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Critical Introductions

Web Articles

10 Sep 2012

A Critical Introduction to Immigration and Asylum

Image source: Melanie Singhji, IRR News
All countries practise immigration controls. But in an era of globalisation, the rich industrialised nations have colluded in the creation of a global system of migration controls which serves the interests of market states and global elites, while excluding the poor and persecuted from the culture of human rights. Some commentators characterise this as a... Read more »
31 Oct 2010

A Critical Introduction to Corruption

Though corruption is difficult to define precisely, and harder still to quantify, it is undoubtedly one of the most widespread forms of criminal victimization in todays world; and in its most serious forms it is properly regarded as a form of state crime rather than individual deviance. The International Crisis Group report Kyrgyzstan: A Hollow... Read more »
31 Oct 2010

A Critical Introduction to Counter Terrorism and State Crime

State crime frequently masquerades as counter terrorism. Counter terrorism encompasses laws, police, security, and military powers and measures directed at what states determine are terrorist threats. Terrorism is notoriously difficult to define and its definitions selectively applied. The difficulties of defining terrorism, combined with the ease with which states apply the label, means that what... Read more »
31 Oct 2010

A Critical Introduction to Genocide

Genocide, the intentional destruction of a specific group, is an important subject for scholars of state crimes, yet it remains underexplored within the discipline. In light of the increasing pervasiveness of genocide in the twentieth century, it is perhaps surprising that genocide studies have tended to be the remit of historians and theologians. Social scientists... Read more »
31 Oct 2010

A Critical Introduction to Natural Disasters

The consequences of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, hurricanes, drought and floods are increasingly important subjects for scholars of state crimes but they remain underexplored within the discipline, not least because of their problematic characterization as natural disasters. It is not the climatic or geophysical hazard which kills rather it is the political, economic and social structures... Read more »
31 Oct 2010

A Critical Introduction to State-Corporate Crime

Up until the early nineteen nineties criminological research on the crimes of the powerful tended to be separated into two distinct sub-disciplinary genres: corporate crime and state crime (Kramer 1992: 214). For Ronald Kramer and Ray Michalowski this was a matter of concern. They believed that by dividing the research on the crimes of the... Read more »
31 Oct 2010

A Critical Introduction to Torture

Torture is commonplace. Amnesty International estimates that torture is inflicted by over three quarters of the worlds governments. Tortures ascendancy has recently been illustrated in the treatment of those detained under war on terror auspices in Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba, and elsewhere. The initial graphic depictions of violated detainees at Abu Ghraib even brought international attention... Read more »
31 Oct 2010

Introducing State Crime In Cambodia

One of the most notorious criminal regimes of the twentieth century, the Khmer Rouge held power in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. Having defeated the incompetent Lon Nol regime after it was abandoned by the USA, the Khmer Rouge came to power with a very narrow base of support and no realistic strategy for governing... Read more »
10 Aug 2010

State Crime in Rwanda

In the spring of 1994, the impoverished country of Rwanda, hitherto unknown to wider society, suddenly became international front-page news with the outbreak of state sponsored genocide. Rwanda is a small, rural, landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of central Africa with few natural resources and minimal industry, primary exports being that of coffee... Read more »
31 Oct 2010

Introducing State Crime in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is the largest country in the South Pacific, with a population nearing seven million people. It is culturally rich with over 800 different languages being spoken. Around 85 per cent of Papua New Guineas population are rurally based, where custom and kinship relations continue to play a significant role in village life.... Read more »