Beyond Ethnic Cleansing: Demographic Surgery in European History [1]

Ethnic cleansing is generally recognized as a major feature of modern European history, especially of the extremely violent first half of the 20th century.[2] While this is certainly a plausible description, this is only a part of a bigger story: in this short essay, I will argue that ethnic cleansing was just one of the many possible occurrences of a phenomenon which I am going to call “demographic surgery” – which I define as the category-based removal of whole segments of a population from a given territory. As we will see, demographic surgery could also be carried out according to non-ethnic criteria, and it had some very significant consequences and implications which are often overlooked.

The historical record shows us that “nationalizing” states have not been the only ones to carry out policies of “ethnic cleansing,” that is, the forced migration and/or mass killing of large numbers of people identified on ethnic grounds.[3] Non-national states, based on a dynastic or ideological allegiance, have done the same, and the history of the Soviet Union especially in Stalin’s era is a case in point. So, the drive toward ethnic homogeneity – which is considered the basic explanation of ethnic cleansing according to most of the literature on the subject – has not been the only reason for ethnic cleansing.[4] The latter has also been motivated by state security concerns, sometimes driven by the interaction between states and internal minority groups, especially when the latter were perceived to have cross-border connections with other (rival, if not enemy) states, and/or by the suppression of resistance to imperial rule and/or foreign colonisation . Finally, the role of social conflicts, in areas with overlapping social and ethnic divides, needs to be acknowledged as an important concomitant cause of episodes of demographic surgery.

However, policy objectives comparable to the ones outlined above have also prompted policies entailing (either as an instrument or an outcome, sometimes unintended but rarely unforeseen) the massive displacement, and sometimes the killing, of populations identified on non-ethnic grounds.[5] This, perhaps, would be in itself reason enough to speak about “forced migration” rather than ethnic cleansing, just as some scholars prefer now to use the term “mass killing” instead of genocide in order to include cases in which the victims were selected on non-ethnic or non-racial grounds.[6] Thus ethnic cleansing should be seen as only one among many phenomena, of which the common denominator is the removal of populations identified according to specific markers, in order to achieve specific goals of social engineering (defined in a broad sense). I call this phenomenon demographic surgery, in order to stress its “excisionary” dimension and the removal of allegedly “harmful” segments of population from the societal body, carried out with invasive and ultimately violent means .[7] In 20th-century Europe, demographic surgery was usually the result of policies aiming at one or more of the following objectives:

  • Repression:  In this case, groups are “excised” in order to remove a perceived security threat (as in the case of Germans and Jews in Tsarist Empire during World War I, or of “diaspora nationalities” residing in Soviet borderlands under Stalin) or to suppress an actual threat, e.g. an armed insurgency (as in the case of Nazi and Soviet deportations of “bandits”, i.e. partisans, and their “accomplices” during and after World War II).
  • Dispossession: In this case, people are forced to migrate in order to seize their assets, or they leave after being dispossessed, or because they are afraid they will be expropriated.
  • Colonization:  In this case, people are forced to migrate either to make room for incoming colonists or to be themselves settled on a land which is sparsely populated or has previously been vacated of its population. Nazi deportations in occupied Poland in 1939-41 are a case in point: Poles and Jews were removed in order to make room for ethnic German refugees from Soviet-annexed lands (who were not allowed to settle where they wished, but were instead sent either to Germany or to occupied Poland by the Nazi authorities).
  • Purification:  In this case, people are forced to migrate in order to expel “alien” elements from a society, in order to “purify” it and bring it closer to an ideal of “homogeneity” (usually of ethnic or racial character).

The last case is clearly one in which is possible to speak of ethnic cleansing; this, however, should then be considered as just one subset – although a very important one – of a wider set of similar policies in the service of the above-mentioned objectives. Those objectives can also be pursued through more violent means, i.e. the mass killing of the targeted population: this, in turn, might be considered as a more radical form of “demographic surgery”, not surprisingly favoured by more radical regimes, especially totalitarian ones.[8] Violence is, however, always necessary – although to different degrees – in order to coerce the targeted population into leaving its homeland and belongings by instilling fear, forcing compliance and/or punishing those who resist; and the process of displacement, as well as its aftermath, can be a deadly one in and of itself.[9] People may also prefer to escape rather than submit to policies of repression, dispossession, colonization or purification (especially when these are pursued through mass killings). Even in this case, the resulting forced migrations should then be considered as a result of the policies in question, albeit as a sometimes unintended and/or partly unwanted consequences of them.

In some cases episodes of mass killing and/or forced migration resulted from policies aiming at more than one of the objectives mentioned above; sometimes the same groups were targeted for different reasons in different historical moments, even within a relatively short span of time. For example, the Rumi (i.e., the Greek Orthodox inhabitants of Anatolia) were affected by policies of dispossession – in order to create a Muslim “national economy” – and colonization – aimed at settling Muslim refugees in their villages – as early as 1913-14. Some were expelled, while others responded to those policies by fleeing Anatolia. Others were deported during World War I, in order to “clear” the coastal regions from allegedly “unreliable” elements and remove a potential threat to the security of the Ottoman empire. Finally, after the Greek-Turkish war of 1919-22, they were expelled en masse as part of an episode of mutual ethnic cleansing (which involved also the forced migration of a number of Muslims residing in Greece), which aimed to “cleanse” Anatolia from its last large Christian minority.[10]

Categories of victims

Demographic surgery is characterized by its being a policy aimed at whole categories of people that are singled out as “dangerous” or “harmful”; its victims are not persecuted individually, but rather en masse and often on grounds of prevention rather than retribution. Even if the measure is conceived (or justified) as a collective punishment, it is usually administered through executive rather than judicial decisions – a fact that can have significant legal and political implications. Thus the criteria used to select the categories of victims are of the utmost importance to the understanding of demographic surgery. Here it is important to stress that demographic surgery need not to be carried out along ethnic lines – although this has happened on many occasions, especially but not only in the pursuit of policies of colonization and purification. Political and social criteria have often been used to single out the victims of policies of repression and dispossession. Soviet “decossackization” policies in 1919-1920, for instance, were aimed at an entire social group which was deemed politically hostile; Cossacks were a soslovie (social estate) rather than an ethnic group, and it was mostly land ownership (and other special rights bestowed on them by the state as a reward for military service) that distinguished them from the other peasants. Later, the “dekulakization” of the early 1930s repeated the pattern of “decossackization” on a much larger scale.[11] Later Soviet deportations from territories annexed during and immediately after World War II targeted instead real or presumed political enemies (often identified, in theory at least, according to their social origin); wartime Nazi Germany did the same in most occupied territories, including those of Western Europe.[12] Those measures were not a new phenomenon, since ancient empires – the Assyrian empire is the best example here – had used similar measures against their opponents; their comparably larger scale in modern times was at same time an outcome and a sign of the politicization of the masses which had taken place since the French Revolution.[13]

Nevertheless some qualifications are needed. E thnic cleansing could result from the above-mentioned policies even when it was not the actual goal of the perpetrators – especially in the peculiar environment of the region stretching between today’s Austria and Germany to the west, Russia to the east, and Turkey to the south, which I will call for short “Middle Europe.” This area was in fact characterized by overlapping ethnic and social divides or, more precisely, by the fact that the social divides could alsobe construed as national ones (this indeed happened in many cases).[14] The struggle for social emancipation could thuseasily assume nationalistic overtones and, to use the words of a Ukrainian Bundist leader named Moshe Rafes, where “the lord [pomeš?ik] was Russian or Polish, and the banker, the industrialist and the merchant were very often Jew… ‘Enough with the lords’ could easily be translated as “enough with the Poles, the Muscovites and the Jews” [get’ ljaxov, get’ moskalej, get’ žydov].”[15]

This meant that even measures of repression or dispossession aimed at social or political groups – and thus in theory nationally “color-blind”, that is, aimed to people of a certain social standing or political belief, regardless of their ethnicity– could end up targeting one national group more than others and degenerate into ethnic cleansing, or be perceived as such by its victims, especially when mass involuntary migration was either an instrument or an outcome of such policies. In Istria and Dalmatia after the Second World War, repressions against “fascists”, “collaborators” and the “bourgeoisie” – enforced all over Yugoslavia – targeted mainly Italian-speaking people, who abandoned their homes en masse when Yugoslav state power took root and Yugoslavs began to perceive themselves as the victims of ethnic persecution.[16] Similarly in 1940-41, Soviet policies of “class cleansing” (to use Victor Zaslavsky’s term) in western Ukraine and Belarus ended up disproportionately harming Poles and Jews.[17]

Even when the main goal was the removal of a population identified on ethnic grounds with the aim of building a “homogeneous” nation-state, other factors could enter the equation. The expulsion of Germans from post-WWII Poland and Czechoslovakia, for instance, was also part of a “purge” against those who had collaborated with the occupators, conducted on a political basis.[18] Religion also played a role, at least as a key marker of “ethnic” identity.[19] For instance, Greek-speaking Muslims would be expelled from Greece into Turkish-ruled Anatolia in 1922- 23 in exchange for Turkish-speaking Orthodox Christians from the same land, who were forced outside the borders of the newly-born Turkish republic and sent to the Greek kingdom.[20] Religion was even one of the factors determining someone’s race according to the Nuremberg Laws, which stated that “A Jew is anyone who is descended from at least three grandparents who are racially full Jews” (art. V, paragraph 1), but also that “a grandparent shall be considered as full-blooded if he or she belonged to the Jewish religious community” (art. II, paragraph 2) .[21] It is in fact striking how much religious diversity has been wiped out from the European continent by (mostly secular) nationalistic regimes bent on pursuing “ethnic homogeneity”: Jews emigrating from post-World War II Eastern Europe, Muslims escaping Europe’s South-east in 1912-13 (and even before, in 1877-78), and Anatolian Christians exterminated or “exchanged” between 1912 and 1923 are cases in point.

Demographic surgery as social engineering

The above-mentioned policies of repression, dispossession, colonization and purification, of which demographic surgery was the instrument or the outcome, were usually themselves means to an end. The objectives pursued were usually the creation (or the preservation) of a state and/or the restructuring of a society; in short, state-building and social engineering.

It is not surprising that demographic surgery was an aspect of state-building, particularly after the shift “from the Vienna to the Paris system” (to use Eric Weitz’s term) that is, from an international system centred on dynastic legitimacy to one focused on popular sovereignty.[22] Again, this shift paved the way not just to ethnic cleansing, but more generally to demographic surgery which reinforced states’ foundational criteria of inclusion and exclusion; criteria which could be ethnic, racial, social, or political.

Demographic surgery could be performed with the intent of radically “restructuring” whole societies. This happened mainly under totalitarian regimes – e.g., during the collectivization of the Soviet agriculture or during the Nazi attempt to implement Generalplan Ost, that is, a radical demographic and social restructuration on racial grounds of the whole eastern Europe, alreadyduring the WW II.[23] However, demographic surgery by nationalist regimes bent on attaining “ethnic homogeneity” certainly falls under this rubric, although it was usually (but certainly not always, as evidenced by the mass murders of Ottoman Armenians and Romanian Jews) less radical. Thus, while the demographic surgery was performed by physically removing people, it was supposed to “remake” the society at large: nationalist “demographic surgeons” wanted, and often attained, not just “national states”, but also “national economies”.[24] Removing “aliens” from the economy and taking over their properties was in fact supposed to help modernize mainly agrarian societies and to create a “national bourgeoisie”, i.e. a “native” entrepreneurial class composed by those who would take the places (and often the property) of those who had been killed, deported or forced to migrate.[25]

On many occasions, however, demographic surgery was used as an “emergency” remedy – that is, in response to a crisis which seemed to threaten the very existence of the states performing the “surgery”. Thus Ittihad leaders chose to deport Armenians at a moment when they perceived that the very existence of the Ottoman empire was in danger[26] whileStalin removed “diaspora nationalities” from the borderlands fearing that they would assist invading foreign armies, at a time when war was perceived as imminent .

However , the distinction between the two above-mentioned occurrences is far from being clear-cut. Times of crisis could offer the occasion to implement pre-existing agendas of radical social engineering (e.g. by propelling to power their supporters) or radicalize more “moderate” policies already in place. On the other hand, “emergency” demographic surgery in times of crisis could have long-term outcomes, as other groups moved in to fill the void left by those who had been removed. This also implied massive upheaval: e.g., when hundreds of thousands of Germans and Jews were deported from the western borderlandsof the Tsarist empire in 1915, this indirectly increased the economic and social role played by other nationalities inhabiting the same regions, unwittingly solidifying their claims on those areas (it should be noted that these nationalities played no small part in the subsequent revolution of 1917).[27]

Some consequences and implications of demographic surgery

In sum, demographic surgery was much more than a tool used to “redraw nations” by moving peoples in order to match borders (rather than the other way round). Its consequences and implications were not limited to radically altering the ethnic map of Europe, but went much further; it is not an exaggeration to say that widespread demographic surgery conferred a truly revolutionary character upon the wars of the European 20th century. While a full discussion of this matter lies beyond the scope of this paper, I would like to mention some points which are often neglected by the existing historiography on the subject.

Firstly, while authoritarian regimes were not the only ones to perform demographic surgery, demographic surgery certainly helped undermine democracy and rule of law wherever it was practiced. Indeed, depriving entire categories of people of citizenship, property, and of the very right to reside on the territory of the state meant setting a dangerous precedent – even more so since such far-reaching measures were usually enacted through executive orders. Those orders, in turn, were in many cases the outcomes of decisions made not even by entire cabinets but rather by small, ad hoc committees, and they were enforced on the local level at least partly outside the official channels – that is, with a significant contribution of entities other than the state’s bureaucracy, military and police forces. The other branches of the government, that is the legislature and the judiciary, were overruled or reduced to rubber-stamping political decisions (if necessary by subjecting the categories targeted by demographic surgery to special legislations enacted by executive order). All of this set dangerous precedents and undoubtedly facilitated the imposition of authoritarian regimes – which then often oppressed the populations in whose name demographic surgery had been carried out, as in post-World War II Poland and Czechoslovakia.

A second point, also frequently overlooked, has to do with the political implications demographic surgery had for its perpetrators.[28] Ethnic cleansing, for instance, was not just used to “make a clean sweep” of undesirable “strangers”, but also helped to overcome “national indifference”: this happened in two ways, through fear and involvement. Fear of persecution meant that peoples with ambiguous national loyalties were forced to “choose sides” (and/or face consequences for this choice if tables were turned). On the other hand, involvement in the persecution probably served to reinforce the political commitment of perpetrators acting out of more “mundane” reasons – such as careerism, conformism, greed, sadism and so on – of which there were undoubtedly many, especially at the middle and lower levels.[29] This idea can, of course, be generalized to include cases in which demographic surgery was performed along different lines.

A third point, linked to both previous points, concerns the role of property, material considerations more generally. E xpropriations linked to policies of demographic surgery usually undermined property rights and to an increase of the public sector of the economy – since the belongings of those who were forcibly relocated were usually taken over by the state before being redistributed to others (if they ever were). This weakened the existing civil society and/or replaced the existing civil society with another heavily state-dependent society – another development which was likely to favor authoritarianism and, more generally, statism (in economic as well as political terms). Moreover, those in power could use the victims’ property as a source of patronage, and in this way build up political support for themselves and their policies. Giving out victims’ properties gave the public a very concrete stake in political projects carried out through demographic surgery, and could help win the loyalty of people who were at best indifferent to those projects (if not outright hostile to them, because of the manner in which they were enacted). On the other hand, beneficiaries of demographic surgery were thus involved in the entire process, although benefiting from it did certainly not equal being involved in its enactment. Nonetheless, this might well have had similar (although weaker) effects of reinforcing (or creating) political loyalty towards the proponents of those measures, and helped them to stay in power (whatever else was their agenda) by creating a constituency which felt dependent on them for its own material well-being. In the long term, this also constituted a formidable obstacle to the acknowledgement of wrongdoing, which was itself understood as implying the restitution of property and/or the payment of reparations. This could have (and often had) long-lasting effects on international relations as well as on the internal politics of the affected countries.


Demographic surgery, especially but certainly not only along ethnic lines, has been a key feature of modern European history because it was one of the main “tools” of the many “state-builders” at work from the early XIX century onwards.[30] As it is aptly stated by Andrea Graziosi,

Most of these states pretended to be “national,” but in reality they used the term in its European XIX century meaning, that was an ethnic one. Others, like the USSR or Yugoslavia (but not their component Republics), did not. Yet others, like Pakistan, claimed a religious basis. All, however, identified with a “people,” and tried to somehow make this true by shaping… themselves a people of their choice, along political, cultural, religious, linguistic, and social lines.[31]

This effort of “shaping peoples” included sometimes the removal of entire, undesirable categories of people and thus demographic surgery, practiced in the name of a wide range of ideologies (not just of nationalist ones) and with the objectives I have outlined in this paper. In addition to those already discussed, I should mention the attempt to use “demographic surgery” (usually along ethnic lines) in order to forcibly separate previously intermingled populations and thus “solving” otherwise irreconcilable conflicts. On those grounds the international community backed the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey in 1923, and Soviet authorities promoted the deportation of Terek Cossacks in 1920; however, similar rationales were also used to justify measures taken in order to achieve other policy objectives included in those discussed above.[32]

Demographic surgery was however not just a tool of state-building, but also one used to “remake” the economies and societies which it affected, often according to some grand utopian (or rather dystopian, given the actual result) plan. It ended up having significant consequences and implications, with some of which Europe is still grappling in various ways.


1. I wish to thank Maren Behrensen, Hiroaki Kuromiya, Niccolò Pianciola and Timothy Snyder for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper.

2. See on this Norman N. Naimark, Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe ( Cambridge, MA 2001); Michael Mann, The Dark Side of Democracy: Explaining Ethnic Cleansing (New York 2005); Benjamin David Lieberman, Terrible Fate: Ethnic Cleansing in the Making of Modern Europe (Chicago 2006) .

3. For the concept of “nationalizing states” see Rogers Brubaker, Nationalizing States in the Old ‘New Europe’ – and the New , « Ethnic and Racial Studies » vol. 19 (1996), no. 2, pp. 411-437.

4. Such is basically the view of the above-mentioned studies by Lieberman, Mann and Naimark; in a more or less conscious way, they all echo a point made for the first time by Joseph B. Schechtman in Id., European Population Transfers, 1939-1945 , (New York 1946) and Id., Postwar Population Transfers in Europe 1945-1955, (Philadelphia 1963). See on that Antonio Ferrara, Eugene Kulischer, Joseph Schechtman and the historiography of European forced migrations, forthcoming in «Journal of Contemporary History», vol. 46 (2011), n. 4.

5. The Soviet Union deported or killed a huge number of persons on social and political, rather than ethnic grounds, leading scholars like Norman Naimark to advocate for a widening of the concept of genocide in order to include those crimes: see Id., Stalin’s Genocides (Princeton 2010), pp. 4-5, 8-9, 29.

6. See Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin (New York 2010) and Benjamin A. Valentino, Final Solutions: Mass Killing and Genocide in the Twentieth Century , ( Ithaca, N.Y. 2004) . For different reasons, Christian Gerlach also prefers not to use “genocide” as a category: see Id., Extremely Violent Societies: Mass Violence in the Twentieth-Century World , (Cambridge 2010).

7. Amir Weiner has stressed the “excisionary” dimension of Soviet policies in Id., Making Sense of War: The Second World War and the Fate of the Bolshevik Revolution (Princeton 2001); here I am arguing that Soviets were far from alone in carrying out “excisionary” policies. Joseph Schechtman compared “compulsory population transfers” (that is, forced migrations) to surgery in various occasions: see Id., European Population Transfers cit., pp. 468-469.

8. Outside Europe, where Stalin’s Soviet Union and Hitler’s Germany were the most enthusiastic practicioners of demographic surgery through mass killings, cases in point are Pol Pot’s Cambodia and Mao’s China.

9. Here I am adapting an argument from Valentino, Final Solutions cit., pp. 3, 5.

10. See Fuat Dündar , L’ ingénierie ethnique du Comité Union et Progres: la turcisation de l’Anatolie (1913–1918) , PhD thesis (Paris: École des Hautes Études en  Sciences Sociale, 2006).

11. See on this Andrea Graziosi, La grande guerra contadina in URSS: bolscevichi e contadini: 1918-1933 , (Napoli 1998, ed. or. Cambridge, MA, 1996) , pag. 49-50. On the deportation of Cossacks see Shane O’Rourke, Trial Run: The Deportation of the Terek Cossacks 1920 , in Richard Bessel e Claudia B. Haake (eds.), Removing Peoples. Forced Removal in the Modern World (Oxford 2009); Peter Holquist, «Conduct Merciless, Mass Terror»: Dekossackization on the Don, 1919, « Cahiers du monde russe», vol. 28 (1997), n. 1-2, pp. 127-162.

12. See e.g. Mark Mazower, Hitler’s Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe (New York 2008).

13. Here a useful comparison can perhaps be made between the Tsarist deportations of (mostly aristocrat) Poles after the uprisings of the XIX century and the much more massive ones carried out by the Soviet Union in 1940-41.

14. See on this Ludwig Mises, Nation, State, and Economy Contributions to the Politics and History of Our Time (Indianapolis 2006 but originally Wien 1919); Lewis B. Namier, Conflicts. Studies in contemporary history ( London 1942); Id. , Vanished Supremacies. Essays in European History 1812-1918 ( London 1957).

15. M. G. Rafes, Dva goda revoljucii na Ukraine, (Moskva 1920), p. 7, quoted in Graziosi, La grande guerra cit.

16. See Raoul Pupo, Il lungo esodo: Istria, le persecuzioni, le foibe, l’esilio (Milano 2005).

17. S ee Id., Class Cleansing: The Katyn Massacre , (New York 2008, Italian or. ed. 2006).

18. See e.g. Benjamin Frommer, National Cleansing: Retribution against Nazi Collaborators in Postwar Czechoslovakia (Cambridge 2005) .

19. In Soviet Union there were also cases of small deportations of religious groups deemed “politically unreliable”, while often the clergy was persecuted as such – i.e. as an autonomous “enemy” category.

20. See Renée Hirschon, Crossing the Aegean: An Appraisal of the 1923 Compulsory Population Exchange between Greece and Turkey (New York 2003); Stephen P. Ladas, The Exchange of Minorities. Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey ( New York 1932).

21. Quotations from Jeremy Noakes and Geoffrey Pridham (eds.), Nazism, 1919-1945: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts , ( New York 1990), vol. I pp. 538-539.

22. See Eric D. Weitz, From the Vienna to the Paris System: International Politics and the Entangled Histories of Human Rights, Forced Deportations, and Civilizing Missions, « American Historical Review», vol. 113 (2008), n. 5, pp. 1313-1343.

23. On Generalplan Ost see now Mazower, Hitler’s Empire cit., pp. 199-211; see also Enzo Collotti, L’Europa nazista: il progetto di un nuovo ordine europeo (1939-1945) , (Firenze 2002), chap. II and Christian Ingrao, Croire et de?truire: les intellectuels dans la machine de guerre SS , (Paris 2010), pp. 227-238.

24. See e.g. Martin Dean, Robbing the Jews: The Confiscation of Jewish Property in the Holocaust, 1933-1945 . (Cambridge 2008).

25. See Raymond H. Kévorkian, Le génocide des Arméniens, ( Paris 2006) ; Vladimir Solonari, Purifying the Nation: Population Exchange and Ethnic Cleansing in Nazi-Allied Romania ( Washington, D.C. 2009).

26. See Donald Bloxham, The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians . (Oxford 2005). Ittihad is a shorthand for the “Committee of Union and Progress” which ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1913 to 1918 as a (albeit rudimentary) one-party regime.

27. See Eric Lohr, Nationalizing the Russian Empire: The Campaign against Enemy Aliens During World War I ( Cambridge, Mass. 2003), pp . 164-165, 172.

28. I wish to thank Niccolò Pianciola for pointing this out to me. On the “nationalizing” effects of policies of demographic surgery on both victims and perpetrators see, e.g., Timothy Snyder, The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 . (New Haven 2003) , chaps. 8-10.

29. A starting point for the analysis of perpetrators’ motivations can be Mann, Dark Side cit., pp. 26-30. On the concept of “national indifference” see Tara Zahra, Imagined Noncommunities: National Indifference As a Category of Analysis in « Slavic Review », vol. 69 (2010), no. 1, pp. 93-119.

30. With the crumbling of European colonial empires, the proliferation of states has spread to other continents, and it is not by chance that episodes of demographic surgery have also marked the recent history of Africa and Asia. See on this Ian Talbot, The End of European Empires and Forced Migration: Some Comparative Case Studies in in Panikos Panayi and Pippa Virdee (eds.), Refugees and the End of Empire: Imperial Collapse and Forced Migration in the 20th Century , ( Basingstoke, 2011).

31. I am quoting from Andrea Graziosi, Stalin’s Genocides, and… , forthcoming in the Journal of Cold War Studies. I wish to thank the author for letting me read the unpublished manuscript of this essay.

32. On Soviet authorities’, and especially Stalin’s, motives for deporting Terek Cossacks in 1920 see now also Andrea Graziosi, Stalin’s Foreign and Domestic Policies: Dealing with the National Question in an Imperial Context, 1901-1926, forthcoming in the published proceedings of the conference Istoriia Stalinizma: itogi i problemy izucheniia (held in Moscow between 5 and 7 December 2008). I wish to thank the author for letting me read an unpublished, but extended and revised, version of this essay.

IWM Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conferences, Vol. XXIX
© 2011 by the authors
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Preferred citation: Ferrara, Antonio. 2011. Beyond Ethnic Cleansing: Demographic Surgery in European History. In: Modernities Revisited, ed. M. Behrensen, L. Lee and A. S. Tekelioglu, Vienna: IWM Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conferences, Vol. 29.