This article reports a test of a structural model of the antecedents of genocide and politicide (political mass murder). A case–control research design is used to test alternative specifications of a multivariate model that identifies preconditions of geno-/politicide. The universe of analysis consists of 126 instances of internal war and regime collapse that began between 1955 and 1997, as identified by the State Failure project. Geno-/politicides began during 35 of these episodes of state failure. The analytic question is which factors distinguish the 35 episodes that led to geno-/politicides from those that did not. The case–control method is used to estimate the effects of theoretically specified domestic and international risk factors measured one year prior to the onset of geno-/politicide. The optimal model includes six factors that jointly make it possible to distinguish with 74% accuracy between internal wars and regime collapses that do and those that do not lead to geno-/politicide. The conclusion uses the model to assess the risks of future episodes in 25 countries.
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