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Organised crime and violence

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Bringing together contributors primarily from Europe and North America, this handbook approaches its topic from a primarily sociological viewpoint, although contributions from philosophy, cultural studies, law, criminology, political science, psychology, history, and sociobiology have been included to broaden the scope. The first papers (there are a total of 63) lay out the theoretical justifications for looking at violence as a result of social processes. The topics then turn to investigations of social structures and institutions, social conditions, and state actors in the perpetuation of violence. The political and ideological motivations of collective and group violence are discussed, as are the causes of individual violence. Victims of violence are profiled as individuals and collectives. Other topics include the role of opportunity structures, structures of meaning, and political justifications. Final papers consider explanations of escalation or de-escalation of violence.

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