This study is an investigation into the onset of genocide and politicide, crimes that have been responsible for the deaths of millions of civilians, and have affected the lives of countless people and communities (Rummel, 1994; Harff, 2003). This thesis is an inquiry into the genocide literature from a comparative and multidisciplinary perspective, and central is my research question; where is the beginning to genocide and politicide?In an attempt to answer my query, I have created a thematic overview of common issues essential to the genocide field. A challenge of a comparative study of genocidal crimes is however the diversity associated with genocides and politicides, since similar crimes have been committed in different continents, by different types of regimes and perpetrated on different types of victims. Equally, each case seems to hold unique attributes such as a state’s history and leaders. Despite the differences however, comparative scholars seem to suggest that there are some structural and societal commonalities between many of the cases (Fein, 1993b; Harff, 2003; Rummel, 2005).Central to this thesis is similarly the interdisciplinary perceptive. The assumption is that whilst each discipline is believed to introduce important and exclusive attributes to the study of genocide, some of the elements identified by, for instance, political scientists might similarly cohere with some of the factors introduced by social psychologists or criminologists. Accordingly, the first part of this thesis is a discussion of the structural and the succeeding social risk factors common to genocide and politicide. Many of the attributes identified seem to be similarly prevalent in other countries that do not engage in genocidal crimes. In genocide however, a decision has been made to eliminate in whole or in part a group in society. The following chapter is an inquiry into the various motives held on state and individual level, and common societal mechanisms that can potentially influence genocidal participation and instigate genocide or politicide. Whilst the state is often ascribed the main responsibility for genocidal crimes, the perpetrator group often consists of a variety of agents and agencies. The third part is an enquiry into what lies behind the state label and the subsequent structure of the perpetrator group. The final chapter is an investigation into common mechanisms that might influence a group and the individual, to perpetrate genocide and to become a mass killer.This thesis, in accordance with similar studies, seems to reflect the complexity associated with genocide and politicide, and the necessity of an interdisciplinary approach, that equally includes a criminological perspective.