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Enlightenment and Genocide, Contradictions of Modernity


James Kaye and Bo Stråth

On the threshold to the 21st century the cry «never again» seems illusory, even absurd. Did it ever harbour credibility? Were we so naive? The Holocaust was not a finality, not the end of «final solutions» in Europe. Genocide has continued to emerge as an active element in European politics and policies. Kosovo and Bosnia provide testament. This book presents the concept of genocide as a political and social tool in modern Europe, not only reconciled with modernity, but as what may be an integral component. Modernity, however, is also closely linked with the Enlightenment and its concepts of tolerance, equality and liberty. This volume sheds light upon the inherent contradictions of modernity between Enlightenment and genocide, and on how this ambivalent European heritage is confronted.
This book was produced in the framework of the research project The Cultural Construction of Community in Modernisation Processes in Comparison in co-operation between the European University Institute in Florence and Humboldt University in Berlin.
Contents: James Kaye/Bo Stråth: Introduction: Enlightenment and Genocide, Contradictions of Modernity – Zygmunt Bauman: The Duty to Remember, - But What? – Robert Wokler: The Enlightenment Project on the Eve of Holocaust – James Schmidt: Genocide and the Limits of Enlightenment: Horkheimer and Adorno Revisited – Arpad Szakolczai: Modernity Interpreted through Weber and Foucault – Stefan Elbe: Of Seismographs and Earthquakes: Nietzsche, Nihilism and Genocide – Arne Johan Vetlesen: Yugoslavia, Genocide and Modernity – Robert Thurston: Stalinism in Context and Perspective: Sources of Permission to Hate in Europe – Elin Frykman: The Cutting Edge: A Sterilisation Campaign in Sweden – Göran Rosenberg: The Heritage of a Century.