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The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (6th edn)

Alison Liebling, Shadd Maruna, and Lesley McAra
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date: 09 December 2022

p. 43819. Understanding state crimelocked

p. 43819. Understanding state crimelocked

  • Penny Green
  •  and Tony Ward


This chapter discusses the concept of state crime and proposes a distinction between ‘core state crimes’ of organized murder, rape, theft, etc., and more ambiguous criminal activity. Focusing mainly on core state crimes, it reviews some of the main approaches to explaining state violence and corruption. It then explores the methods used by social scientists to study state crime. While ethnographic fieldwork is the central method of research, it is complemented by a range of other sources of quantitative and qualitative data. These include, for example, the analysis of social media content and satellite imagery.

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