Kelman, Herbert Chanoch. 2009. "The policy context of international crimes." In System criminality in international law, ed. A. Nollkaemper and H. van der Wilt, 26–41. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Genocide, mass killing, torture, ethnic cleansing, and other gross violations of human rights are defined as war crimes or crimes against humanity under international law. To develop an adequate explanation of such actions, which is the task of social psychology, and an adequate legal response to them, which is the task of international law, requires going beyond the characteristics of individual perpetrators or even of the situations in which these practices take place. It requires close examination of the political system and of the policy process in which these actions are embedded and that provide the larger context for them.