This essay considers whether genocide is a neglected area of criminological inquiry. After a brief history of its evolution and definition, genocide is considered alongside other crimes against international law, including international human rights law (specifically, war crimes and crimes against humanity). The essay reviews contemporary perceptions of international crimes in established academic literature. Specific consideration is made of the incidence of genocide in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. Genocide is considered across three broad areas: as an issue of law (no crime without law); the nature of the offenders (state, agents of the state, and mass participation); and the nature of the phenomenon itself (with reference to Rwanda and Yugoslavia). Finally, this essay considers whether criminology has neglected genocide and suggests ways of improving academic engagement on this issue.

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