Torture and social crime from a transnational perspective

January 26, 2018

The Institute’s own SSRN research paper series starts off the year with two thematically related contributions, which illustrate by means of example the transnationalisation of criminal law and security regimes in the 19th and 20th centuries, which investigates the research project "The Formation of Transnational Criminal Law Regimes".

Sylvia Kesper-Biermann analyses the emergence and development of the transnational anti-torture regimes from the Enlightenment to the UN Convention against Torture (1984) as well as the complex relations between torture, security and (international) law. In particular, she refers to emotions in the public discourse and their influence on the history of the anti-torture regimes. In his contribution, Richard Bach Jensen takes up the concept of “social crime”, which developed within the context of the international criminal discourse as a reaction to the transnational anarchistic threat. The concept was supposed to enable the criminalisation of cross-border political violence as a crime against the entire society, but it simply disappeared after the 1930s and was eventually replaced by “international terrorism”.

Both contributions, therefore, offer new insights into the formation of transnational and/or international criminal legal regimes and normative orders. They are now available online on SSRN and will be published as a volume in the series Studien zu Policey, Kriminalitätsgeschichte und Konfliktregulierung.

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