• Explaining the Unexplainable: Recent Trends in the Armenian Genocide Historiography

    One of the outstanding issues in Armenian Genocide historiography has been the inability of historians to come to a consensus regarding the causes, the aim of the perpetrators, and the process of the genocide. This is because the field of genocide studies is, by its nature, contentious. Over the course of the past three decades, the historiography of the Armenian Genocide in the West has evolved through the introduction of new methodologies, approaches, and more complex analyses of the genocide that venture beyond rudimentary and essentialist arguments and representations. These approaches range from arguing that religion and/or nationalism were the main factors leading to the Armenian Genocide, to the argument that the genocide was a contingent event that took place during World War I, represented by a rapid radicalization of the government’s policy toward the Armenians. This article discusses the development of the historiography of the Armenian Genocide in the West by concentrating on recent trends in the field and assesses their contribution to the understanding of the different dimensions of the genocide. Toward the end, the article provides suggestions for strengthening nascent areas in the historiography that still remain in their infancy.

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