Crime, Law, and Regime Change

Posted: 5 Nov 2014

See all articles by Joachim Savelsberg

Joachim Savelsberg

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Suzy McElrath

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Dept of Sociology

Date Written: November 2014

Abstract

Complex reciprocal relationships between crime, law, and regime change are explored through a review of the literature. The first part of this article examines the stabilizing function of law for political regimes and the risks for regime stability associated with weakened rule of law and state crime. The literature on experiences from state socialist regimes prompts questions regarding the future of Western interventionist states, especially during periods of tightening government control. The second part examines crime and law during and after regime change. The focus is on (a) legal responses to past state crimes (or transitional justice), especially criminal trials, and effects of such responses, partly mediated by collective memories, on human rights and democracy records of new regimes and (b) societal crime rates after transitions to democracy and the role of law in response to rapid increases of crime in post-transition situations.

Suggested Citation

Savelsberg, Joachim and McElrath, Suzy, Crime, Law, and Regime Change (November 2014). Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 10, pp. 259-279, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2519025 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-110413-030555

Joachim Savelsberg (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities ( email )

420 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Suzy McElrath

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Dept of Sociology ( email )

909 Soc Sci Bld
267 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

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