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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Global Studies Research Guide

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Topics in Governance, Conflict and Resolution

"The term cyberterrorism refers to the convergence of terrorism and cyberspace, particularly the politically motivated sabotage of information systems. Since the 1990s, incidents of hacking, cybercrime, and highly destructive computer viruses have been widespread, and these tools have increasingly been used for specific political ends....

 It appeared that hackers with the tools to disable key governmental or corporate computer systems lacked the political motivation to do so, while terrorists motivated to crumble information systems to cause chaos lacked the requisite computer skills. While it might be true that an extremist terror group like al Qaeda is not likely to pursue cyber attacks in the 2000s, another group of actors has found cyberterrorism attractive, namely national governments. Cyberterror appeals to governments precisely because it is a less dramatic form of attack. A cyber attack is unlikely to lead to mass casualties and the retaliation such casualties would cause. In addition, attracting skilled hackers is easier for a government than for a terrorist group, because the hackers are acting legally—at least by their own nation's laws."

Lambert, Laura. "Cyberterrorism." In The SAGE Encyclopedia of Terrorism, by C. (Clarence) Martin. 2nd ed. Sage Publications, 2011.


"Transitional justice approaches are generally understood to have emerged during late 20th-Century legal trial and truth commission experiences in Latin America (such as those in Guatemala, Chile, Argentina, and Peru) and in African states (such as Uganda, Zimbabwe, and South Africa). The field continued to develop alongside the large-scale ad hoc international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda, experiences that began in the early to mid-1990s, and in some cases lasted more than a decade. 

“Transitional justice” is often used as a catchall term for both judicial and nonjudicial justice-seeking processes, including trials, tribunals, and truth and reconciliation commissions, lustration (the purging of institutions or bureaucracies), memorialization, reparation processes, and new policy development...

... comprises accountability for past criminal actions as a way of tackling widespread impunity best pursued through the law (usually either international law or national law, or a negotiated hybrid of the two). Geopolitical scrutiny and international legal jurisdiction—generally licensed and embodied by actors from elsewhere—often lends an “international intervention” framing to transitional justice, with all the benefits and problems this entails. These same authors tend to consider the more socio-legal endeavors that follow attempts to find criminal accountability—such as long-term commissions of enquiry, economic and political rebuilding or restructuring, memorialization, etc.—as proper to post-conflict newly (re)emergent nationhood, rather than transitional justice."

Hughes, Rachel. "Transitional Justice." In International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, edited by Audrey Kobayashi. 2nd ed. Elsevier Science & Technology, 2020.

"The history of humanity has been littered with several devastating cases of genocide, an act that is rightfully described as “the supreme crime”  In the past five hundred years, examples of genocide have included the American Native genocide (death toll of one hundred million), Atlantic slave trade (death toll of up to sixty million), the Armenian genocide (death toll of up to 1.8 million), the Holocaust (death toll of over thirteen million), Cambodian genocide (death toll up to 2.2 million), Kurdish genocide (death toll nearly two hundred thousand), the Bosnian genocide (death toll of two hundred thousand), the Rwandan genocide (death toll up to one million) and various other genocides that are currently happening across the globe/ However, despite the prevalence of the act of genocide, the term itself did not emerge until the end of the Second World War.

In the past several years, the meaning of the word genocide has been further elucidated by an array of scholars from different academic fields. The historian Henry Huttenbach (1988) put forward one of the more broad definitions of genocide, and he described it as “any act that puts the very existence of a group in jeopardy” (p. 297). This definition, while compelling in its own right, provides little detail as to the possible groups that can be subjected to genocide. The political activist Ward Churchill explains genocide as “the destruction, entirely or in part, of any racial, ethnic, national, religious, cultural, linguistic, political, economic, gender, or other human group, however such groups may be defined by the perpetrator” (Churchill, 1998, p. 432). The incorporation of several types of identifiable groups significantly expands the scope of the term, making it more applicable to modern conflicts."

Cappucci, John. "Genocide." In Encyclopedia of Diversity and Social Justice, edited by Sherwood Thompson. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2014.