After the Genocide: Psychological Perspectives on Victim, Bystander, and Perpetrator Groups


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Johanna Ray Vollhardt, Department of Psychology, Clark University, 950 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01610 [e-mail:].


Interest in the aftermath of genocide and mass violence has increased in the last few years, and some researchers in various subdisciplines of psychology have begun to address this urgent social issue. Genocide and mass violence continue to influence intergroup relations, conflicts, and policy attitudes. Nevertheless, these topics are still understudied. We introduce this issue by providing a brief overview of the scarce psychological research on the aftermath of genocide among members of former victim, perpetrator, and bystander groups. Although this distinction is too simplistic to explain individual behavior during genocide and its aftermath, we hold on to it as a framework for organizing existing scholarship, and because of the ongoing relevance of these social representations in discourse on this topic. The introduction concludes with an overview of the issue and its organization, including a brief summary of each article.