From Past to Future

Mark Levene

in The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199232116
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

From Past to Future


This article presents two scenarios that might have a huge influence for the prospects of genocide in the future: the carrying capacity of the planet and global warming. The key point about the pursuit of this theme is that the disruptive potential of climate change, whether writ small in terms of the single state, or writ large in terms of the international system, is entirely exponential. It also hints the necessity for a paradigmatic shift in the relationship not only to each other but to the precious planet if people are to avoid not simply genocide but omnicide. For those who would seek to avoid genocide in the twenty-first century, the task cannot somehow be reduced to Lemkin's law. The phenomenon cannot be contained within this box: it is too fundamental a by-product of a more general dysfunction, not to say, even as it transmutes into persistent post-genocide.

Keywords: carrying capacity; global warming; Genocide Convention; Lemkin's law; omnicide

Article.  10061 words. 

Subjects: History ; Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing

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