The Axis of Evil—the War on Terror, the ‘Enemy Within’ and the Politics of Evil and the State

  • Melissa Dearey
Part of the Critical Criminological Perspectives book series (CCRP)


In this penultimate chapter, we will conclude the final section of the book dealing with social science theories of evil with an examination of an important contemporary issue involving politics, evil and the state: the so-called axis of evil and the war on terror. The main questions/themes addressed are what is evil at the state level, e.g. by and between governments, international agencies and political elites and their (perceived) enemies? What is the impact of these conceptualizations of evil from and among states, and what kinds of political realities, discourses and consequences do they generate from the perspective of non-state actors, such as ‘terrorists’ or ordinary citizens? How does studying evil with specific reference to the modern nation state in the wake of 9/11 shape our understanding of the term? And what do political science, cultural theory and feminist theories have to tell us about the gendering of evil in relation to the social institutions and the state?


Feminist Theory Political Elite Political Liberalism Bush Administration Political Reality 
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Copyright information

© Melissa Dearey 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa Dearey
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HullUK

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