Featuring contributions by many of the leading scholars in the field, this seminal text explores the key themes and debates on state power today, in relation to crime and social order. It critically evaluates a range of substantive areas of criminological concern, including terrorism, surveillance, violence, and the media.

Key Features

  • Gives historical overviews of key theories about state power
  • Provides an assessment of the relationship between crime, criminal justice, and the state
  • Analyzes the development of law and order policy
  • Discusses the impact of structural fissures such as gender, race and sexuality
  • Presents an overview of current research and writing
  • Offers critical reflection on the future direction of research and analysis
  • Provides advice on further reading

In 1978, with the publication of Hall et al's Policing the Crisis and Poulantzas's State, Power, Socialism, the complexity of the state's interventions in maintaining a capitalist social order were laid bare for critical criminological analysis. State, Power, Crime offers an up to date and comprehensive examination of the challenges posed by state power, in relation to both criminal and social justice. It is essential reading for upper level undergraduates and postgraduates in criminology, criminal justice and sociology.

Victims and the State
Victims and the state

The state is a great civilizing force, a necessary and virtuous component of the good society. But if it is to take on this role, the state must itself be civilized — made safe by and for democracy. (Loader and Walker, 2007: 7)


The quote from Loader and Walker cited above captures both the positive and the negative processes that we have all experienced in relation to both the real and imagined work that the state does, and fails to do, in ensuring that the interests of society as a whole are met. In many ways, it can be read as a normative statement. One of the purposes of this chapter is to explore the extent to which the ...

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