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Genocide, Terrorism, and the Conceptualization of Catastrophic Criminology

Author(s): George S. Yacoubian, Jr., J.D., Ph.D.

Journal: War Crimes, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity
ISSN 1551-322X

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 65;
Date: 2006;
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Keywords: War Crimes | International Law | Genocide | Terrorism | Criminology

Several criminological perspectives have advance agendas that favor threatened or underprivileged individuals and groups, each arguing that crime cannot be solved without fundamental social change. While these outlooks evidence an evolution in the application of criminological theory, they do not address types of crimes committed, but rather the structural entities that force their commission. In the current essay, the expanded meaning of the criminal act is extended to “catastrophic criminology,” a framework that emphasizes the calamitous nature of certain criminal acts. Through an examination of the crimes of genocide and terrorism, catastrophic criminology provides the foundation for incorporating harmful yet previously neglected criminal acts into the discipline under which their study should naturally fall.
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