Eliminating state crime by abolishing the state



Publication Details

Martin, B. (1995). 'Eliminating state crime by abolishing the state', in J. Ian. Ross (Eds.), Controlling the State: An Introduction (pp. 389-417). New York: Garland Publishing.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Garland Publishing


State crime seems inevitable as long as there are states. In the well-known formulation by Weber (1947), states are communities based on a monopoly over "legitimate" violence within a territory. What makes violence "legitimate" is that it is sanctioned by the state itself. This violence is perpetrated by a variety of state actors. There is no higher power to ensure that this monopoly over violence is used for the greater good and, indeed, it is regularly used for the aggrandisement of ruling elites at the expense of the general population.

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