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(1,281 words)

Author(s): Melson, Robert
1. Definition During the Second World War, the eminent jurist Raphael Lemkin coined the term “genocide,” by which he meant “a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves.” By “destruction” he meant to include not only the biological aspects of a group’s existence but also its cultural and social institutions. In 1948, in the wake of the Nazi genocide, the United Nations f…