Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Amanda Lange Salvia, Pinar Gökcin Özuyar, Tony Wall

Mass Atrocities: Definition and Relationship with Development

Living reference work entry


Mass atrocities consist of extreme violence inflicted on a large scale or in a deliberate manner, particularly on civilians and noncombatants, by State or non-State actors. Mass atrocities encompass the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and aggression.


This entry first explores and defines the concept of mass atrocities in light of the concept’s origins and historical development since the Second World War. It defines the four mass atrocities crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and aggression. Second, the entry examines the relationship between mass atrocities and development. It analyzes the destructive impact of mass atrocities at all levels of development. It considers the extent to which sustainable development can prevent the occurrence of mass atrocities. Considering Sustainable Development Goal 16 on promoting peace, justice, and strong institutions, the entry highlights the importance of...

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This publication was written in the author’s personal capacity.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Open Society Justice InitiativeLondonUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Thomas KaydorJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate EducationIbrahim Badamasi Babangida Graduate School of International Studies, University of LiberiaMonroviaLiberia