States and Illegal Practices


Joining theories of states and state formation with theories of illegal practices, this pioneering book traces the unholy alliance of official practices with criminality. Criminal subcultures, mafias and gangs have been the subject of a great deal of attention, as have formal policy approaches of the state. However, the interaction of state police apparatuses with illegal practices has been neglected, despite the recent Foucauldian emphasis on discourses of power, order and disorder.Written by leading experts in the fields of anthropology and history, this book asks why illegal practices -- including corruption and protection rackets -- do not disappear, but continue to thrive. It examines the development of transnational illegal networks, such as the narcotics trade and the new trade in environmentally restricted commodities, as well as how culture, ethnicity and economic considerations drive illegal practices and influence state policy. Wide-ranging in scope, this interdisciplinary book will appeal to anyone studying the sociology of crime and of the state, political science, criminal justice and the law, the anthropology of law and of the state and the history of crime.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Josiah Mcc. Heyman
  • Alan Smart
  • Thomas W. Gallant
  • David Nugent
  • Alfred W. McCoy
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Oxford, England
Publication year:
  • 1999


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