This chapter focuses on the role of the East Asian state in the decline of mass atrocities. It suggests that the decline of mass atrocities in East Asia was driven by two, sequential, processes. First, the consolidation of states’ authority across their territory and the management or resolution of disputes about the state’s boundaries and its identity. The process of consolidation was itself often extremely violent, as different groups struggled for control of the state, disputed its boundaries and form, and tried to impose their vision of the good on the rest of the community. The second process, which began in the late 1980s, was the emergence of a new social contract between states and their citizens evident in rising expectations that, in return for loyalty, states ought to protect their citizens from mass atrocities and refrain from committing these crimes.
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