Defining Genocide

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article traces the historical development of the term “genocide” and discusses how it evolved from a post-World War II concept into a key component of international criminal law. Dr. O’Brien outlines some of the legal challenges that attend several of the key terms in the generally accepted definition of genocide: ‘destroy’, ‘in part’, ‘groups’, ‘intent’, and so on. She then concludes with an important and politically nuanced point essential to understanding the politics and afterlife of the Rwanda genocide – the weight of the “g” word.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-169
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of International Peacekeeping
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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  • Defining Genocide

    O'Brien, M., 1 Jan 2021, Rwanda Revisited: Genocide, Civil War, and the Transformation of International Law. Drew, P., Oswald, B., McLaughlin, R. & Farrall, J. (eds.). Netherlands: Brill, p. 141-158 18 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review

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