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Legitimate and
illegitimate crime
O States have legitimate agencies such as
police and military forces to use when it's in
the publics interest.
O E.g. These agencies would be used when
public order is in need ­ Wars.
O When this force is used in the case of
terrorists, the violence being used is seen in
a different perspective.
O Both cases violence being used, but with the
state ­ legitimately, terrorists ­
illegitimately. McLaughlin (2001)…read more

Slide 3

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Legitimate and
illegitimate crime
O Although, the concept of legitimate and
illegitimate crime can become difficult to
define.
O As labelled terrorists see themselves to be
`freedom fighters' and that the state is
involved in terrorism.
O Example: Israeli state may see those resisting
their occupation in Gaza as terrorists, many
of the Arab people who live in Gaza see Israel
as a terrorist state.…read more

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Legitimate and
illegitimate crime
Labels may change over time:
O People can be labelled as terrorists and then
form a recognised legitimate government.
Example:
O Transformation in South Africa of the African
National Congress from terrorist group to
legitimate government.
O Nelson Mandela from dangerous terrorist
group to a highly respected statesman
Croall (1998)…read more

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Terrorist behaviour
It's argued that terrorist behaviour is distinct
from that of states, as they use terror for
political ends and often target innocent
civilians.
O Example: 9/11 attacks in 2001 and London
bombings on 7/7 2005
But states can be seen to adopt some of this
behaviour such as the British state in WW2
used saturation bombings in Dresden,
targeting innocent people…read more

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War crimes
Under international laws and conventions, the
examples given are classed as war crimes.
War crimes as well as other violent state acts
such as genocide and torture have only
recently appeared in criminology because
1. The growth of international human rights
movement have sensitised us to these
gross violation of human rights
2. The growth of victimology in criminology
has sensitised us to the victims
Cohen (1996)…read more

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