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

Proyecto ESRCP (en Español)

ESRC project

In 2011, Professor Penny Green and Dr. Tony Ward received a research grant from the Research Council of Economics and Social Sciences UK ( Economic and Social Research Council ESRC ) with the provision of 830,000 pounds.

The purpose of the grant was to undertake a project entitled “State Resistance Against Crime: A Comparative Study of the Civil Society” (RES-062-23-3144). The award allowed the ISCI (International State Crime Initiative) to hire two postdoctoral researchers (Dr Thomas MacManus and  Dr Ian Patel ) and one manager of research and strategy. The project aims to study the importance of civil society to define, condemn and resist criminal acts were committed, instigated or permitted by state agencies. It is a cross-cultural study with a focus on countries that are in the process of reconstruction after a violent conflict. However, these countries have very different levels with respect to its economic and political development. The analyzed countries are  Burma , Colombia, Kenya,  Papua New Guinea  and  Tunisia .

Update on the project in July 2013:

Field research has been completed. The researchers are now in the process of transcribing the interviews conducted in the respective countries and to design academic articles on Burma and Tunisia.

More specifically, the aims and objectives of the project are:


  1. Understanding the relationship between non-state state violence, organized violence (political and racketeering) and civil society;
  2. Understanding the flow of civil society and the processes of change in their relationship to state and non-state violence;
  3. Understanding the role of civil society in defining and condemning criminoso, illegal or corrupt behavior by state officials;
  4. Explore the structural and socio-cultural processes involved in establishing the resistance of the civil society in several countries in the process of post-conflict transition, in order to assess whether there is a relationship in societies traumatized by violence by the state or other internal forces dialectic between state violence, the cooperative efforts of individuals in communities of victims and the development of a fully articulated civil society.


In each of the selected countries our objectives are:

  1. Collecting the stories of five organizations of the civil society in domestic contexts before, during and after the conflict;
  2. Based on this comparison and evaluation of relevant literature, to make general statements about the relationship between the state crime and civil society organizations;
  3. Make general statements about the factors affecting the development of civil society and its relationship with organized violence (state and non-state) and corruption in post-conflict societies.