May - Jun 17 Events

Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing


4/05/2017 - 4/05/2017


12:00PM - 2:00PM


Senate Room, Lanyon Building, QUB



While the mechanics and structures of genocide are most often a focus of study, at its heart, genocide happens because individual humans choose to kill other individual humans in large numbers and over an extended period of time.  Who are the killers on the frontlines of genocide and how do they come to do such extraordinary evil? Based on interviews with over 200 rank-and-file perpetrators, this event will focus on the ordinary origins of these killers and the processes by which they become capable of such atrocities.  Understanding these processes can be vital to resolving current conflicts as well as preventing the future occurrence of genocide.

James Waller is Cohen Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College in New Hampshire and Visiting Research Professor at the Mitchell Institute.  He is Director of Academic Programs for the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation. His most recent books include Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing (2007) and Confronting Evil: Engaging Our Responsibility to Prevent Genocide (2016), both published by Oxford University Press.

To register or reserve your place, please contact Neil Jarman at

For a full programme of events please download the Spring Festival Programme 2017.