1. This paper examines whether decisions to engage in mass killings can be explained as the result of strategic, rational calculation.
2. The article introduces a formal model with two distinct, identifiable groups and a large amount of resource wealth relative to nonresource productivity.
3. The article finds that the likelihood of mass killings is increasing in natural resource abundance and decreasing in labor productivity and destruction costs of war.
The article “Strategic Mass Killings” from the Journal of Political Economy provides an interesting analysis on the potential motivations behind mass killings. The authors provide a formal model which attempts to explain why such events occur, and they present evidence from the Darfur region to support their claims. However, there are some issues with the trustworthiness and reliability of this article that should be noted.
First, the authors do not provide any evidence for their claims about the motivations behind mass killings other than anecdotal evidence from Darfur. While this may be sufficient for making generalizations about this particular case, it does not provide enough evidence to make broader conclusions about all cases of mass killings. Additionally, there is no discussion or exploration of counterarguments or alternative explanations for why these events occur, which could weaken the validity of their claims.
Second, while the authors discuss potential institutional constraints on power that could reduce incentives for mass killings, they do not explore how these constraints might interact with other factors such as economic inequality or political instability that could potentially increase incentives for violence instead. This lack of consideration could lead to an incomplete understanding of how these events occur and how they can be prevented in future cases.
Finally, while the authors discuss potential benefits from eliminating minority groups in terms of obtaining a larger share in future surplus distributions, they do not consider any potential risks associated with such actions or any moral implications that might arise from them. This omission could lead readers to overlook important considerations when evaluating whether or not such actions are justified in certain contexts.
In conclusion, while this article provides an interesting analysis on potential motivations behind mass killings and offers some useful insights into how these events can be prevented in future cases, its trustworthiness and reliability should be questioned due to its lack of evidence for its claims and its failure to consider alternative explanations or possible risks associated with such actions.