A Dynamic Life-course Approach to Genocide

Hollie Nyseth Brehm, Christopher Uggen, Suzy McElrath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We argue in this article that the study of genocide would benefit from the application and use of theoretical tools that criminologists have long had at their disposal, specifically, conception and theorization surrounding the life course. Using the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi as a case study, we detail how the building blocks of life-course criminology can be effectively used in analyses of (1) risk factors for the onset of genocide, (2) trajectories and duration of genocidal violence, and (3) desistance from genocidal crime and transitions after genocide. We conclude by highlighting the conceptual gains for research on genocide and political conflict by briefly discussing the analytic implications for future genocide research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-119
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Currents
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The author(s) received financial support from the National Science Foundation (Award Number 1626123 and 1303534), the Ohio State Mershon Center for International Security Studies and the American Sociological Association Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline for the research discussed in this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © The Southern Sociological Society 2017.


  • and social conflict
  • genocide
  • life course
  • peace
  • war


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