Victim or Perpetrator?

  • Carol Bohmer
  • Amy Shuman


This chapter examines the difficulty of differentiating between victim and perpetrator in some cases. There is no question that there are legitimate asylum seekers in great numbers fleeing violence, but the violence itself, especially in contemporary civil wars, makes it difficult to sharply divide perpetrators and victims. This complicated question of whether someone is a victim or a perpetrator illustrates the high stakes involved in the assessment of asylum claims in the current security environment. The authors examine cases where aggressors self-identify as heroic or as victims themselves, while members of the victim group, in particular in the diaspora, identify them as perpetrators. The authors’ goal is not to provide a panacea or easy solution (they argue there is none) but to elucidate the complexity.



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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol Bohmer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Amy Shuman
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GovernmentDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA
  2. 2.Department of War StudiesKing’s CollegeLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of EnglishThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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