Why Do They Kill?
The horrible images of the mass destruction and seemingly senseless and random killings in the ongoing war in Ukraine make us wonder why people commit such horrendous crimes. Who are the perpetrators and what drives them? Why do they torture, maim and kill? Our immediate and instinctive reaction is to distance ourselves from both the crimes and the perpetrators. We tend to qualify them as evil sadists or people who are mentally disturbed, but are they? Alette Smeulers will discuss these questions and explain why and under what circumstances even ordinary and otherwise law-abiding people can come to commit such horrendous crimes.
Alette Smeulers is professor at the University of Groningen and works at both the Law Faculty and University College Groningen. In her research, she focuses on international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, as well as terrorism. She takes an inter- and multidisciplinary approach. Her main expertise is on the perpetrators of these crimes and the international criminal justice system. She has published widely in the field and is currently working on a book on perpetrators.
In Let's Ask (before: Ask a Scientist) Groningen's finest researchers share their knowledge to provide context to that recurring 'thing' in the news and will answer your questions. In collaboration with Usva.