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The Genocide Convention of 1948 was passed by the United Nations on 9 December 1948 in Paris. That date is a useful divide in any account of the phenomenon of genocide in the twentieth century, not only because of its formal acceptance in international law, subject to the ratification of two-thirds of the members of the United Nations. The date also separates two periods in the history of warfare. The first period, prior to 1948, may be termed the era of imperial and national war; the second, after 1948, may be termed the era of post-imperial warfare.
In addition to the devastating impact on the individual and their families, suicides on the roads can cause distress and harm to other people who might be involved in a collision or witness an attempt. Despite an increased focus on the characteristics and circumstances of road-related suicides, little is known about why people choose to end their lives in this way.
The aim of the current study was to investigate the factors prompting and deterring the decision to attempt suicide on the roads.
We conducted a secondary analysis of survey data, as well as seven in-depth qualitative interviews. Participants had lived experience of suicidal ideation or behaviour at a bridge or road location. We also carried out an online ethnography to explore interactions in different online communities relating to this method of suicide.
Participants perceived a road-related suicide to be quick, lethal, easy and accessible and to have the potential to appear accidental. The proportion of participants who described their thoughts and attempts as impulsive appeared to be higher than had been observed with other method choices. The potential impact on other people was a strongly dissuasive factor.
Measures designed to prevent access to potentially lethal sites may be particularly important, given that many participants described their thoughts and behaviour as impulsive. In addition, fostering a culture of care and consideration for other road users may help to dissuade people from taking action on the roads.
This Element is a user's guide to the cultural history of warfare since 1914. It provides summaries of the basic questions historians have posed in what is now a truly global field of research. It is divided into three parts. The first provides an introduction to the cultural history of the state, focusing on the institutions of violence, both political and military, as well as introducing the key concept of the civilianization of war. The second part addresses civil society at war. It asks the question as to how do men and women try to make sense and attach meaning to the violence and cruelty of war. It also explores commemoration, religious life, humanitarianism, painting, cinema and the visual arts, and war literature and testimony. The third part explores the family, gender and migration in wartime, and shows how modern war continues to transform the world in which we live today.