Mass violence, such as genocide, is all too often considered a consequence of the depravity at the core of human nature. Perpetrators are presented as ordinary persons (‘just like you and me’) committing extraordinary evil under extraordinary circumstances. But the concept of the ‘compartmentalising process’ leading up to and sustaining such extreme and massive violence helps to explain the phenomenon more adequately.
Professor Abram de Swaan is emeritus University Professor of Social Science at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), where he has taught Sociology, as Full Professor, since 1973. He served as co-founder and chairman of the Amsterdam School for Social Research (1987-2010). In addition to receiving numerous awards, he has been a columnist for NRC Handelsblad and lectured at Cornell University, Columbia University, the Sorbonne and the Collège de France. His most recent publications include The Killing Compartments; On the Mentality of Mass Murder (2015); Tegen de Vrouwen; De wereldwijde strijd van rechtsisten en jihadisten tegen de emancipatie and, most recently, La Société Transnationale (Seuil, 2022).
Dr. Maxim Kupovykh