Drawing on critical literature on state violence, torture and social movements, and based on archival documents and secondary sources, this article explores the cases of torture of far-left militants during the 1970s–1980s in Italy. It shows that these cases are still surrounded by silence, despite recent revelations and confessions by police officers, and analyses mechanisms of denial and recurrent tropes in the official discourse that contributed to shield state institutions and silence testimonies. It engages with the ‘emergency’ as a legal and discursive paradigm, creating sociopolitical conditions that enabled state violence and sustained its denial. Finally, it challenges the liberal approaches that postulate the incompatibility of liberal democratic government with state violence, and reminds the key role played by solidarity campaigns and mobilisations to condemn torture and demand truth and accountability.
In recent years, Brazil has experienced rising violence against activists and increasing deforestation levels in the Amazon. The processes leading to those events are not new. However, various discourses and events have intensified and underpinned extractive interests during Bolsonaro’s government. Hence, this article analyses the relationship between the State and activists in the Brazilian Amazon region between 2019 and 2022. It focuses on three regional paradigmatic case studies: (1) the ongoing gold miners’ (garimpeiros) invasion of the Yanomami territory; (2) the arrest of four environmentalists accused of setting fire to the forest in 2019; and (3) the murder of the journalist Dominic Phillips and the Indigenist Bruno Pereira in 2022. The case studies utilise publicly available data from reports, interviews, press releases and newspaper articles. Our main objective is to provide an overview of the characteristics of an increasingly antagonistic relationship between activists and the State. Drawing on those cases, the article builds on mobilisation theories, particularly Political Process Theories. Our central argument is that there are evident differences in the forms of repression activists face during far-right governments. This context shapes activism distinctively in the Amazonian region because violence routinely challenges social and environmental justice activism. Moreover, the current violence points to broader social questions and struggles between activists and agents of repression.
This article investigates processes of criminalisation and mechanisms of repression and control of oppositional political activism of Israel’s citizens, both Palestinians and Jews, given the state’s particular political formation as a ‘liberal settler state’ (). In order to do so, the article traces the ‘threshold of threat’ that leads to criminalisation and repression in Israel. I argue that the process of criminalisation and repression is tied with the construction of the concept of ‘threat’ and is always bound with race-making. Further, the article treats criminalisation as a multilayered process involving both state and non-state actors, and a range of informal and formal strategies. I further argue that the operational logic of the settler state dictates the strategies used to tolerate, contain, limit or crush dissent altogether. Since the Israeli state strives to maintain privileges to its Jewish citizenry, we can trace more reliance on ‘informal’ strategies of criminalisation towards its Jewish citizens, led by civil society organisations and actors, while the ‘formal’ strategies, led by the state, are preserved almost exclusively for dealing with Palestinian political activism. Finally, I argue that unravelling processes of criminalisation and oppression, triggered by the crossing of the threshold of threat, exposes state vulnerabilities and fragility. By tracing the shifting thresholds of threat we gain a window into the precarity of such a system of power and how it can be challenged and transformed. We can also learn what opportunities for resistance exist and what ‘openings’ must be seized.
Following the armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia, a new criminology of war developed, producing fresh insights and opening up original research streams. The incorporation of war within the remit of criminological analysis, advocated by classical as well as critical criminology, rapidly gained new momentum. The focus on asymmetrical conflicts and invasions unveiled the massive killing of civilians, bringing war into the arena of victimology. Moreover, the examination of the material forces that drive international conflicts situated such conflicts among the violent predatory offences that concern most criminological theories. The study of ‘war crimes’, ultimately, led some authors to shift attention towards ‘war as crime’. After briefly summarising the developments that shaped a criminology of war, this paper attempts further analytical steps towards the formulation of a criminology against war. A critique of the concept of ‘just wars’ is followed by the examination of the ambiguities that cloud the notions of jus ad bellum and jus in bello. Current legal provisions regulating international conflict are described as blank norms, while principles of peacebuilding are finally pinpointed.
This article synthesises literature on the evolution of domestic abuse (DA) refuges, with particular attention to the development of two models: the conventional or ‘underground’ refuge (UR) and the open or ‘Dutch’ refuge. The article will detail what the available evidence says about the benefits and drawbacks of these models and explore their implications for the DA sector in England, with reference to extending women’s space for action and meeting the needs of underserved victim-survivors.
The article argues that multiple models of provision are needed to meet the intersecting, complex and at times competing needs of different victim-survivors, and that available evidence provides preliminary support for the viability of the open model as part of a wider suite of responses to DA. Further research is needed to extend the evidence base on the open model, and to develop a whole system approach which can meet the needs of a wider range of victim-survivors.
Chapter 5 starts by outlining the high prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) evident in the case study cohort. The most commonly identified ACEs are discussed, in particular the co-morbidity of some (such as, for example, being a victim of physical abuse and witnessing domestic violence). The chapter also contains a discussion of the role of poverty and deprivation in serious youth violence, before finishing with youth justice workers’ views of the assessment tool that was developed to measure the prevalence of ACEs.
Whereas crime more generally has fallen over the last 20 years, levels of serious youth violence remain high. This book presents innovative research into the complex relationship between adverse childhood experiences and serious youth violence. While the implementation of trauma-informed approaches to working with adolescents in the justice system are becoming common practice, there remains a dearth of research into the efficacy of such approaches.
Foregrounding young people’s voices, this book explores the theoretical underpinnings of trauma and the manifestations of childhood adversity. The authors conclude by advocating for a more psychosocial approach to trauma-informed policy and practice within the youth justice system.
Chapter 8 brings together the preceding chapters and makes six policy and practice recommendations: deliver training around implementing trauma-informed practice; deliver training across the wider youth justice system; provide psychotherapeutic support to those young people who need it; offer clinical supervision to youth justice workers; support young people to meaningfully participate; and avoid quantifying ACEs as a measure of risk. The chapter also outlines the authors’ vision of the future of trauma-informed practice with justice-involved young people. Finally, the limitations of the research and potential future directions are discussed.
Chapter 1 outlines the background and context to the research. It describes the recent rise in serious youth violence (SYV) and the associated economic and societal cost that has served to increase political and populist concerns around SYV, resulting in a raft of new laws, policies and initiatives to tackle the issue. The growing body of research that has identified the disproportionate prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) among justice-involved young people, particularly those who perpetrate violent offences, is discussed. To investigate the complex relationship between ACEs and SYV, the research adopted an innovative mix of methods, including a bespoke quantitative ACEs assessment tool, qualitative interviews with youth justice workers, narrative life-story interviews with justice-involved young people, and participatory creative workshops with justice-involved young people. The chapter finishes by outlining the structure of the book.