What is political evil? How do we recognize it? How does it differ from other manifestations of evil? How can we stop it? Acclaimed political scientist Alan Wolfe addresses these vitally important questions in this timely, eye-opening examination.
Wolfe argues that political evil—evil perpetrated by those with specific political goals—is often oversimplified by diplomats and politicians with their own agendas, to grim and frequently tragic effect. Much of the problem, he suggests, is a lack of critical thought about what evil is and what terms we use to describe it. Looking at examples of political evil around the globe, from the Middle East to Darfur, the United States to the Balkans, Wolfe shows us how seemingly small distinctions—like labeling an event genocide too facilely, for instance—can make an immense difference in international response. And he makes clear that desperately needed change can be initiated with a shift in how we think and talk about political evil.
At once impassioned and pragmatic, Political Evil sheds essential light on the creation of policy and on a concrete path to a more practicable and just future.