Critical Criminology

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 217–236

Unmasking the Crimes of the Powerful

  • Steve Tombs
  • Dave Whyte

DOI: 10.1023/B:CRIT.0000005811.87302.17

Cite this article as:
Tombs, S. & Whyte, D. Critical Criminology (2003) 11: 217. doi:10.1023/B:CRIT.0000005811.87302.17


Even in formally open, liberal, democratic states, a series of barriers exist as obstacles to critical criminologists who wish to conduct research that scrutinises the activities of powerful states and corporations. Much evidence suggests that in the current political climate, the barring of access to sources of data, neo-liberal re-configurations in the funding of research, and the narrowing of publishing and dissemination opportunities to counter-hegemonic voices are severely limiting the ability to conduct critical research. This article reports on recent experiences of researchers concerned with unmasking the crimes of the powerful and argues that, despite the obstacles power sources use to obscure and mystify the illegal and violent practices engaged in by states and corporations, there remains fertile space around research agendas, and in universities, for critical researchers to exploit. To gain insight from the ways in which researchers can, and do, establish alternative agendas, this article seeks to explore some of the principles that might inform and encourage those forms of resistance, and to establish how critical criminologists might continue to subject the powerful to scrutiny.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steve Tombs
  • Dave Whyte

There are no affiliations available

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