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Crime and Human Rights

Crime and Human Rights
Criminology of Genocide and Atrocities

April 2010 | 144 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Crimes against humanity are amongst the most shocking violations imaginable. Savelsberg's text provides a much-needed criminological insight to the topic, exploring explanations of and responses to human rights abuses. Linking human rights scholarship with criminological theory, the book is divided into three parts:

  • Part 1: Examines the legal and historical approach to the topic within a criminological framework
  • Part 2: Unpicks the aetiology of human rights offending with real and detailed case studies
  • Part 3: Explores institutional responses to crimes and uses criminological theory to offer solutions.

Seminal yet concise, Crime and Human Rights is written for advanced students, postgraduates and scholars of crime, crime control and human rights. With its fresh and original approach to a complex topic, the book's appeal will span across disciplines from politics and sociology to development studies, law, and philosophy.



Compact Criminology is an exciting series that invigorates and challenges the international field of criminology. 


Books in the series are short, authoritative, innovative assessments of emerging issues in criminology and criminal justice – offering critical, accessible introductions to important topics.  They take a global rather than a narrowly national approach.  Eminently readable and first-rate in quality, each book is written by a leading specialist.


Compact Criminology provides a new type of tool for teaching, learning and research, one that is flexible and light on its feet. The series addresses fundamental needs in the growing and increasingly differentiated field of criminology.

How Have Governments Responded to Atrocities and Human Rights Violations?

When Are Atrocities Crimes?
How and Why Have States and Governments Been Constrained?
How Does Genocide Unfold? The Case of the Holocaust

Can Genocide Studies and Criminology Enrich Each Other?
How Can Criminology Address Contemporary Atrocities?
What Is the Role of Criminal Courts?
How Effective Can Courts Be and What Can Help Them?

In this concise book... Joachim J. Savelsberg provides further illumination on a topic affecting the wellbeing and future of humanity, specifically through the lenses of criminology...Savelsberg’s book effectively achieves a number of objectives. Firstly, and perhaps importantly, this concise reading provides a meaningful contribution to the growing branches of critical and contemporary criminology, while providing original ideas to further enrich literature on genocide and atrocities. In writing on these crimes, Savelsberg adopts an international approach with the inclusion of case studies, research findings, laws and legal institutions from around the globe. Many opportunities for both theoretical and empirical research are also exposed, thus helping to encourage further research in this area and to facilitate multidisciplinary scholarly collaboration. Titles for each thematic section, chapter, and subsection headers are all posed as questions as a creative way to engage the reader in a conversation with Savelsberg. This makes the book all the more clear and lively, similar to attending a lecture

Michael J. Puniskis
Crime, Law and Social Change

Joachim Savelsberg brings a unique perspective and research background to the topic of crime and human rights. The book provides a succinct and penetrating analysis that persuasively explains why contemporary criminology must widen its boundaries to make human rights crimes a priority for our field. This book is essential reading for scholars and students
John Hagan
MacArthur Professor, Northwestern University

"Joachim Savelsberg is one of the world's finest sociologists of crime and the institutions through which it is constituted and controlled. In this brief but path-breaking study he shows how the tools of criminological analysis can deepen our understanding of the processes that produce genocide and crimes against humanity - and why an engagement with human rights is essential for a 21st century criminology that aspires to depth and relevance."

David Garland
New York University

Class assignment changed, but I do plan to adopt it for the genocide special topics class I teach at my current institution when I teach it in the future. It's a really good text, even though it does have some minor errors.

Dr Robert Keeton
Sociology Dept, University of Tennessee
February 15, 2013

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One PDF

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ISBN: 9781847879257
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