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Towards a criminology of crimes against humanity

Title: Towards a criminology of crimes against humanity.
Name(s): Maier-Katkin, Daniel, author
Mears, Daniel P., author
Bernard, Thomas J., author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Journal Article
Date Issued: 2009-05-01
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Criminology has largely ignored the study of crimes against humanity. This neglect is striking in light of the fact that these behaviors—genocide, murder, rape, torture, the appropriation or destruction of property, and the displacement and enslavement of populations—are criminal under national and international law and are more serious than even the most violent behaviors commonly studied by criminologists. It also is striking in light of the discipline’s Enlightenment connections to the development of modern conceptions of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. We examine why criminology has neglected the study of crimes against humanity, and argue that criminological theorizing will benefit by inclusion of this substantive area within criminology’s disciplinary domain. We then put forward a theory of crimes against humanity derived from and expanding on existing criminological theory both to offer a basis for new theoretical and empirical work and to illustrate how criminological theories might be modified to provide more powerful accounts of crime. Throughout the paper we draw on a case study of genocidal mass-murder: Jedwabne, Poland, July 1941.
Identifier: FSU_libsubv1_scholarship_submission_1548700959_2181b2a7 (IID), 10.1177/1362480609102880 (DOI)
Keywords: crimes against humanity, genocide, criminology theory, Jedwabne
Publication Note: The version of record can be found at
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: Theoretical Criminology.
Issue: iss. 2, vol. 13

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Maier-Katkin, D., Mears, D. P., & Bernard, T. J. (2009). Towards a criminology of crimes against humanity. Theoretical Criminology. Retrieved from