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Crimes Against Humanity

A Beginner's Guide


How we can stop the world's worst atrocities

Murder, extermination, enslavement, ethnic cleansing, rape, and torture: all these actions constitute ‘crimes against humanity’ when carried out in a widespread or systematic way. And unfortunately, as is painfully apparent in the popular media every day, the international community still has a long way to go in eradicating such atrocities.

In this compelling introduction, Adam Jones outlines the history and current extent of key crimes committed against humanity, and highlights the efforts of popular movements to suppress them. Using examples ranging from the genocide in Darfur and Rwanda and the sex trade of Eastern Europe to the use of torture on American detainees, Jones explores the progress already made in toughening international law, and the current stumbling blocks which prevent full compliance with it. Coherent and revealing, Crimes Against Humanity: A Beginner’s Guide is essential for anyone interested in the well-being of humanity and its future.

Adam Jones, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, Canada. He is author or editor of a dozen books, including Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction (2006). He serves as executive director of Gendercide Watch (, and is senior book review editor of Journal of Genocide Research. Please visit his personal website at

  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (December 1, 2012)
  • Length: 224 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781780741468

"What is so first-rate about 'Crimes against Humanity' is the way Adam Jones takes the subject out of its standard legal casing and opens it up to a much wider social and political scrutiny. The result is not only highly accessible but also eminently sane, measured, and yet compassionate."

– Mark Levene - co-founder of the Forum of the Study of Crisis in the 21st Century

"A remarkable book that is immediately accessible for the novice in the field, or students, and yet also engages with its topic in intellectually interesting ways for the more seasoned reader. Helps chart the way forward for those already thinking about, or tussling with, the horrors of humanity and the seemingly ever evolving capacity to shock the conscience."

– James Gow - Professor of International Peace and Security, King's College London

"This book will be a must-read for students and practitioners. Jones has written a much-needed conceptual overview and call to action which will wake people up to the worst of which humanity is capable."

– Charli Carpenter - Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Massachusetts

More books in this series: Beginner's Guides