Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 61, Issue 4, pp 491–493 | Cite as

Book review. Genocide by attrition: The Nuba mountains of Sudan, by Samuel Totten

  • Kristin A. Bell

The term “genocide” evokes vivid images for most who hear it. Genocide is known as “the crime of crimes”, and it is often associated with extreme violence. However, few individuals outside of the community of genocide scholars and human rights activists may be familiar with another term: “genocide by attrition”. According to genocide scholar Helen Fein, genocide by attrition occurs “after a group is singled out for political and civil discrimination; it is separated from the larger society, and its right to life is threatened through concentration and forced displacement, together with systematic deprivation of food, water, and sanitary and medical facilities” (Fein as quoted by [1], p. 2). Genocide by attrition does not necessarily involve the brutal acts we naturally associate with genocide, but nonetheless, it constitutes the crime of genocide under Article II of the UN Convention by causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of a group and deliberately inflicting on a group...


  1. 1.
    Totten, S. (2012). Genocide by attrition: The Nuba mountains of Sudan. New Brunswick: Transaction.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northeastern UniversityBostonUSA

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