Your Basket is currently empty

Your Bookshelf is empty!

Your Basket is currently empty


Collective Trauma and the Armenian Genocide

Armenian, Turkish, and Azerbaijani Relations since 1839

By: Pamela Steiner
Media of Collective Trauma and the Armenian Genocide
See larger image
Published: 25-02-2021
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 368
ISBN: 9781509934836
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Human Rights Law in Perspective
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £90.00
Online price : £81.00
Save £9.00 (10%)

: 14 -21 days

This book is also available in other formats: View formats

Delivery & Returns

Tell others about this product

Loren Epson

About Collective Trauma and the Armenian Genocide

In this pathbreaking study, Pamela Steiner deconstructs the psychological obstacles that have prevented peaceful settlements to longstanding issues.

The book re-examines more than 100 years of destructive ethno-religious relations among Armenians, Turks, and Azerbaijanis through the novel lens of collective trauma.

The author argues that a focus on embedded, transgenerational collective trauma is essential to achieving more trusting, productive, and stable relationships in this and similar contexts. The book takes a deep dive into history - analysing the traumatic events, examining and positing how they motivated the actions of key players (both victims and perpetrators), and revealing how profoundly these traumas continue to manifest today among the three peoples, stymying healing and inhibiting achievement of a basis for positive change.

The author then proposes a bold new approach to “conflict resolution” as a complement to other perspectives, such as power-based analyses and international human rights. Addressing the psychological core of the conflict, the author argues that a focus on embedded collective trauma is essential in this and similar arenas.

Table Of Contents

1. Introduction to Trauma, a Capacious Social Concept
2. Impaired Meaning Making, Trauma's Meta-Effect
3. Some Distinctive Aspects of Collective Trauma
4. The Tangled Roots of Homeland and Identity
5. The Riddle of Ottomanism
6. The Unlikely Alliance against the Sultan
7. The Final Path to Imperial Ruin
8. Five Men's Traumatisation before they Acquired Power
9. The Armenian Genocide
10. Enemies or Allies? Armenian–Azerbaijani Relations, 1850–1915
11. A Kaleidoscope of Armenian–Muslim Relations in the Intense Dynamics of Transcaucasia and Baku in 1917
12. Bolshevik Decrees and Anarchy in the Borderlands, Late 1917–Early 1918
13. How World War I Ended in Transcaucasia: Betrayal, New Republics, Race Murder
14. Baku, 1917–1918: More Conflict, its Seeds Planted for Transmission
15. World War I's End in Eastern Transcaucasia: War Fever Sparks the Turan Quest and Race Murder
16. How People Make Meaning in General, and Illustrated by an Armenian and a Turk
17. Meaning Making with Trauma and Relative Powerlessness in the Armenian People as a Whole
18. Meaning Making with Trauma and Relative Power among Turks
Conclusion: Processing Collective Trauma Collectively: Will We?


“The author's statement that 'I decided to write this book when I believed I had a fresh and useful perspective to share,' perfectly encapsulates the importance and value of the book you are holding in your hands. Steiner examines, perhaps for the first time, the role collective trauma played among three peoples – Armenians, Azerbaijanis and Turks – and in their mutual relations. She shows how this collective trauma and those that followed are not only the product of their yet unresolved conflicts, but also serve as major stumbling blocks for a better future in the region. For them, the Armenian genocide is like an inescapable psychic maze of trauma, one in which they are trapped and unable to see beyond. If there is indeed a way out of this labyrinth, Steiner's work will serve as a torch, lighting the way.” –  Taner Akcam, Professor of History, Clark University

“Pam Steiner has written a pathbreaking study of collective trauma, providing a compelling analysis of a concept that scholars and practitioners often invoke but until now have not fully understood. By using extensive data from the Armenia-Turkey-Azerbaijan case, Dr Steiner demonstrates how crucial it is for effective policy prescription to be based on conflict analysis with deep historical and psychological elements. This book will revolutionize how conflict analysis is done, as it gives both urgency and guidance for why and how a 'walk through history' must be conducted.” –  Eileen Babbitt, Professor of Practice of International Conflict Management, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

“Collective trauma displays a compounding character that multiplies the impacts of its many dimensions and confounds the work of post-conflict healing. Pamela Steiner guides her readers through a trauma-informed understanding of what she calls the 'frozen ethno-national conflicts' that haunt modern Armenian, Turkish, and Azerbaijani relations. As the Great Granddaughter of Henry Morgenthau and an experienced facilitator of conflict resolution, Steiner adds personal and professional linkages to the case studies she addresses and the insights she offers regarding the complicating power that collective trauma adds to this complex history and situation.” –  Henry F Knight, Former Director of the Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Keene State College

“Pam Steiner offers a fresh and enlightening perspective on otherwise well-known events and conflicts. Collective Trauma and the Armenian Genocide constitutes an important contribution to the understanding of conflicts and the difficulties in resolving them. Steiner has painstakingly researched a wide array of sources and professionally analyzed the role of collective trauma in the apparent intractability of two conflicts, Turkish/Armenian and Armenian/Azeri. Rather than attempting to seek a reconciliation of two seemingly irreconcilable positions in each by trying to find a middle point, Steiner has used the concept of collective trauma to humanize and integrate the problems of both sides. She has done so by manifesting much empathy and genuine concern for the human experience of everyone concerned. Steiner has also provided a most useful list of steps that can be taken to overcome the impact of the traumas that have compromised the judgment of the traumatized groups.” –  Gerard Libaridian, Former Alex Manoogian Chair in Modern Armenian History, University of Michigan

“A powerful and deeply moving contribution to the field of conflict resolution. Using her unique collective trauma lens, Steiner, while probing deeply into the traumatic underbelly of the tormented relationship between Armenia and Turkey, provides a powerful framework for understanding and diagnosing the nature of all intractable conflict. In a world becoming increasingly polarized, this compelling book offers a much-needed vision for how human beings might begin to heal the deep, historic wounds that keep so many communities divided and imprisoned.” –  Hugh O'Doherty, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

“A deep, insightful exploration of the psychological dimensions of one of the pivotal events in the history of the 20th-century and its relevance to us today.” –  Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University

“In this unique, groundbreakingly multidisciplinary, and exceptionally valuable book, Dr Pamela Steiner provides a lucid history of the long, complex, murderously intractable antagonism between Armenians and Turks and Azerbaijanis. More ambitiously, she also integrates recent international research on individual psychology, collective trauma, reconciliation and peace building as foundations for a comprehensive understanding of the underlying dynamics of other intergenerational cycles of atrocity, trauma, humiliation, denial and revenge, which remain so depressingly prominent in global politics. And all of this is combined with vivid, often sobering, illustrations from her own professional experience as a psychologist and psychotherapist with regional peace activists.” –  Paul Schulte, Senior Visiting Fellow, Centre for Defence Studies, King's College London

“A close Arab Israeli friend once told me: 'the Middle East has always devoured its children'. In this thoroughly researched and deeply engaging book, Collective Trauma and the Armenian Genocide, Pam Steiner, an experienced psychotherapist and peace negotiator, illustrates the truth of this statement in her history of Armenian-Turkish-Azerbaijani relationships over the past 180 years. Tragically, it shows how not only individuals, but whole ethnic groups derive a deep sense of collective meaning from past injury, and that a quest for justice (or revenge) can sustain, and even nurture, national identities from generation to generation. This book can make a significant contribution to any discussion about how collective historical trauma can be laid to rest, so that communities can re-focus their energies on building a better future for themselves and their children.” –  Bessel van der Kolk, Founder and Chair, Trauma Research Foundation

“[T]his book will be valuable reading even for people not deeply interested in Turkey. It is a great account of the grandeur of the collapse of empire, the frenzied machinations to hold on to power and assets, the pernicious interplay between aspirations in peace and aggression in war, and the persistence of the trauma narrative.” –  Jennifer Leaning, Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University (from the foreword)

Bookmark and Share