This book provides an introduction to state crime, with a particular focus on the UK. The use of crime by the UK to achieve its policy and political objectives is an underdeveloped aspect of academic study of individual and institutional criminality, the exercise of political power, public policy-making and political development. The book overviews the various definitional issues before exploring possible examples of state crime in the UK and then considering why state crime occurs and how it is investigated and adjudicated.
The questions that this book seeks to address are:
- What are state crimes, or crimes by those employed by the state or working on behalf of the state?
- How far does state crime require evidence of official policy, approved by those who are the leaders of the state, or state institutions, with their authority to authorise, support, and protect those who help it achieve its objectives officially or unofficially, including the commission of crime?
- Exactly what is the state in crime terms; why and how do it or its officials decide to break the law?
- How and why should a democratic state want to commit crimes against its own citizens or those of another country?
- Who exactly decides that this should be official policy, and how and who judges on such conduct?
Unusually for books on state crime, this book looks at a specific country, and one with an established liberal democratic tradition as the context within which to explore these issues. Further, it not only looks at crime but also the structure of the modern state and thus provides a balanced and rigorous perspective with which to study the concept of state crime. This is particularly relevant not only to the work of other disciplines but also to the study of those states in the western liberal democratic state – where state crime should be, by definition, deviant conduct but which also appears to be a regular occurrence. Overall, this book seeks to provide an introduction to state crime for contemporary states which will facilitate the study of such issues as part of mainstream academic study across a number of disciplines.
To Be Published December 15th 2010 by Willan