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This paper seeks to explain the counterfactual occurrence of non-genocide under conditions of nationalism, colonialism, and war. Thus, this paper contributes to the debate on the necessary and sufficient conditions for genocidal violence. By controlling for regime type, colonialism, and the presence of nationalism, this paper argues that key junctures in state-formation and specific types of nation-building—namely through total militarization and exclusionary founding narratives—are the conditions that lead societies towards a genocidal turn. The interaction of these elements enables would-be genocidaires to overcome the problem of collective action in mass mobilization. By comparing the similar cases of Nazi Germany, Shōwa Japan, and Fascist Italy, this paper demonstrates how the presence of an exclusionary nationalist ideology in and of itself can be a necessary but insufficient condition, and there are other contingent conditions that must be met in order for elites to be able to mobilize this ideology towards collective and mass violence.