State Crime and Resistance - SO622

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Spring 5 15 (7.5) DR R Seoighe checkmark-circle


The module introduces students to a range of case studies and topics – both historical and contemporary – that are analysed through the framework of state crime. Beginning with a theoretical introduction to this framework, students will learn to integrate their understanding of state-perpetrated atrocity with a criminological analysis of the nature of state violence, the objectives and driving forces of state crime, the denial of state crime, and the potential avenues for accountability and justice. It will examine not only state crime but also examples of resistance to state crime in the form of protest, documentation, legal challenges and artistic and media responses. The module will allow students to understand the potential to resist state crime and the limits of that potential in complex circumstances


Contact hours

22 hours

Method of assessment

Coursework - Academic poster presentation - 50%
Coursework – case study assignment (2000 words) - 50%
Students must pass both assignments in order to pass the module.

Indicative reading

Chambliss, W., Michalowski, R. and Kramer, Ronald C. (eds.) (2014) State Crime in the Global Age. Abingdon and New York: Routledge.
Collins, V. E. (2016) State Crime, Women and Gender. Routledge: London and New York.
Feitlowitz, M. (2011) A Lexicon of Terror: Argentina and the Legacies of Torture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Green, P. and Ward, T. (2004) State Crime: Governments, Violence, Corruption. London: Pluto Press.
Khalili, L. (2013) Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Stanley, E. and McCulloch, J. (eds) (2013) State Crime and Resistance. London and New York: Routledge.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:-
- Understand and explain the nature of the state as an object of criminological inquiry, the definitional processes of labelling state-perpetrated acts as criminal and the scale and type of crimes committed by state agents and agencies.
- Understand the dynamics that generate and impede resistance to state crime.
- Apply and analyse contemporary theoretical perspectives on state crime and resistance across a range of contexts and practices.
- Understand and evaluate resistance to state crime in civil society activism and protest, including the potential and limitations of that resistance.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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