Power, Struggle and State Crime: Researching Through Resistance

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Following the commission of state crimes, state officials are in the privileged position of being able to mobilize significant resources to conceal their activities. Laying siege to the fortifications which facilitate denial is a difficult, often dangerous process that can, in general, only be mounted by movements of resistance. Consequently, generating conceptual tools which researchers can use to strategically manoeuvre within contexts defined by denial, struggle and resistance is a pressing methodological challenge for state crime studies. To that end, the first part of this article will present an analytical framework which helps sensitize researchers to the shifting social forces that condition denial and resistance. In the second part of this article the analytical framework will be applied to an empirical case study in order to demonstrate the practical research outcomes which these shifting social forces can engender. It will be concluded that state crime researchers must work with the rhythm of struggle, using research methodologies which permit strategic action.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-148
Number of pages23
JournalState Crime Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Apr 2012


  • state crime
  • crimes of the powerful
  • methodology
  • resistance
  • Bougainville


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