In this book, Vincenzo Ruggiero offers a typology of different forms of political violence. From systemic and institutional violence, to the behaviour of crowds, to armed conflict and terrorism, Ruggiero draws on a range of perspectives from criminology, social theory, political science, critical legal studies and literary criticism to consider how these forms of violence are linked in an interdependent field of forces.

Ruggiero argues that systemic violence encourages more institutional violence, which in turn weakens the ability of citizens to set up political agendas for change. He advocates for a reduction of all types of violence, which can be enacted through fairer distribution of resources and the provision of political space for contention and negotiation.

This book will be of interest to all those engaged in research on violence, terrorism, armed conflict and the crimes of the powerful. It makes an important contribution to criminological and social theory.

chapter 1|10 pages


chapter 2|18 pages

Systemic violence

chapter 3|18 pages

Institutional violence

chapter 4|21 pages

Crowds and group violence

chapter 5|17 pages

Conspiracy and the contemplation of crime

chapter 6|19 pages

Armed struggle and civil war

chapter 7|22 pages

Random killing and martyrdom

chapter 8|15 pages

Chaotic murder

chapter 9|18 pages

Belligerence as sexual violence

chapter 10|18 pages

Numinous terror

chapter 11|17 pages

Violence and social change

chapter 12|12 pages