Political assassinations : the state of the art
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This thesis sets out to research the phenomenon of political assassinations. Political assassinations are not random acts of folly which defy analysis but are well planned and discriminate acts of violence which, like terrorism, need to be further researched. The central argument of the thesis is that political assassination cannot be justified and the following research questions will be addressed: o Can the assassinations analysed in the thesis be categorised as political assassinations? o Can the justifications that are analysed within the thesis offer justifications for these political assassinations? o Are political assassinations only successful as existential acts? The thesis will begin by trying to clearly state what constitutes a political assassination and how it is different from terrorism. It will then analyse the various justifications that can be used to justify political assassinations. The thesis will illustrate three theoretical approaches that can be used. These are the instrumental justification, the non - utilitarian justification and terroristic justification. It will then examine the three cases of political assassinations which include that of Anwar Sadat of Egypt, Yitzhak Rabin of Israel and Rajiv Gandhi of India. Each case study will analyse the questions stated above and attempt to find the answers. The thesis will then explore the political assassination regime by assessing the advantages and disadvantages of prohibition and will also raise some interesting questions about potential legal framework for the phenomenon. The thesis will then conclude my examining similarities and differences between the cases by focusing on three main factors. These are target, ideology and motives and finally aims.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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