By Alan Doig
Willan – 2011 – 270 pages
Series: Crime and Society Series
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 provides an overview of 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.
State Crime is split into six sections in order to address a number of key questions: what is state crime according to the literature? What is a crime? What is the state? What are the drivers for the State to commit a crime? What are the roles of the various institutions of the State in being involved in state crime and what, in terms of monitoring or investigating state crime or unethical conduct, are the roles of those institutions, from the police through to Parliament, responsible for holding governments and state institutions to account?
Unusually for books on state crime, this book looks at a specific country 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.
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.
'This book successfully provides the reader with an introduction to the complex issue of state crime. It is a topic that examines the intersection of law, politics and criminology. Doig reveals that state crime is an emerging, inchoate and contested area of study. However, it is a topic that is important as it draws criminology into addressing wider issues of power and the uses of crime and crime control.'
-Jamie Bennett, Governor of HMP Grendon & Springhill, in Prison Service Journal no 203
1. The issue of British state crime: introduction 2. Themes from the state crime literature: labels 3. Themes from the state crime literature: motives 4. What is a state in the UK context? 5. State crime: what is a crime in the UK context? 6. Not on the label? State crime: opportunities and motives in a liberal democratic state 7. Controlling state crime and state crime 8. Conclusion: three issues in rethinking state crime
Alan Doig was Professor of Public Services Management at Liverpool Business School and Teesside Business School before being appointed in 2008 as Resident Advisor on the Council of Europe's Prevention of Corruption project in Turkey. He was then appointed as the UNODC UNCAC mentor for Thailand, finishing in 2010. He currently works for a number of international organisations and is a Visiting Professor at a UK University.
He has published extensively on ethics, corruption, economic crime and politics; along with Corruption and Misconduct in Contemporary British Politics (1984) and Westminster Babylon (1990), State Crime completes his trilogy on aspects of sex, money and power in British politics. His last book was Fraud, published by Willan in 2006.