Understanding Political Violence: A Criminological Analysis

Understanding Political Violence: A Criminological Analysis

Understanding Political Violence: A Criminological Analysis

Understanding Political Violence: A Criminological Analysis

Synopsis

Understanding Political Violenceintroduces political violence in the context of sociological and criminological debates. The author distinguishes between political violence from below, for example collective violence, insurgency, armed struggle and terrorism; and political violence from above, which includes indiscriminate repression, institutional and state violence, torture and war. Vincenzo Ruggiero discusses and critiques the contribution of criminological theory to understanding political violence. He draws on stimulating case studies to illustrate the theory, including interviews with former members of the Red Army Faction in Germany and the Brigate Rosse in Italy. The concluding chapter examines the recent development of a criminology of war and calls for a general ceasefire and the criminalisation of war, the most extreme form of institutional violence. This is essential reading for students and researchers in criminology, political studies, sociology, and war and conflict studies.

Excerpt

This book by Vincenzo Ruggiero is the fifteenth in the Crime and Justice series published by Open University Press/McGraw Hill. The series is well established as a key resource in universities teaching criminology or criminal justice, especially in the UK but increasingly also overseas. The aim from the outset has been to give undergraduates and graduates both a solid grounding in the relevant area and a taste to explore it further. Although aimed primarily at students new to the field, and written as far as possible in plain language, the books are not oversimplified. On the contrary, the authors set out to 'stretch' readers and to encourage them to approach criminological knowledge and theory in a critical and questioning frame of mind.

Conventional criminology texts and courses have until recently paid relatively little attention to the issues discussed in this unusual and challenging book, but events over the past few years have made it increasingly obvious that understanding political violence - be it by governments, organized groups or individuals - should be an essential component of any study of violent behaviour. Vincenzo Ruggiero discusses and critiques the particular contribution of criminological theory to the understanding of this topic, highlighting its shortcomings as well as its potential explanatory strength. The book is ambitious and wide-ranging, drawing on the history of criminological thought from the eighteenth century to the present day, and it combines theoretical discussion with supporting case studies drawn from round the world. It also links European debates with current analyses of 'international terrorism' mainly produced across the Atlantic. In doing so, it tackles key questions about the relevance or otherwise of theories about individual or 'common' violence to explanations of collective or political violence.

The book is structured largely chronologically, beginning with a substantial exposition of the 'classical' theories and definitions of political violence developed by Beccaria and Bentham, and of the major . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.