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Studies in Politics: Politics of Mass Atrocities

This seminar will examine the causes and consequences of extraordinary political evil at the level of the individual, focusing on genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, and disappearing. We will consider a number of questions, including: Why do people commit evil acts, such as genocide or torture? What are the effects of committing such crimes on the people who perpetrate them and on the society they serve? How do individuals endure suffering caused by political evil? What responsibilities do bystanders have? What methods might be available to help individuals and societies recover from mass atrocities? We will use novels, documentaries, and eyewitness accounts to explore these issues in the context of specific cases, such as Bosnia, Sierra Leone / Liberia, Rwanda, Cambodia, and Argentina.

Course Number

POLS 295 B1


Dougherty, Beth K.





Course Format


Course Format Description

The course will be held syncronously and remotely. Film viewings will be available on-line and possibly in-person. Separate arrangements will be made with any students in Asia for whom the time zone is an issue.

Time Slot

Mid Afternoon



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