Queen Mary University of London | Harvard Humanitarian Initiative | University of Hull | University of Ulster

Kris Lasslett

Kris Lasslett

Kristian Lasslett is Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Ulster, and sits on the Executive Board of the International State Crime Initiative. He is joint Editor-in-Chief of State Crime, a leading international peer reviewed journal, and Editor of The State Testimony Project, the first online casebook for state crime studies. Kristian’s research focuses on criminogenic intersections of state-corporate power, and the communities of resistance that emerge in opposition. This focus has been operationalised through fieldwork on the extractive industries – with a landmark study on the Bougainville conflict – in addition to corruption, land-grabbing and forced eviction. Kristian has published on a range of subjects in leading international journals and edited collections, including scientific method, state theory, action research methodologies, state-corporate crime, state terrorism, and forced eviction. He is also a regular commentator in the international media, and has issued two reports on corporate criminality through the International State Crime Initiative. His first book State Crime on the Margins of Empire will be published in September 2014 by Pluto Press.

Dr Lasslett’s profile at ulster.ac.uk

Web Articles

30 Oct 2012

Not Just Criminals – A Response to the Paga Hill Development Company

Paga Hill Demolition
  On 9 October 2012 we released a report, The Demolition of Paga Hill, documenting a forced eviction that took place in Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby, on 12 May this year. Dozens of homes in the area of Paga Hill were demolished by the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary. Those residents who resisted or... Read more »
22 Jan 2013

‘Gillileaks’ and Australia’s Hypocrisy Over Julian Assange

Wikileaks graffiti
When Julian Assange and Wikileaks released a cache of US government cables in 2010, Australia’s prime minister, Julia Gillard, denounced the leak in the strongest terms. She opined, “I absolutely condemn the placement of this information on the WikiLeaks website. It’s a grossly irresponsible thing to do and an illegal thing to do.” Fast forward three years, and... Read more »
05 Feb 2013

One Year After Fatal Disaster Exxon Mobil Allegations Remain Unanswered

In the heart of the South Pacific is the resource rich nation of Papua New Guinea. Once lampooned by London Mayor, Boris Johnson, it is now tipped to be the region’s new ‘tiger’ economy, and investors are flocking. Even the United Kingdom is trying to build trade and investment links with its forgotten former colony. But with... Read more »
26 Feb 2013

Bougainville: Rio Tinto faces war crimes allegations in bid to reopen mine

Young freedom fighter from the Bougainville Revolutionary Army in 1994. Photo by Francis O'Neill, via eco-action.org.
British-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto is seriously contemplating reopening its Bougainville copper and gold mine, Reuters reported on February 7. Situated on Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) eastern border with the Solomon Islands, the company’s Bougainville operation was forcefully closed down in November 1988 by traditional landowners who objected to the mine’s environmental and social effects. A bloody civil war ensued,... Read more »
07 Mar 2013

The Politics of Eulogies: Contrast Hugo Chavez and President Suharto

The obituaries of major political figures are a defining moment where double standards are displayed in unashamed glory. Those who are our friend, who supported our governments and economic interests, are benevolent visionaries, albeit with minor flaws; those who shunned the dictates of Western governments are pariahs, divisive figures, demagogues and dictators. No guesses which... Read more »
29 Mar 2013

From Civil War To The Boardroom

Internment camps, the mortaring of children, aerial bombardments, assassinations, rape, and the denial of humanitarian aid — these are just some of the criminal state practices endured by civilians during Papua New Guinea’s decade-long civil war on the island of Bougainville (1988-1998). No senior official from Australia or PNG has been formally censured, let alone... Read more »
18 Jul 2014

International Crimes, International Headlines – Comparing MH17 and Gaza

Today, global audiences are reeling from the devastation of two international crimes.* One involves the downed MH17 jet, and its 299 passengers, the other the besieged residents of Gaza, of which 250+ have died under a hail of Israeli bombs and bullets. Yet these two tragedies, both of the greatest moral gravity, have passed through... Read more »
22 Jul 2014

MH17 is a crime, and so is the reckless bombardment of all civilian spaces

  The great critic of American foreign policy, Noam Chomsky, has a simple yet controversial technique for identifying contradiction in the international stance of western governments; he judges them by the standards with which they condemn others. Last week, the tragic loss of MH17 elicited an international response that brought into sharp focus a particularly... Read more »
11 Aug 2014

Why Bougainville landowners oppose Rio Tinto’s return

Dr Kristian Lasslett | International State Crime Initiative Once more Rio Tinto subsidiary Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) is in the headlines, after the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) passed transitional mining legislation that seemingly continues the momentum towards the re-opening of the Panguna mine. The legislation has provoked strong condemnation from the landowning communities that will... Read more »
08 Oct 2012

The Demolition of Paga Hill – A Report by the International State Crime Initiative

The Demolition of Paga Hill - A Report by the International State Crime Initiative
  On 12 May 2012, one hundred police officers descended on the prominent Port Moresby landmark, Paga Hill. Armed with assault rifles, machetes and sticks, they had come to demolish one of the city’s oldest settlements. This forced eviction would make way for the Paga Hill Estate, an “exclusive” property development that promises to turn... Read more »
24 Mar 2010

Undermining Rights

‘Undermining Rights’ is a video by Amnesty International highlighting state abuses in Papua New Guinea. State police forces beat and abused local people near the world’s largest gold mines.  
23 Sep 2010

Remember Giants Fall Easily in Papua New Guinea

Remember Giants Fall Easily in Papua New Guinea By Dr Kristian Lasslett* In Madang a case which aims to stop mine tailings from being dumped into the Astrolabe bay stands on a precipitous peak. Three landowners have withdrawn from the trial, while another seeks to be joined. Punctuating this court room drama are threats and... Read more »
27 May 2010

Video: The Coconut Revolution (2001)

In November 1988, radical activists associated with the Panguna Landowners Association initiated a campaign of industrial sabotage in an effort to close down a copper and gold mine in Papua New Guineas North Solomons Province. In response, the Papua New Guinean state ordered a series of punitive police raids during March and April 1989. As... Read more »
29 Mar 2012

Remembering Another PNGDF Call Out

29 March 2012 The International State Crime Initiative’s Dr Kristian Lasslett draws on his research into the Bougainville conflict to analyse the government’s recent decision to deploy PNGDF troops in the Southern Highlands. It is almost twenty three years ago to the day, since the PNGDF was sent to Bougainville by Papua New Guinea’s National Executive... Read more »
22 Feb 2012

One month later, what has been done for the victims of Tumbi?

The Forgotten Disaster
When I last wrote about the Tumbi landslide on 29 January, we had no firm data on the disaster’s death toll, little humanitarian assistance had been made available to the displaced, and the national government was tight-lipped on how they would discover the landslide’s cause. Incredibly, over three weeks later little has changed. The cause... Read more »
29 Jan 2012

Investigating the Tumbi Disaster

At around 4am last Tuesday morning, a landslide 1.5km along swept through Tumbi, in Papua New Guinea’s Southern Highlands, while residents lay asleep. Reporting from the ground, Andrew Alphonse conveys a scene of devastation: The sound of wailing fills the air around the legendary Gigira mountain in Tari as mothers openly shed tears as they go about trying... Read more »
22 May 2011

Methodology Workshop April 2011

ISCI Research Methods Workshop April 2011
The purpose of the workshop was to discuss the innovative ways in which people who research state crime conduct their business. It provided an opportunity to talk about the peculiar difficulties and successes of securing access; negotiating translators and government minders; researcher uses of deception; the relationship between method and theory; and ethnographic experiences.   Introduction... Read more »
14 Jun 2010

ISCI Fellow Secures British Academy Grant

ISCI Fellow, Dr Kristian Lasslett of the University of Ulster, has secured a British Academy Grant of 7,500 to fund further research in Papua New Guinea. Dr Lasslett obtained his doctorate from the University of Westminster for his five years of research into the Bougainville crisis in the country between 1988 and 1998. His future... Read more »
27 May 2010

Undermining Rights: Forced Evictions and Police Brutality

Revenues from mineral operations are essential to the states fiscal health in Papua New Guinea. A special paramilitary unit, the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary mobile squads, have been the state’s central tool for protecting these important natural resource operations. Indeed, while initially used in the nineteen seventies to combat tribal fighting in Papua New... Read more »
11 May 2010

Making Their Own Rules

The leading organ for maintaining internal security in Papua New Guinea has historically been the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC). Since its establishment in the nineteen sixties, the RPNGC has developed a para-military operational style. Despite domestic and international condemnation, violence remains an instrumental tool for police in Papua New Guinea. Making their own... Read more »
21 May 2012

This was not an eviction it was a crime – The Paga Hill demolition

On 12 May 2012, heavily armed police officers attempted to forcefully evict residents at the Paga Hill settlement in Port Moresby. Lying behind the forced eviction is a long standing dispute over who has tenure to the land in Paga Hill. On one hand, settlement residents claim they were given permission to reside on Paga... Read more »
23 Aug 2010

A Governing Body for NGOs in Papua New Guinea: A Response to the Minister for Mining’s Proposal

In a recent undated press release the honourable Minister for Mining proposed that the Papua New Guinea government set up a governing body to ensure that all Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in the country work within a set policy framework(1). The Minister hopes that this governing body will be able to develop a policy framework... 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

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 »