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Examples of State Crimes 2020-2023

Three examples of state crimes since 2020 include Russia targeting civilians during the Ukraine invasion, China’s genocide against the Uyghur’s and the Taliban’s denial of women’s rights.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2023 by Karl Thompson

This post provides several examples of Contemporary State Crimes and links to sources of information students can use to explore State Crimes further.

Before reading this post, you might like to read these two posts:

  • What is State Crime ?
  • Sociological Perspectives on State Crime

Studying State Crime is an explicit requirement for students studying A-level Sociology, as part of the compulsory Crime and Deviance Module .

Below I have highlighted five countries who are responsible for some of the worst state crimes in recent years….

I’ve tried to select examples of mainly developed countries committing state crimes, to demonstrate that it’s not all impoverished, war torn countries or ‘rogue states’ who are state-criminal actors.

It is, however, important to realise that I have been selective (so there is some selection bias here and these examples will lack representativeness) but I think it has to be this way to make this topic manageable. I have included links below where you can search for further examples of State Crimes.

NB – this post is a work in progress!

Countries Committing State Crimes in 2020-2023

Three prominent examples of governments committing crimes against humanity since 2020 include:

  • Russia – the invasion of Ukraine
  • China – the cultural genocide against the Uyghers.
  • The Taliban’s increasing oppression of women.

Russia’s Crimes Against Humanity

Historically, there’s only one real contender for the the worst state criminal in all of all of human history – the USA.

The International Criminal Court is currently investigating Russia for potential crimes against humanity committed during its invasion of Ukraine . Russia is under investigation for the following crimes:

  • deliberate targeting of civilian areas and the systematic mass killing civilians.
  • Torture and rape of civilians in Ukraine and Ukrainian prisoners held in Russian territory.
  • Forced deportation of over two million Ukrainian adults and children to Russia since the start of the invasion.

China’s Genocide Against the Uyghurs

The Human Right’s Watch Report 2021 report summarises a nearly 10 year history of human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims by the Chinese State. The Uyghurs live in Xinjiang province in the far North East of China, a relatively remote and underdeveloped region of China.

map showing the Xinjiang region of China

In 2014 the Chinese government commenced a “Strike Hard Campaign against Violent Terrorism” in the Xinjiang region has since involved pressuring Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims to abandon Islam and their culture.

Two examples of Chinese state crimes include:

  • Since 2014 over one million ethnic minorities have been forcibly detained and subject to ‘re-education’ sometimes involved torture.
  • The populations of the region are also subject to mass surveillance and there are reports of women having been forcibly sterilised.

These actions by the Chinese state are possibly characterised as a cultural genocide and are ongoing today.

The Chinese State has a history of violating human rights. For example the crushing of Hong Kong’s freedoms, ongoing repression in Tibet and Inner Mongolia, and the crackdown on independent voices throughout the country more generally.

The Taliban in Afghanistan

According to Human Rights Watch since the Taliban regained power in Afghanistan they have:

  • forced women to wear headscalves in public
  • Banned girls from secondary education
  • Banned women from working and public office.
  • Imposed mass censorchip on the media, undermining freedom of speach
  • Murdered or disappeared numerous political opponents.

The United States and Israel as State Criminals

Despite the United States outing Russia as a perpetrator of State Crime in Ukraine, according to Noam Chomsky, the United States, along with Israel, are the two worst terrorist organisations/ rogue states of modern times, even if in the last couple of years their crimes against humanity may have been out of the spotlight!

The Crimes of the United States of America

Below is a useful summary video which takes a trip through some of the War Crimes committed by the United States of America since the end of World War Two.

The State of Israel

Israel has been committing crimes against Palestinians in the occupied territories for several decades now – there are presently almost 7 million Palestinian victims of Israeli apartheid policies which forbids Palestinians from having equal access to regions across Israel. This 2021 report from Human Rights watch explores this. A more accessible report might be this one from Amnesty international .

Some of the crimes the state of Israel commits against Palestinian civilians include:

  • Unlawful killing
  • Prevention of freedom of movement
  • Forced displacement
  • Discrimination

Syria and Turkey

War Crimes are still being committed by Syria and Turkey in Syria – including the arbitrary killing of civilians, forced detention, which can lead to the death penalty, looting of property and displacement of peoples – there are now 6 million refugees from the region.

Interestingly the report also labels neighbouring countries as committing crimes by blocking access to these refugees!

War Crimes in War Torn Countries (Special Note)

NB – you will find plenty of examples of many state crimes in war torn countries such as Yemen for example, but it seemed a little bit too easy to focus on those, I’m trying to be critical here!

Three organisations which monitor state crimes:

  • Amnesty International has a useful hub page here which will allow you to explore contemporary case studies of States involved in various crimes – such as disappearances, political violence, torture and states denying citizens freedom of expression.
  • Human Rights Watch – monitors all sorts of State crimes – they cover some of the same ground as Amnesty but also focus more extensively on issues such as women’s’ rights, and reproductive rights and lots more. Their reports page is well worth a browse!
  • Transparency International – monitors global political corruption – they’ve developed an index based on surveys which asks people questions such as ‘have you paid a bribe to access a public service in the last year’ – they rank countries according to how corrupt they are and do research into corruption in several countries. You can access the latest world corruption report here .
  • You might also be interested in this rare academic source – The State Crime Journal .

Sources and Signposting

This material is mainly relevant to the Crime and Deviance module.

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ISCI is a cross-disciplinary research centre working to further our understanding of state crime: organisational deviance violating human rights

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Stolen asset recovery, theory and methodology, state-corporate crime, organised police crime and deviance, transitional justice, immigration and asylum, state-organised crime, resistance and civil society, natural disasters exacerbated by government (in)action, genocide and extermination, state terror and terrorism, browse by projects, [2016/17 seminar series], collaborative workshop series on citizen journalism, [2015/16 seminar series], esrc civil society project, proyecto esrcp (en español), 2014/15 esrc rohingya project, browse by places, united states of america, burma/myanmar, united kingdom, israel and palestine, sierra leone, papua new guinea, ivory coast, democratic republic of the congo.

  • State Crime Research
  • Interactive Case-Studies

The State Crime Testimony Project (SCTP ) aims to enrich understandings of elite deviance through the provision of data and materials that is often marginalised, hidden or destroyed by those in power.

During the course of the 20 th  century newly emerging, and well established, states killed and plundered on a grand scale. However, these acts of barbarity have not met silence. Indeed, diverse communities of resistance around the world have, and continue to, censure domestic and foreign governments for trammelling fundamental human rights norms.

Although criminology has traditionally ignored the complex dialectic between state crime and resistance, this trend is now in remission owing to successive generations of state crime research.  On this website, state crime scholars – with particular regional expertise – present case studies on their research, in language that is free of disciplinary jargon. Each case study gives users access to a rich a range of annotated primary materials and multi-media resources that palpably brings the particular state crime event into focus.

The SCTP is administered by the  International State Crime Initiative  (ISCI). ISCI is a multi-disciplinary, cross-institutional and international initiative designed to gather, collate, analyse and disseminate research based knowledge about criminal state practices, and resistance to these practices.

The SCTP has received generous support from the  King’s College London  Teaching Fund and the  Pluto Education Trust .

The State Crime Testimony Project can be accessed  here .  Below are a list of selected case-studies and educational teaching materials:

Draw and Tell: Street Children In Apartheid South Africa

The Demolition of Paga Hill: Testimony Project

Torture At The Río Blanco Mine – A State-Corporate Crime? – Testimony Project

State Terror and The Bougainville Conflict: Testimony Project

Toxic Waste Dumping In Abidjan: Testimony Project

Hate Propaganda: Words as Knives

Learning materials to aid the project’s use in class are provided below.

Teaching materials

The following exercises are designed so the SCTP case studies can be employed as tools for promoting critical inquiry and engagement during seminars.

ISCI welcomes feedback and suggestions from teachers and students. SCTP’s editor, Dr Kristian Lasslett , can be contacted via email: [email protected]

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State Crimes

While crime is committed by individuals and groups of people, nation states also engage in criminal activity. Clearly a nation as an entity cannot commit a crime but a government within that nation can, frequently without the knowledge and support of the people of that nation. While such governments are in power and engaging in criminal offences, there are only two ways to remove them and bring them to justice. The first would be an uprising by the people within that nation and the other would be action by international forces frequently via the United Nations – to give such action legality. International pressure usually starts with a diplomatic warning to stop what you are doing. If this fails the next stage up would be an embargo of trade etc. with the offending nation. If this fails, then the UN does have recourse to military action. When the UN is not involved, organisations such as NATO might take the decision to engage in military action.

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A classic case would be Libya in 2011. It is now clear that the Gaddafi regime was engaged in criminal activities against the people of Libya for decades. The recently discovered mass grave (September 2011) of about 1500 men by a former prison used by the Gaddafi regime is one example of how opponents of the regime were dealt with. Over the decades Gaddafi was in power, thousands of deemed opponents disappeared and no one can account for their whereabouts. This may be resolved once DNA testing has been done on the numerous graves that have been found and the records of the secret state police have been trawled through. Rebellion against the regime started in Benghazi and quickly spread to such an extent that the government was forced out of Tripoli and a National Transitional Council (NTC) established. The then rebels were supported both politically and militarily by external agencies. The UN recognised the NTC as the legitimate government of Libya while navies and various air forces bombed selected strategic targets of the regime in support of the rebels but crucially with international support to give what they were doing legitimacy.

In recent years there have been high profile trials against men deemed to have committed crimes against their people and who, once their government has fallen, have been arrested and tried at the international court based in The Hague. One such man was Slobodan Milosevic. He went from being the most powerful man in the former Yugoslavia with all the trappings that went with that to being put on trial for crimes against the Muslim community in that region. While few doubted his guilt, there was a huge desire to see him go through a legal process that Milosevic denied to thousands of others. He died during his trial.

Others deemed to have offended their own people have been overthrown using international force but have been tried by their own people. The most recent high profile case was Sudden Hussein. After his downfall and subsequent arrest, he was tried by an Iraqi court, sentenced to death and hanged – a punishment not meted out by the International Court at The Hague.

Over the years former high profile government ministers in Rwanda had been tried and imprisoned for their part in the genocide that took place there.

While it is easy to point the finger of blame at certain nations – usually classed as second world or third world nations – nations deemed to be ‘first world’ nations are not so keen to be labelled as ones that commit state crimes. They are usually the ones to give military support to a nation in turmoil and thus come out as the ‘good guys’ after a regime is toppled. France and the UK were the primary providers of air support for the Libyan rebels in 2011 and are credited with doing extreme damage to the war machine of Gaddafi effectively crippling it and making the task of the rebels easier. Many suspect and believe that the rebels – frequently portrayed by the media as being highly enthusiastic for their cause but chaotically organised – were given support at ground level by Special Forces operatives. Few have mourned the defeat of the Gaddafi regime and the joy of the people of Libya at the start of a new era is obvious to all. When the UK’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, and the French President, Nicolas Sakozy, visited Libya in September 2011 they were enthusiastically greeted by the Libyans who saw them as being the main helpers in their liberation.

The use of torture to gain information is internationally banned by the United Nations Convention Against Torture. The convention also explicitly forbids the use of such ‘evidence’ in legal proceedings. In December 2005, in a case Liberty intervened in, the House of Lords confirmed that the use of evidence derived from torture was unlawful, regardless of who carried out the torture. It held that the ban on torture and other forms of ill-treatment is absolute and cannot be opted out of. The use of ‘evidence’ that might have been obtained in violation of that ban is therefore unlawful.

The defeat of the Gaddafi regime also exposed a dark secret that certain agencies within the UK would have liked to have remained secret. Torture of arrested suspects within the UK is illegal. But documents retrieved from the headquarters of the ransacked Libyan state security police clearly show that very recently suspected terrorists arrested by UK forces in Afghanistan, for example, were sent by British agencies to Libya to be questioned about their activities. Many believe that these suspects were tortured to gain information and that this information was passed onto British security agencies. The process is known as extraordinary rendition and has been outlawed by the UK government. The former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw who held the position at the time this was apparently happening has told The House of Commons in a very public statement that he had no knowledge that this was going on. Effectively, Straw said that it was going on behind his back. There are two issues here. Do we need information to guard us against possible terrorist attacks? The answer is clearly ‘yes’. Is it acceptable to use any means possible to get such information that could protect many innocent people? This is the more difficult of the two questions. If someone believes that the answer is also ‘yes’ then that is an admission by that person that in this case torture – outlawed in the UK – is an acceptable way to gain said information. The UK was found guilty of using torture against IRA suspects in Northern Ireland during the troubles when ‘white light’ was used.

France – also celebrated in Libya as a nation that supported the rebels – was also complicit when a Greenpeace boat – the ‘Rainbow Warrior’ – was sunk by French agents from their foreign intelligence services (the DGSE) in New Zealand killing one of the men on board, a photographer called Fernando Pereira. Again, the French government denied all knowledge that anything like this was planned but the episode did lead the resignation of the French Defence Minister Charles Hernu. This led to the next question – what else do these agencies of the government do without the knowledge of their governments? Which countries have such secret agencies that operate in such a cavalier manner outside of government control?

Is a nation that commits crimes against its people but is outside of the ‘first nation club’ more culpable that a nation in the ‘first nation club’ that also commits crimes? Is it simply a case of numbers? One dead crew member on the ‘Rainbow Warrior’ compared to nearly 1 million dead in the Rwanda genocide? Is upholding the law more important than acquiring information that could save many lives?

Courtesy of Lee Bryant, Director of Sixth Form, Anglo-European School, Ingatestone, Essex

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state crime case study criminology

When we think of criminals, we often think of singular members of society. However, it's not only individuals that are capable of committing crimes. Sometimes the state is responsible for committing crimes. For obvious reasons, it can often be much more complicated to identify and prosecute offenders of state crimes .

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Let's explore the idea of state crimes in the following article.

  • We will be looking at the definition, types, examples, offenders, and victims of state crimes.
  • We will also look at the relationship between state crime and international human rights, as well as the role of bodies such as the International Criminal Court (ICC).
  • We will evaluate the various complexities associated with holding states accountable for their crimes.

State crimes in sociology

State crimes are a key topic in the topic of Crime and Deviance in sociology; it is a distinct type of crime that is studied by sociologists. Let's consider the definition of state crimes.

Definition of state crime in criminology and sociology

Green and Ward (2005) 1 defined state crimes as:

illegal or deviant activities perpetrated by the state, or with the complicity of state agencies."

Simply put:

State crimes refer to any crime committed by, or on behalf of nation-states to achieve their individual policies.

The difference between individual and state crimes

While criminal law usually concerns itself with crimes on behalf of an individual (natural or legal), state crime is more concerned with crimes on behalf of organisations . It is interesting to note that while governments of states may break their own laws, state crime usually focuses more on states breaking international law.

Types of state crime in sociology

According to Eugene McLaughlin (2001), there are four types of state crime. These are the following:

Crimes committed by police and security

Political crimes

Economic crimes, social and cultural crimes, core international crimes, examples of state crimes in sociology.

We will go through each category of state crime below and provide examples.

Crimes by security and police forces

Crimes by security and police forces include genocide, torture, and war crimes. Although these types of crimes may have similarities and overlaps, it is important to note the differences between them.

Genocide is the deliberate killing of a group of people belonging to a nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying the nation or ethnicity.

Torture is the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental.

A war crime refers to a deliberate violation of laws of war by those in the field, such as killing innocent civilians or sexually abusing women during the invasion of another country.

Political crimes include corruption and censorship. Corruption is the dishonest or fraudulent conduct by someone in power, for example, a political figure electing themselves into power without democratic means (no election, or rigged election).

Censorship is the deliberate suppression of any form of information. For example, the removal of a film scene by labelling it as too political, when it is merely portraying the reality of the political situation of a country.

Another form of political state crime is assassination , which refers to the premeditated act of killing someone, suddenly and secretly. State-sponsored assassination or 'targeted killing' of terrorists has increasingly become a debated topic.

Bribery is an important example of a state economic crime.

Bribery refers to giving something of value to influence the actions of someone in charge of public or legal duty. It is a sad truth that public officials in many countries accept bribes from major corporations. In return, they either enable legislation that supports such organisations, or conveniently overlook their mistakes.

Social and cultural crimes include discrimination and institutional racism.

Discrimination is the unjust treatment of different categories of people based on their characteristics, such as age, sex, ethnicity, nationality, or religious beliefs. This may happen, for example, when government legislations disadvantage certain groups in society more than others.

Institutional racism is a form of discrimination that has been going on for so long that it has now become embedded in the laws, structure, and functioning of a society or organisation. The 'Black Lives Matter' movement is based on fighting against such institutional racism in the USA.

We will also consider a specific category of state crime, called core international crimes .

Core international crimes are crimes that are considered so gross that they threaten the peace, security, and well-being of humanity as a whole. The crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes are collectively recognised as the core international crimes.

Under international law, the primary responsibility to investigate and prosecute these crimes falls on states. It is thus ironic that sometimes, it is the state itself that is the perpetrator.

Since states have control over large territories and a massive population, the extent of state crime in terms of numbers can be staggering.

The Cambodian genocide in the 1970s wiped out about 25 percent of the population, an estimated 2 million people. Similarly, during the Rwandan genocide in the 1990s, members of the Hutu majority group slaughtered approximately 500,000 - 1,000,000 of the minority Tutsi group, about 20 percent of Rwanda’s total population.

State Crime, Soldiers running with guns on the sand, StudySmarter

Offenders of state crimes

So, who are the offenders of state crimes? Whenever any individual associated with the government harms the rights of someone to pursue the interests or policies of the state, it can be said to be a state crime.

However, it may not always be obvious who the offenders of state crimes are. How wide is the scope of what counts as 'the state'?

Jeffrey Ian Ross (2000) defined a state as "the elected and appointed officials, the bureaucracy, and the institutions, bodies, and organisations comprising the apparatus of the government".

If we analyse this definition, the state is essentially the government and everything it runs - including politicians or civil servants. Imagine a ship sailing in the ocean - it changes crew from time to time. Similarly, if the state is the ship, the governments that run it are the crew on the ship.

Further, the definition can be stretched to include public sector workers such as the police, doctors, teachers, and members of the armed forces - all of whom can be considered an extension of the state and whose acts contribute to state crime.

Note here that there are two important aspects for an act to be a state crime - the act must be done by someone who is an agent of the state, and the act must be done in furtherance of a state policy or interest.

Please note that just because an individual works for the state, that does not mean whatever wrong he commits is a state crime. For example, a civil servant can be involved in corruption for his own personal benefit. This is clearly not an example of a state crime.

Difficulty in defining the 'typical' victims of state crime

Due to the vast scope of state crimes, the study of victims and victimology in state crimes is extensive, and there are several definitions of what constitutes a victim.

Kauzlarich, Matthews and Miller (2001) 2 state that scholars have identified several groups of people as victims of state crime. These include:

civilians and war soldiers

groups targeted for genocide

individuals suffering from sexism, racism and classism

countries that are oppressed by other powerful countries

criminal suspects

the environment

Let's now consider a working definition of the victims of state crimes.

The victims of state crime: definition

Following from the above, who the victims of state crimes are largely depends on the nature of the state crime itself.

David Kauzlarich (1995) defined state crime victims as "individuals or groups of individuals who have experienced economic, cultural, or physical harm, pain, exclusion, or exploitation because of state actions or policies which violate the law or generally defined human rights".

Thus, any individual or group whose human rights have been violated due to an act of a state in furtherance of its policies may be a state crime victim.

Victims of state crime may further be divided into two types:

Victims of domestic state crime : victims whose rights have been violated by the government of their own state. For example, victims of religious discrimination perpetrated by their own government.

Victims of international state crime : victims whose rights have been violated by the government in another state (or states). For example, victims of war crimes.

State crimes and human rights

We will be looking at state crimes and human rights, specifically the relationship between the two.

Recognition and codification of state crimes

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was developed by the United Nations after World War II, in an attempt to codify basic human rights that are available to an individual as a birthright (by virtue of them being born as human beings).

The UDHR enlists thirty basic human rights and freedoms, which include:

Right to life and liberty

Right to freedom from torture

Right to freedom of speech, opinion, thoughts, and expression

Right to equality

Right to work

Right to privacy

Right to seek asylum

Human rights can be violated if they are not protected or are disregarded.

A human rights violation refers to a situation where someone's human rights are not protected or blatantly disregarded.

State crimes: international human rights law and obligations of states

The basic principles of international human rights law provide that states have three major obligations in relation to human rights:

They must respect human rights and not violate these rights themselves.

They must protect individuals and groups against human rights violations.

They should take positive steps to ensure individuals enjoy their human rights.

The second and third obligations are indicative of the fact that it is not enough for states to merely refrain from violating rights, they must take positive action towards the materialisation of such rights and freedoms.

Criminologists such as Herman Schwendinger (1970) used this framework to adopt a transgressive approach to state crime. They argued that any country that denies its people fundamental human rights which are available to people elsewhere, can be considered to be guilty of state crime. Consider the example below:

Countries that do not recognise homosexuality and deny LGBTQ individuals basic rights may be considered to be committing state crimes.

Based on this, state crime can be classified as:

Direct state crime : intentionally performed by states.

Indirect state crime : the result of the state failing to protect someone’s rights.

State Crime, UN building with flags of different countries, StudySmarter

Liability of states for state crimes

You may ask - if states themselves are responsible for their own justice systems, and it is the states themselves who are perpetrating crimes, who holds them responsible?

It is an extremely valid question; one that has puzzled the international community for a long time, especially in the aftermath of gross violations of human rights, such as in the case of the Holocaust.

That is how the International Criminal Court (ICC) came into existence. In creating the ICC, the global community of sovereign nations recognised that it was necessary to put an end to grave crimes that violated the rights of many.

The ICC, established by the Rome Statute, acts as a court of last resort that can try individuals alleged of committing crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes when the domestic jurisdiction of the state in question is incapable of doing so. This means it can try states as well. However, the reality of the matter remains that states are rarely tried at the ICC.

Complexities associated with state crime

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that in 2000, approximately 310,000 people were killed as a result of collective war-related violence; a figure equivalent to 20 percent of all global violent deaths at the time. Even then, this figure did not include domestic deaths caused by security and police forces, given the secrecy that is associated with a state crime.

This is indicative of how measuring state crime is a difficult task. Stan Cohen (1996) identified a ‘spiral of denial’ that states use when accused of human rights abuses.

In fact, due to the hegemony and power associated with states around the globe, state crime is fraught with complexities. Some of them are discussed below.

State crimes: secrecy related to state actions

Law enforcement is a part of the state's responsibility and oftentimes, it is the law enforcement officials who engage in state crimes. This makes it difficult to identify the culprits and hold them accountable.

Resistance on behalf of states to acknowledge the violation of rights

Often, states hide behind nationalistic views or the need to promote domestic security as an excuse to propagate state crimes. This is a good example of neutralisation techniques, identified by Sykes and Matza (1957) in the 'neutralisation theory'.

According to the theory, the wrongdoer may sometimes use neutralisation techniques such as denial of responsibility, denial of injury, and denial of the victim, among others, to neutralise or justify their actions.

State crimes: difficulty in the enforcement of international law

As opposed to individuals or organisations, states are difficult to hold accountable. International law, regardless of the presence of bodies such as the ICC, has extremely limited effects on states. For example, a state is not bound by international law if it does not ratify particular legislation.

State Crimes - Key takeaways

  • State crime refers to any crime committed by, or on behalf of nation-states to achieve their individual policies.
  • There are four categories of state crime: crimes by security and police forces (genocide, torture, and war crime), political crimes (corruption, assassination, and censorship), economic crimes (bribery), and social and cultural crimes (discrimination and institutional racism).
  • Some examples of state crimes are genocide, war crimes, torture, assassination, corruption, and discrimination.
  • The ICC was established by the Rome Statute and acts as a court of last resort for crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes when the domestic jurisdiction of the state in question is incapable of doing so.
  • There are multiple complexities associated with quantifying and identifying state crimes. Some of them include secrecy related to state actions, state denial to acknowledge state crimes, and difficulty in enforcing international law.
  • Green, P. Ward, T (2005) Introduction. The British Journal of Criminology. (Vol. 45 Issue 4).
  • Kauzlarich, D. Matthews, RA. Miller, J. (2001) Toward a Victimology of State Crime. Critical Criminology. Kluwer Law International.

Frequently Asked Questions about State Crimes

--> who commits state crimes.

State crime can be committed by any individual associated with the government, who harms the rights of someone in order to pursue the interests or policies of the state. However, an agent of the state who is acting for his own benefit rather than for the state’s benefit will not be said to have committed a state crime.

--> Who is a typical victim of state crime?

A state victim is typically any individual or group whose human rights have been violated due to an act of a state in furtherance of its policies. An example of this is a victim of religious discrimination perpetrated by their own government.

--> What is meant by a state crime?

Green and Ward (2005) define state crime as ‘illegal or deviant activities perpetrated by the state, or with the complicity of state agencies’. Simply put, any crime committed by, or on behalf of nation-states to achieve their individual policies is a state crime.

--> What are some examples of state crimes?

Examples of state crime include genocide, war crimes, torture, assassination, corruption, discrimination, and funding terrorist groups and other criminal organisations.

--> Why is state crime a crime?

More often than not, a state crime is a crime due to a state breaking some aspect of international law. For example, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights enlists certain basic freedoms and rights. If a state does not adhere to them, this leads to a violation. The state is said to have committed a crime.

Final State Crimes Quiz

State crimes quiz - teste dein wissen.

What are state crimes?

Show answer

State crime is any crime committed by, or on behalf of nation-states to achieve their individual policies.

Show question

What are the various types of state crime?

The four types of state crime are crimes by security and police forces, political crimes, economic crimes, and social and cultural crimes.

What are some examples of state crime?

Some examples of state crimes are genocide, war crime, torture, assassination, corruption, discrimination and funding organised crimes such as terrorist groups.

Which crimes are considered ‘core international crimes’?

The crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, are collectively known as core international crimes.

What is the meaning of a state?

Ross (2000) defines a state as "the elected and appointed officials, the bureaucracy, and the institutions, bodies, and organisations comprising the apparatus of the government".

Who can be a victim of state crime?

Any individual or group whose human rights have been violated due to an act of a state in furtherance of its policies may be a state crime victim.

What are the two types of state crime victims?

The two types of state crime victims are victims of domestic state crimes and victims of international state crimes.

What are some of the rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

Some of the rights mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are -

Right to freedom of speech, opinion, thoughts and expression

Right to equality 

What does one mean by violation of human rights?

When a human right is not protected or is blatantly disregarded, it is said to be violated.

What are the responsibilities of states with respect to human rights according to principles of international law?

According to principles of international law, states have the responsibility to protect, prevent and uphold human rights.

What is Schwendinger's view on state crime?

Schwendinger adopted a transgressive approach to state crime wherein he claimed that any country that denies its people fundamental rights available to others is guilty of state crime.

What does one mean by direct state crime?

Direct state crime is a crime intentionally performed by states by violating basic human rights of individuals.

What does one mean by indirect state crime?

Indirect state crime is a state crime due to the result of the state failing to protect someone’s rights.

What is the purpose of the International Criminal Court?

The ICC was established by the Rome Statute and acts as a court of last resort for crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes when the domestic jurisdiction of the state in question is not capable of doing so.

What is the spiral of denial used by states?

The spiral of denial is an excuse that states use when accused of human rights abuses, which is a denial of any abuses at all.

What are some complexities associated with identifying state crimes?

Some complexities associated with quantifying and identifying state crimes are - secrecy related to state actions and the resistance of states to acknowledge state crimes.

What are three types of crimes that are committed by security and police forces?

Crimes committed by security and police forces include:

  • torture, and
  • war crimes. 

Corruption and censorship are _______ crimes. 

Corruption and censorship are political crimes. 

Bribery is an example of a ______ crime. 

Why was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights developed?

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was developed to codify basic human rights. 

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In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section State Crime

Introduction, general overviews and anthologies.

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State Crime by Christopher Mullins LAST REVIEWED: 17 June 2019 LAST MODIFIED: 24 June 2020 DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195396607-0014

The focused academic study of crimes committed by nation-states is now more than two decades old, spanning several generations of scholars and increasingly drawing on multiple theoretical positions. At its root is the attempt to push the boundaries of both academic and political discourses to provide a recognition of the most harmful actions as states as criminal in nature and to bring social scientific theories of crime and criminality to bear in the identification, analysis, and control of these events. The subfield developed out of white-collar crime studies, as a group of mainly critical scholars applied and revised conceptual and theoretical materials developed in the study of crimes of corporations (and their actors) to the behavior (and agents) of nation-states. Of course, not all scholars who approach the study of crimes committed by nation-states are tied to critical criminology. Some work has been published that looks at law violation by states criminologically from mainstream theoretical perspectives. As this article is situated in the discipline of criminology, there are some threads of research that it does not index. Criminologists are not the only scholars to research crimes committed by nation-states. Even though the field is highly interdisciplinary, areas of overlap with history, political science, and legal studies exist. While these bodies of work are beneficial and illuminating, this bibliography limits itself to work that has an explicit or implicit criminological foundation. While a section is included here on genocides and other mass atrocities, sources included are limited to those that somehow work within criminological theories or approaches. Thus, the massive literature on the Holocaust is excluded (save for the few criminological explorations), as is political science–based work on state violence and repression (i.e., the work of Gurr or Rummel).

Since the late 20th century, a number of books have been published that provide a conceptual and empirical overview of the field. Some have taken the form of anthologized collections; others are monographs. All represent an attempt to define and overview the breadth and depth of the field. Most anthologies represent multiple positions on Definitions and Conceptualizations . Barak 1991 represents the earliest statement of the field and its concerns, while Friedrichs 1998 , a two-volume work, is the most extensive. Green and Ward 2004 and Rothe 2009 are both excellent overviews. Two recent anthologies are both strong contributions, with Chambliss, et al. 2010 focusing more on issues of neo-empire and state crime and Rothe and Mullins 2011 providing a broader presentation of the field as a whole.

Barak, Gregg. 1991. Crimes by the capitalist state: An introduction to state criminality . Albany: State Univ. of New York Press.

This early anthology pulls together a number of disparate views and conceptual frameworks. The uniting factors are the attempts to define state crime and to apply basic conceptual and theoretical positions from criminology (especially critical criminology) to specific cases of state crime.

Chambliss, William J., Raymond Michalowski, and Ronald C. Kramer, eds. 2010. State crime in the global age . Collumpton, UK: Willan.

Anthology of essays examining many current expressions of state crime. Integrates issues on globalism and internationalisms throughout. Strongly focused on issues of empire and state imperialism. An excellent presentation of this vein of state crime thinking and scholarship.

Friedrichs, David O., ed. 1998. State crime . 2 vols. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.

Anthology of state crime and legal studies pieces that attempt to identify and understand violations of law by nation-states. An invaluable resource for the serious scholar of the field. Includes numerous pieces from law, political science, and other disciplines not typically read by criminologists.

Green, Penny, and Tony Ward. 2004. State crime: Governments, violence and corruption . London: Pluto.

Provides an overview of the nature and types of state crime. Becker-influenced audience-based definition is central. Suggests that state acts are criminal when social audiences define them as such. Involves actions typically defined as criminal, but also governmental responses to natural disasters, maintaining services, and similar realms of state responsibility.

Rothe, Dawn L. 2009. State criminality: The crime of all crimes . Lanham, MD: Lexington.

Subfield overview suitable for students and scholars. Covers and classifies numerous cases of crimes and controls. Expands the boundaries of state crime to include violations of international law. Stands as the best assimilation and presentation of work in the field to date.

Rothe, Dawn L., and Christopher W. Mullins, eds. 2011. State crime: Current perspectives . New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Press.

Presents updated versions of several classic essays in the field, as well a few new works. It covers the more traditional orientations of state crime as well as the two new threads of crimes of empire and the push into supranational criminology. Valuable as an introduction or for experienced scholars.

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15. Crimes of the Powerful

15.6 State-Organised Crime

Michael Brandt, MA

Chambliss (1989, p. 184) defines state-organised crime as, “acts defined by law as criminal and committed by state officials in pursuit of their job as representatives of the state.” A more recent term, “state crimes against democracy” (or SCADs for short), has been suggested by Professor Lance deHaven-Smith of Florida State University. He defines these as, “actions or inactions by government insiders intended to manipulate democratic processes and undermine popular sovereignty” (deHaven-Smith, 2013, p. 12). There are many examples of state-organised crimes, including illegal surveillance, c oup d’états, assassinations, and illegal wars (Simon, 2012, pp. 203-258; deHaven-Smith, 2013, pp. 138-140). Despite causing widespread harm, state-organized crimes receive even less attention from criminologists than corporate crimes (Friedrichs, 2007).

Given that nation-states have a monopoly on what gets defined as a crime (they write the laws), the harmful behaviours they engage in are rarely defined as crimes. Consider perhaps the most infamous state-organised crime in history, the Nazi extermination of millions of people, including Jews, members of the LGBTQ community, Jehovah Witnesses, the disabled, Roma (also known as Gypsies), as well as those critical of the Nazi state. The Nazis perpetrated a genocide , and many complicit individuals were prosecuted for crimes against humanity in the Nuremberg Trials. However, had Germany been victorious in World War II, it is unlikely that any such trials would have taken place. The victors in wars rarely allow their own harmful behaviours to be defined as criminal. Consider that if the United States had been on the losing side of World War II, the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan would likely have been designated war crimes, and those responsible for the horrific injuries and deaths of hundreds of thousands would have likely been put on trial. At the time, senior military officers, including Generals MacArthur and Eisenhower (who would later become president of the United States), did not believe the atomic bombs were required to end the war (Stone & Kuznick, 2012).

It is significant that had the international rules of war (the Nuremberg Principles) been applied to decisions made by U.S. presidents to invade countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, and Iraq, it is possible that every U.S. president since the end of World War II would have been found guilty of war crimes (Chomsky, 2004; Chomsky’s Philosophy, n.d.). None of these countries posed a direct threat to the security of the United States and authorisation to use military force was not obtained from the U.S. Congress or the United Nations (Chomsky, 2004; Chomsky’s Philosophy, n.d.). Joe Biden, and the two presidents before him, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, also ignored the law: Obama approved the use of force and the deployment of CIA operatives in Syria, and Trump ordered bombs dropped on Syria. Neither obtained approval from the U.S. Congress (Greenwald, 2021). Nonetheless, there are very few people calling for the arrest of any currently living former president for war crimes.

Illegal Surveillance

In the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the National Security Agency (NSA) have all engaged in the illegal surveillance of those deemed “threats” to the government. One U.S. spying operation called Cointelpro (run by the CIA) engaged in extensive surveillance of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr in an effort to discredit him. Under direct orders from J. Edgar Hoover (then head of the FBI), African American organisations were to be targeted for surveillance; and in an illegal raid of the home of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, police shot and killed him as he slept in his bed (Page, 2019). Other targets of illegal government surveillance include political dissidents, socialists, communists; as well as numerous non-violent protest groups, such as those against war (American Civil Liberties Union, n.d.; Greenwald, 2014).

More recently, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden released classified documents revealing a number of secret internet surveillance programs being used by the U.S. government to illegally spy on citizens both in the United States and around the world. Information collected by the government included a target’s political views, medical history, the status of their intimate relationships, and details about online sexual activities. Data about the pornographic or sexual services websites an individual has visited can be used to discredit or blackmail individuals who have been critical of a particular government’s policies, such as journalists and human rights activists (Greenwald, 2014). Blackmailing those critical of the government has long been used to silence people and was a tactic J. Edgar Hoover perfected while head of the FBI (Gentry, 1991).  Blackmail may help explain why no U.S. president was able to replace J. Edgar Hoover as F.B.I. director, allowing him to lead the agency for almost 50 years, from 1924 until his death in 1972. Glenn Greenwald (2014) summarises where the NSA was gathering this information from and who was targeted:

“Internet servers, satellites, underwater fibre-optic cables, local and foreign telephone systems, and personal computers. It identified individuals targeted for extremely invasive forms of spying, a list that ranged from alleged terrorists and criminal suspects to the democratically elected leaders of the nation’s allies and even ordinary citizens” (p. 92).

Coup d’États

When Julius Caesar overthrew the government in Ancient Rome, declaring himself Emperor for life, he engaged in a tactic dating back to the earliest civilisations: the coup d’état . This refers to the non-democratic, and often violent, overthrow of a government, either by those already working within the government but unhappy with its leadership, or by those outside the government who view it as a threat to their interests.  In the modern age, the CIA is probably the organisation most notorious for carrying out c oup d’états against socialist leaders unfriendly (or perceived to be unfriendly) to U.S. governments or corporations, or those of its allies. Natural resources like oil, gas, water, and land are highly coveted prizes sought by transnational corporations in countries around the world (Perkins, 2006).  For example, after the government of Iran got tired of the British-owned, Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now British Petroleum) exploiting its oil resources and channeling most of the profits to Britain, the Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddegh nationalszed Iranian oil assets (Perkins, 2006). Mosaddegh’s aim was to ensure that Iran—not foreign companies—benefitted from its oil. In response, the CIA, in conjunction with the British intelligence agency MI6, instituted Project Ajax, a campaign to discredit and oust Mosaddegh from power. Portrayed as an extremist, a traitor, and a threat to the nation—all false charges—Mosaddegh was eventually overthrown in a carefully orchestrated plan in 1953. He was replaced, with the help of the U.S. and Britain, by the corporate-friendly and authoritarian Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, also known as the Shah (meaning king) of Iran. With the assistance of the United States, the Shah of Iran set up his secret police force, SAVAK, which was responsible for torturing and killing thousands of Iranians who had been critical of the government or the Shah (Stone & Kuznick, 2012).

CIA-supported c oup d’états led to the overthrow of democratically elected presidents Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954, and Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973 (Perkins, 2007; Stone & Kuznick, 2012). Both these leaders were vocal critics of U.S. imperialism and U.S. corporations wanting to exploit their country’s natural resources. Similar interventions by the U.S. have occurred in “Zaire (1960s), the Dominican Republic (1961-62), Indonesia (including East Timor, 1960s-1970s), Greece (1967), Chile (1973), Angola (1975), Libya (1980), Grenada (1980s), El Salvador (1980s), Nicaragua (1980s), [and] Haiti (late 1980s, early 1990s)” (Shelden et al., 2008, p. 34).

Illegal Wars

The U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 is the type of crime largely ignored by criminologists (Lynch & Michalowski, 2006). According to the rules of war established after World War II, there are only two legitimate reasons for a country to invade another country: (1) in self-defence; or (2) when authorised by the UN Security Council. Since the UN Security Council did not provide authorisation for war, U.S. president George W. Bush had to make the case for self-defence. He was able to accomplish this through a nefarious propaganda campaign falsely linking the September 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. to Iraq. The Bush administration also falsely reported that Iraq had obtained uranium from Niger to make an atomic bomb (Wilson, 2003) and therefore harboured “weapons of mass destruction” that threatened the United States and its allies. By the time of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, 70 percent of Americans had been convinced (by false evidence) to believe that President Saddam Hussein of Iraq was responsible for the attacks on September 11, 2001 (US public thinks Saddam had role in 9/11, 2003). In the wake of this propaganda campaign, the U.S. Congress provided Bush with the power to invade Iraq. Lies led to this invasion. Hundreds of thousands were killed. No one responsible went to prison.

War Profiteering

The main economic beneficiaries of war are corporations that sell the equipment needed to fight, such as armaments and fuel, as well as food, clothing, and shelter for the troops. In 2019, the U.S. military budget was $730 billion dollars, by far the largest part of the government’s total budget (National Priorities Project, 2020). This figure does not include funds held in the “black budget”, a budget kept hidden from the general public and most members of the U.S. government used to fund clandestine intelligence and military operations (Simon, 2012, pp. 176-178). Given the astronomical amounts of money devoted to official and unofficial budgets, perhaps it should not be surprising that major frauds have been associated with military spending. Investigations by the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan (2011) found $31 billion dollars in waste and fraud in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq alone. It gets worse. The Office of Inspector General reported the U.S. Defence Department could not account for $21 trillion dollars’ worth of spending between 1998 and 2015 (Michigan State University, 2017). One of the most highly-decorated soldiers in U.S. history, General Smedley Butler, wrote a book about his experiences in the military in his retirement. In his words: “War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious” (Butler, 1935, chapter 1, paras 1, 2). The armaments of war are a big business for military contractors like Raytheon, General Dynamics, and Lockheed Martin. In 2020, Lockheed Martin made over 9 billion dollars in profits (Lockheed Martin Gross Profit 2010 -2022, n.d., para. 1). General Butler also drew attention to the enormous profits private banks make off of war: “And let us not forget the bankers who financed the great war. If anyone had the cream of the profits it was the bankers” (Butler, 1935, chapter 2, para. 17).

The documentary Why We Fight (Jarecki, 2005) chronicles the economic interests behind war that General Butler spoke about. A notable quote from the documentary is from Chalmers Johnson, formerly of the CIA: “I guarantee you: When war becomes profitable, we’re going to see more of it.” U.S. investigations of war profiteering during World War I resulted in recommendations for policies that took the profits out of future wars (Sutherland, 1983). These policies were never implemented. The result has been a steady growth in military expenditures on the weapons of war and the services needed to support those in combat, as well as a steady growth in fraud related to the purchase of these products and services (Rosoff et al., 2020).

A growing problem is the “revolving door” phenomenon, in which employees move between positions in the corporate world to positions in government (and vice versa), obtaining benefits for their former employers (and themselves) in the process. For example, Dick Cheney was the CEO of Halliburton, a multibillion-dollar corporation that supplies services and support to those in combat. He left Halliburton to become vice president of the United States, and became a vocal advocate for increased military spending and an invasion of Iraq (and other countries), policies that would directly benefit himself and his former employer. While Cheney claimed he sold his Halliburton stock and severed all financial ties with the company when he left to become vice president, he neglected to mention he continued to hold 433,000 stock options from Halliburton (Jacobs, 2011). Cheney stood to reap enormous financial benefits if Halliburton was awarded contracts in Iraq, which it was, to the sum of billions of dollars. In fact, Halliburton became the Pentagon’s company of choice to provide many services in Iraq, including extinguishing fires at oil wells, restoring pipelines, supplying trucks and the gas to fuel them, providing food and housing for the troops, washing clothes, and delivering mail (Jacobs, 2011; Rothe, 2009). Halliburton would eventually become the target of dozens of lawsuits alleging accounting fraud and was forced to repay millions of dollars as a result of over-billing (Jacobs, 2011).

Colonialism and Slavery

Colonialism constitutes the largest program of state-organised harms in world history. Imperial conquests conducted by European states such as Spain, France, and Britain involved the enslavement of millions of Africans; the dispossession of Indigenous land; mass murder; destruction of culture, communities and families; physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; and human experimentation without informed consent (Monchalin, 2016; Mosby, 2013; Starblanket, 2018). These colonial harms were justified as attempts to “civilise” African, Asian, and Indigenous peoples, who were portrayed as “sub-human” and “savage.” In truth, colonialism was about taking control of a territory to benefit the coloniser. Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, put it this way: “When the missionaries first came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, ‘let us pray’. We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land” (as cited by Salmi, 2004, p. 61). Criminologists have rarely, and only recently, attempted to examine colonial actions as crimes (see Atiles-Osaria, 2018; Grewcock, 2018). Nonetheless, “if unjustly depriving people of their property, their way of life, and their very lives is regarded as criminal, then imperialistic conquests” could be considered crimes (Friedrichs, 2007, p. 119).

Tamara Starblanket (Nehiyaw/Cree) presents the legal case in her book, Suffer the Little Children, that residential schools, which resulted in the death of up to 50 percent of the Indigenous children forced to attend them, were tools used to commit genocide as defined by the United Nations (Starblanket, 2018). The recent discovery of thousands of unmarked graves of Indigenous children near residential schools (CBC/Radio Canada, 2021) and the likelihood of more to be discovered has brought the misery and death into full focus for all to see. As far back as 1907, the deplorable conditions and high death rates in residential schools led Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Peter Bryce, to conclude that residential schools were a “national crime” and genocidal (Hay et al., 2020, para. 5). Despite his well-documented report, the federal government of the day refused to take responsibility, and nothing changed. The report was ignored and Bryce’s position as chief medical officer was not renewed. Experiments that included withholding food from Indigenous children who were attending residential schools were carried out between 1942 and 1952 (Mosby, 2013).

acts defined by law as criminal and committed by state officials in pursuit of their job as representatives of the state.

acts committed with the intent of destroying (in whole or in part) a group of people with a shared identity, such as a racial, ethnic, national, or religious group. In this chapter, the examples of the genocide perpetrated by Nazi Germany as well as the genocide of Indigenous peoples in Canada are discussed.

a secret intelligence program organized by the FBI to discredit individuals and groups perceived to be a threat to the government of the United States. Targets included Indigenous and Black leaders critical of the government, such as members of the American Indian Movement and the Black Panther Party, socialists, and those advocating for an end to war.

a member of the Black Panther Party , a political group founded to patrol African American neighbourhoods to protect citizens from police brutality. It evolved into a larger movement that sought to draw attention to the racial, political, and economic injustices perpetrated against African Americans.

trying to force an individual to say or do something by threatening to punish them or reveal embarrassing information about them if they do not.

non-democratic, and often violent, overthrow of a government, either by those already working within the government but unhappy with its leadership, or by those outside the government who view the government as a threat to their interests.

Introduction to Criminology Copyright © 2023 by Michael Brandt, MA is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Crimes of States and Powerful Elites

A Collection of Case Studies

Edited by Claudia Radiven & Simon Prideaux

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This book explores fourteen international case studies of ‘crimes of the powerful’, both contemporary and historical. As such, it explores a hidden and often unknown area of criminal and immoral activity beyond the more commonly studied field of conventional or ‘street’ crimes. It offers a unique insight into different examples of criminality and immorality enacted by the powerful, including corporations, states and criminal networks. The case studies include little-known and more widely known events, offering a critical sociological or forensic analysis of each case. By doing so, the book explores what kinds of criminality or immorality the case exemplifies and identifies key contextual and legislative factors facilitating their occurrence and limiting the perpetrators’ accountability. The critical analytical approach situates the case studies within the wider context and considers the role of social, political and other factors, such as neoliberalism, colonialist histories, inequalities of race and gender and globalisation in their facilitation of particular kinds of immoral or criminal acts. Fundamentally, it explores the legacies of social harm produced by the case study events and how these have played out over time.

Drawing upon themes like disasters, medico-crimes, genocide, corporate crime, organised crime, colonial crimes and internment, the book explores key concepts like critical criminology, sociology and legislation combined with critical social policy. It will also include corporate crime, white collar crime, professional crime and social harm. These concepts will be outlined and then applied in the case studies as a way of understanding and analytically engaging with the individual cases.

Being highly topical, the book reflects a growing popular and academic interest in the social harms produced by the actions of the powerful relating to the legacies and consequences of colonialism, and the impacts of global inequalities, particularly in terms of race and gender. Offering a critical sociological perspective on these issues, the book presents a novel insight into criminality which has interdisciplinary relevance in diverse disciplines including criminology, sociology, social policy and law, geography, environmental studies, international politics and development, peace studies and critical gender studies.

“This collection of case studies enhances our understanding of the crimes committed by states and the rich and powerful. The range of cases is impressive as are the insights provided by the authors. Bringing together different aspects and dimensions of state crimes, this book will be an important ‘go-to’ for material and examples to support a shift in the focus of key areas of criminological enquiry towards a concern with the harms and crimes of the rich and powerful across different societies.” — Gerry Mooney, Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and Criminology, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The Open University in Scotland

Claudia Radiven is a final year PhD student at the University of Leeds researching de-radicalisation and colonial racial governance in the UK.

Simon Prideaux is an assistant professor of social welfare and crime in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds. 

Acknowledgements; List of Contributors; Introduction, Claudia Radiven and Simon Prideaux; Chapter One Disasters in Aberfan and Grenfell, Claudia Radiven and Simon Prideaux; Chapter Two Medico: Big Pharma and the Flint Water Crisis, Claudia Radiven and Simon Prideaux; Chapter Three Genocide: The Rohingya and Forced Sterilisation of Women of Colour in the United States, Claudia Radiven and Simon Prideaux; Chapter Four State Crime, Corporate Crime and Organised Crime in the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the Congo, Claudia Radiven and Simon Prideaux; Chapter Five Organised Crime: County Lines in the United Kingdom and the Problem of Bosnian ‘Peacekeepers’, Claudia Radiven and Simon Prideaux; Chapter Six Colonial Crimes: The Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand and Residential Schools in Canada, Claudia Radiven and Simon Prideaux; Chapter Seven Internment: Yarl’s Wood and the Magdalene Laundries, Claudia Radiven and Simon Prideaux; Index.

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