Violence and the State

Penny Green, Tony Ward

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter is concerned with ‘organized physical violence in the most material sense of the term: violence to the body’ (Poulantzas, 1978b: 29). There may be a good case for defining violence more broadly in some criminological contexts (Salmi, 2004; Tombs, 2007), but what concerns us here is the close relationship between organized physical violence and the state. Not only do modern states claim a monopoly of legitimate violence in this sense (Weber, 1968); they also perpetrate or instigate most of the world's serious violent crime: the infliction of pain, injury or death in contravention of legal or moral norms (Green and Ward, 2004). It is this illegitimate violence, or state crime, that concerns us here.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationState, Power, Crime
EditorsRoy Coleman, Joe Sim, Steve Tombs, David Whyte
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781446269527
ISBN (Print)9781412948050
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


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