State Crime

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State crime is a type of major crime that is defined as ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES PERFORMED BY THE STATE, such as armed forces, police or civil service. It is a particularly dark area of sociology as data surrounding state crimes is often hidden (such as with the CIA torture programs and unconventional warfare) and what constitutes a state crime is in debate. Many claims that it is illegal (in either domestic or international laws) acts performed on the behalf of state leaders to further STATE INTERESTS.



-Police brutality



-Unconventional warfare



This is when a country breaks international laws by attacking or threatening another sovreign nation. It is also when someone breaks the GENEVA CONVENTION e.g. Shooting POWs or civilians-Usage of chemical or biological weapons. The largest war crime trial was the NUREMBURG TRIALS. It can be problematic or controversial to define a war crime and war criminals. For example, the Holocaust (mass murder of Jewish citizens in WW2) and Saddam Hussains 1990 invasion of Kuwait are seen as war crimes. However, the nuking of Japan by the USA or the firebombing of Dresden in WW2 by the British are not. The rich, powerful and developed countries often get away with what would be seen as war crimes by bending international laws. 


-This is different to a war crime (as it may be conducted during peacetime or domestically). Genocide is the proceedure of murdering an entire group of individuals in a society because of their ethnic or cultural background. Whilst an obvious example of this is the WW2 Holocaust, a more contemporary example is the Rwanda Genocides in the 1990s or the Darfur Civil war (1983 onwards).

MCLAUGHLIN Divides state crimes (on a domestic level) into 4 catagories.

-Political (e.g. censorship, assassination, election fraud)

-Crimes by security and police forces (e.g. torture and genocide)

-Economic crimes (e.g. violation of health and safety laws or the deprivation of foreign aid).

-Social and cultural crimes (e.g. institutional racism/sexism/discrimination)


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