Communal violence (sometimes intercommunal violence) refers to a situation where violence is perpetrated across ethnic lines, and victims are chosen based upon ethnic group membership. The term communal violence is commonly used in South Asia, to describe those incidents where conflict between ethnic communities results in massacres.
Communal violence, as seen in South Asia, typically takes the form of mutual aggression, in which members of all involved ethnic groups both perpetrate violence and serve as its victims. Genocide is a sub-category of communal violence, in which the participating ethnic groups can be assigned mutually exclusive roles as either perpetrators or victims of violence.
- Horowitz, D.L. (2000) The Deadly Ethnic Riot. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA
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