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The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (7th edn)

Alison Liebling, Shadd Maruna, and Lesley McAra
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date: 13 April 2024

p. 26712. Criminology and atrocity crimeslocked

p. 26712. Criminology and atrocity crimeslocked

  • Andy Aydın-Aitchison,
  • Mirza Buljubašić
  •  and Barbora Holá


This chapter explores the key concepts and history of criminology being correlated with atrocity. It explains that atrocity criminology will continue to develop in association with criminologies of overlapping and related phenomena, such as war and organisational crime. The international criminalization of atrocity has been addressed by many authors who emphasize different dimensions, including Austin Turk’s conflict theory. The chapter notes that aetiological inquiry on atrocity features multiple disciplines, integrating a breach of legal or moral prohibition, and theoretical resources that situate individual action in a wider context. It also acknowledges the dilemma surrounding the uniquely criminological approach to the problem of atrocity.

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