Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Nuclear Weapons and State Crime

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_116


Since the advent of the nuclear age, only a relatively small number of lawyers and criminologists have addressed the issue of nuclear weapons from anything resembling a criminological perspective. From 1945 on, questions concerning the legality or illegality of “the bomb” were raised, and over the years, a number of legal scholars and courts have analyzed the legal status of nuclear weapons under international law (Falk 1965, 2008a, b; Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy 1990; International Court of Justice 1996; Boyle 2002). One legal analyst argues “that we need to recognize the intrinsic criminality of any threat or use of nuclear weapons” (Falk 2008a, p. 43). However, the number of criminologists who have advocated for or directly engaged in criminological inquiry concerning nuclear weapons is quite small (Friedrichs 1985, 2010a, b; Kauzlarich and Kramer 1998; Kramer and Kauzlarich 1999, 2011; Kramer and Bradshaw 2011). One prominent criminologist has observed: “It is...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyWestern Michigan UniversityKalamazooUSA