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Democracy's Blameless LeadersFrom Dresden to Abu Ghraib, How Leaders Evade Accountability for Abuse, Atrocity, and Killing$
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Neil James Mitchell

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814761441

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814761441.001.0001

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(p.48) 4 Amritsar
Democracy's Blameless Leaders

Neil James Mitchell

NYU Press

This chapter recounts the killing of more than three hundred civilians in the city of Amritsar, India by British soldiers, in which political leaders in London were not complicit in the massacre and so had a reduced a stake in biasing the distribution of the blame. Thus, the efforts to manage the blame failed to restore the damage done to the imperial legitimacy and did not correct the injustice done to the people of the city. Moreover, key pieces were identified for the accountability argument in this case: the individually initiated nature of the violation, the motivations at work, the contradictory pressures on the flow of information and the imposition of punishment, and the techniques used by politicians in London to relieve these pressures.

Keywords:   Amritsar, political leaders, blame, violation, information, punishment, pressures

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