The sudden explosion of interest in genocide as a topic of academic study over the past decade or so has involved academics rushing to produce “big” general theories in their efforts to have their voices heard. But more often than not, their haste has produced books that are insufficiently researched and theses that strain to be profound. In Balkan Genocides: Holocaust and Ethnic Cleansing in the Twentieth Century, Paul Mojzes has attempted something more moderately ambitious: an overview of the Balkan genocides of the twentieth century, focusing principally on the territory of the former Yugoslavia but involving forays into other Balkan lands, including Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey. This is a project that needs to be undertaken, as the mass killings of the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia (the ones that, alongside the concurrent genocide in Rwanda, were responsible for the explosion in “genocide studies” in the first place) are too often analysed without a broader chronological framework. In other words, although scholars and journalists writing about the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s have frequently made reference to the prior episodes of mass killing in the region, particularly those that took place during World War II, their analytical frameworks have tended not to encompass those earlier episodes. Mojzes has attempted to break the mould, and his book analyses the mass killings of the 1940s and 1990s as well as those that occurred during the Balkan Wars of 1912–13. He therefore provides an analytical overview for the English language reader that is more accessible than elsewhere. Unfortunately, the book he has produced suffers from some of the same flaws that have marred the more general studies of genocide alluded to here.
Hoare, Marko A.
"Balkan Genocides: Holocaust and Ethnic Cleansing in the Twentieth Century,"
International Dialogue: Vol. 3, Article 23.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/id-journal/vol3/iss1/23