Democide is a concept proposed by U.S. political scientist Rudolph Rummel to describe "the intentional killing of an unarmed or disarmed person by government agents acting in their authoritative capacity and pursuant to government policy or high command." According to Rummel, this definition covers a wide range of deaths, including forced labor and concentration camp victims; killings by unofficial private groups; extrajudicial summary killings; and mass deaths due to governmental acts of criminal omission and neglect such as in deliberate famines as well as killings by de facto governments, i.e. civil war killings. This definition covers any murder of any number of persons by any government.
Rummel created the term democide as an extended concept to include forms of government murder not covered by the term genocide. According to Rummel, democide surpassed war as the leading cause of non-natural death in the 20th century.