State Crime: Exploring the Nexus between Power, Politics and Organized Criminal Networks

Publication Information

Journal Title: Law & Political Review
Author(s): Bhavya Tandon
Published On: 02/12/2023
Volume: 8
First Page: 192
Last Page: 204
ISSN: 2581-7191
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

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Bhavya Tandon, State Crime: Exploring the Nexus between Power, Politics and Organized Criminal Networks, Volume 8, Law & Political Review, 192-204, Published on 02/12/2023, Available at


The article analyses crime in contemporary society, shedding light on state crime involving the criminal network. Crime is a social construct that varies from state to state, often making it difficult to determine whether the state has committed a crime against its people. As the state makes the law, it can define what is and isn’t a crime when committed. This has led many sociologists to adopt a zemiological approach to state crimes. In other words, it focuses on the harm caused rather than the legality of the actions. The article aims to explain how the state harms and damages humans, the natural environment, and local economies to advance its interests. The article begins by defining ‘state crime’ and what types of categories and legal frameworks can be used in determining wrongful actions committed by the state. Secondly, the article focuses on defining the identities of individuals and government actors complicit in committing state crimes. Often, the state colludes with other interests, such as criminal networks and influential elites. State-organized crime emerges from the nexus between the state and organized crime. This concept is further explained by drawing on the case study of the Yakuza, also known as gokudo. This transnational organized crime syndicate has dominated Japan’s underworld for over a century through brutality, extortion rackets, and gambling.

Keywords: State crime, Criminal network, Organised crime, Yakuza, Social harm

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