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Transformation of Violence in Iraq

NCJ Number
British Journal of Criminology Volume: 49 Issue: 5 Dated: September 2009 Pages: 609-627
Penny Green; Tony Ward
Date Published
September 2009
19 pages
This article explores the connections between various forms of organized political violence and seemingly private, non-political violence in post-invasion Iraq.
In attempting to demonstrate the ways in which political and criminal violence have converged to create a new landscape of violence following the overthrow of Saddam's Iraq, the most important identified characteristic of this transformation of violence is the rise of 'dual-purpose' criminality, which include acts of murder, rape, kidnapping, smuggling, and robbery that simultaneously accommodate individual and organizational goals. Traditionally, criminology has confined itself to the study of acts that infringe the state monopoly of violence. More recently, the study of state crime has refocused attention on the state as perpetrator of lawless violence. In this article, these two fields converge. Iraq is beset by multiple competing processes of state building. This article illuminates the impact of post-invasion Iraq on the dynamics of violence within Iraqi society. It focuses on the two manifestations of internal violence: the relationship between the militias and organized crime and the rise of violent crimes against women and gay men. References


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