Violence Studies: Social Theoretical Considerations Towards Understanding of War Crimes

  • Christian Gudehus
Part of the St Antony's Series book series (STANTS)


War crimes are individual actions, or consist of such. Yet, since they are carried out within the context of war, they are equally actions of collective violence. Approaching this field from a violence studies perspective means focusing on the concrete actions in question and the conditions of their emergence. The rich empirical and theoretical work from the disciplines of social psychology and sociology can be especially useful in explaining the occurrence of crimes within a context of deliberate, systematic destruction, killing, and harming. However, this chapter will also address the pitfalls of combining explanatory models of different epistemological backgrounds.


Social theory Action Practices Sedimented experiences Social psychology Mentality 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Gudehus
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed ConflictRuhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany

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