• Bumba MukherjeeEmail author
  • Ore Koren


In this chapter, we first lay out the book’s central research questions about the politics of mass killing campaigns in nondemocratic regimes. We define the following key concepts and terms used throughout the book’s theoretical and empirical chapters: nondemocratic regimes, “systematic” mass killing campaigns, and the de facto level of urban development within countries. We explain the importance of understanding the strategic dynamics underlying the outbreak of mass killing campaigns in nondemocracies as well as the tragic consequences of such regime-perpetrated killings of civilians in nondemocracies. We show how the book’s analysis speaks to existing literature on political violence and mass killing, repression and civil disobedience, the climate-conflict nexus, and economic development. We then provide an overview of our theoretical arguments, followed by a discussion of the book’s empirical research design, the main empirical results, and their implications for understanding the socioeconomic and political conditions that foster targeting and killing of civilians by incumbents in nondemocratic states. Finally, we present a brief outline of the book and its structure.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political SciencePennsylvania State UniversityState CollegeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceIndiana University BloomingtonBloomingtonUSA

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