Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

First Committee Member

John Tuman

Second Committee Member

Dennis Pirages

Third Committee Member

Michele Kuenzi

Fourth Committee Member

Michelle Tusan

Number of Pages



This century has witnessed many genocides throughout the world by the hands of leaders and citizens alike. These unjustifiable acts have not failed to exist even today. Although a lot of research and scholarly work has been dedicated towards the study of genocide, there is no single reason as to why it occurs; rather there are many theories that indicate what leads to genocide. The question still remains why does genocide happen? This thesis will attempt to answer this question by analyzing various theoretical perspectives, as well as comparatively observing two case studies that have not been extensively discussed. In doing so, I hope to a) better understand the theoretical implications of genocide and how they explain what causes it; b) find warning signs within both cases; and c) understand both the internal and external factors that come into play during civil unrest


Assyrians; Causation; Civil War; Genocide; Mayan; Mayas; Ríos Montt; Efraín; Ottoman; Seyfo


International and Area Studies | Islamic World and Near East History | Latin American Studies | Near and Middle Eastern Studies | Peace and Conflict Studies | Political Science