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Democracy's Blameless Leaders
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Democracy's Blameless Leaders: From Dresden to Abu Ghraib, How Leaders Evade Accountability for Abuse, Atrocity, and Killing

Neil James Mitchell


From the American and British counter-insurgency in Iraq to the bombing of Dresden and the Amristar Massacre in India, civilians are often abused and killed when they are caught in the cross-fire of wars and other conflicts. This book examines how leaders in democracies manage the blame for the abuse and the killing of civilians, arguing that politicians are likely to react in a self-interested and opportunistic way and seek to deny and evade accountability. Using empirical evidence from well-known cases of abuse and atrocity committed by the security forces of established, liberal democracies ... More

Keywords: civilians, cross-fire, democracy, civilian killings, atrocity, security forces, accountability, denial, diversion, blame

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780814761441
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814761441.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Neil James Mitchell, author