‘Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely‘.
– Lord Acton
We were shown this table from R.J. Rummel in an IR lecture today. Rummel states the definition of ‘democide’ as ‘the murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide and mass murder‘. The world of IR hasn’t traditionally looked at the issue of democide because it’s an intrastate issue, and dominant realist theory tends to ignore the internal and domestic affairs of nation-states.
Increasingly though, analysis is moving away from a pure interstate focus to include issues such as democide. And rightly so, in my opinion.
Since 1900, some 262, 000, 000 people have been murdered by their government. As Rummel notes, 20th century democide killed roughly 6 times more people than died in combat in all foreign and internal wars in the same period.
source: 20th Century Democide