That was then, this is now, what about tomorrow? Future directions in state crime studies

Dawn L. Rothe, Jeffrey Ian Ross, Christopher W. Mullins, David Friedrichs, Raymond Michalowski, Gregg Barak, David Kauzlarich, Ronald C. Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Research and theorizing on state crime has come to play an important role in the fields of criminology and criminal justice for understanding the worst of crimes: those of powerful state agencies and agents. Since William Chambliss' (1989) ASC presidential address, scholars of state crime have made advances in theoretical modeling and analyzing core enactment and etiological factors of crimes of the state (e.g., Barak 1991; Friedrichs 1998; Grabosky 1989; Kauzlarich and Kramer 1998; Kramer and Michalowski 2005; Kramer et al. 2005; Michalowski and Kramer 2006; Mullins and Rothe 2008a, b; Pearce 1976; Ross 1995, 2000; Rothe 2009; Rothe and Mullins 2006, 2008). Nonetheless, the study of state crime still has a long way to go before it ever reaches the magnitude or legitimacy afforded to the study of traditional street crime. It is with this in mind that several leading scholars of state criminality have come together and reevaluated the state of state crime and the ways in which the field must move forward. This kind of inventory, where scholars examine the past, present and future of the field, is not without precedent. For example, almost a decade ago (Ross et al. 1999) explored the difficulty of conducting state crime research and made a series of recommendations on how it could be improved. Nearly 7 years later (Rothe and Friedrichs 2006) re-evaluated the state of state crime and called for more attention to those beyond US crimes of the state and include crimes of globalization and also international controls such as the International Criminal Court (Friedrichs and Friedrichs 2007; Rothe and Mullins 2006; Rothe et al. 2006, 2008). Since that time, there has been substantial movement by scholars of state crime in these other areas, yet, as we note, there still remains key issues that need to be addressed and overcome: it is with this that we again revisit the field of state crime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
JournalCritical Criminology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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