The Rise and Fall of the 'Social Crime' in Legal Theory and International Law: The Failure to Create a New Normative Order to Regularize Terrorism, 1880-1930s

Karl Härter, Tina Hannappel, Conrad Tyrichter (eds.), The Transnationalisation of Criminal Law and Security in the 19th and 20th Century: Crimes, Instruments, Regimes and Normative Orders (Studien zu Policey, Kriminalitätsgeschichte und Konfliktregulierung, 2018, Forthcoming)

Max Planck Institute for European Legal History Research Paper Series No. 2018-02

12 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2018 Last revised: 15 Feb 2020

See all articles by Richard Bach Jensen

Richard Bach Jensen

Northwestern State University - Louisiana Scholars’ College

Date Written: January 1, 2018

Abstract

At the end of the nineteenth century, the concept of the social crime developed in response to the violent deeds of the anarchists and other subversives. This essay will examine how and why this idea of the social crime permeated legal theory and international law with increasing frequency prior to and after World War One, but fell out of favor by the mid-1930s. It virtually disappeared from legal and political discourse following 1945, although vestiges of it remain in European penal codes. The decline of the social crime was due to the fact that its definition of terrorism no longer fit the violent deeds at the forefront of terrorist practice and demonstrates how perceptions of terrorism have evolved historically.

Keywords: social crime, anarchism, terrorism, international law

Suggested Citation

Jensen, Richard Bach, The Rise and Fall of the 'Social Crime' in Legal Theory and International Law: The Failure to Create a New Normative Order to Regularize Terrorism, 1880-1930s (January 1, 2018). Karl Härter, Tina Hannappel, Conrad Tyrichter (eds.), The Transnationalisation of Criminal Law and Security in the 19th and 20th Century: Crimes, Instruments, Regimes and Normative Orders (Studien zu Policey, Kriminalitätsgeschichte und Konfliktregulierung, 2018, Forthcoming), Max Planck Institute for European Legal History Research Paper Series No. 2018-02, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3100744

Richard Bach Jensen (Contact Author)

Northwestern State University - Louisiana Scholars’ College ( email )

110 Morrison Hall
326 Caspari St
Natchitoches, LA 71497
United States

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