's alliances, military institutions, and national security strategy have changed little since the Cold War. American foreign and defense policies, therefore, should be assessed for their fitness for achieving sustainable national security amidst the dynamism of the international political economy, changing domestic politics, and even a changing climate. This book brings together sixteen leading scholars from across political science, history, and political economy to highlight a range of American security considerations that deserve a larger role in both scholarship and strategic decision-making. This interdisciplinary volume sets an agenda for future scholarship that links politics, economics, and history in pursuit of sustainable security for the United States - and greater peace and stability for Americans and non-Americans alike.
Selected Papers and Publications
Intervening militarily to save lives abroad often sounds good on paper, but the record has not been promising. The ethical calculus involved is almost always complicated by messy realities on the ground, and the opportunity costs of such missions are massive. Well-meaning countries could save far more lives by helping refugees and victims of natural disasters and funding public health.
Learn about my work with the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to develop a public early warning system for genocide and mass killing.