About the Talk

In research on ‘mass killings’ such as genocides and campaigns of state terror, the role of ideology is hotly debated. For some scholars, ideologies are crucial in providing the extremist goals and hatreds that motivate ideologically committed people to kill. But many other scholars are sceptical: contending that perpetrators of mass killing rarely seem ideologically committed, and that rational self-interest or powerful forms of social pressure are more important drivers of violence than ideology.

In Ideology and Mass Killing, Dr. Jonathan Leader Maynard challenges both these prevailing views, advancing an alternative ‘neo-ideological’ perspective which systematically retheorises the key ideological foundations of large-scale violence against civilians.

About the Speaker

Jonathan Leader Maynard is a Lecturer in International Politics in the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London. His core research focuses on the role of ideology in political violence, mass atrocities and armed conflict, as well as broader dynamics of ideological extremism. He has secondary research interests in international political theory and international ethics, and in methodological debates in political science and political theory. Besides his first book, Ideology and Mass Killing, he has published in scholarly journals including the Journal of Peace Research, Ethics, the British Journal of Political Science, Terrorism and Political Violence, and Genocide Studies and Prevention.

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