State crime

Authored by: Sarah Skedd

The Routledge Handbook of Irish Criminology

Print publication date:  December  2015
Online publication date:  December  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138019430
eBook ISBN: 9781315779003
Adobe ISBN: 9781317698173


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Over the course of the twentieth century, states have organised violence on scales which far exceed the accumulative effects of street crime, employing their unparalleled power to perpetrate genocides, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, torture and terror. Equally, the state’s intricate, and often opaque, financial organs have frequently been used, with impunity, to redistribute vast portions of the national wealth to senior public officials and their private clients, through a range of illicit transactions. The nascent literature on state crime bears witness to the fact that authoritarian regimes and liberal democracies alike are prolific offenders (see, for example, Green and Ward, 2004; Kramer and Michalowski, 2005; Lasslett, 2014b).

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