Academic research into state crimes against democracy

From American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 53, No. 6 February 2010

In Denial of Democracy: Social Psychological Implications for Public Discourse on State Crimes Against Democracy Post-9/11

Protecting democracy requires that the general public be educated on how people can be manipulated by government and media into forfeiting their civil liberties and duties. This article reviews research on cognitive constructs that can prevent people from processing information that challenges preexisting assumptions about government, dissent, and public discourse in democratic societies. Terror management theory and system justification theory are used to explain how preexisting beliefs can interfere with people?s examination of evidence for state crimes against democracy (SCADs), specifically in relation to the events of September 11, 2001, and the war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. Reform strategies are proposed to motivate citizens toward increased social responsibility in a post-9/11 culture of propagandized fear, imperialism, and war.

Beyond Conspiracy Theory: Patterns of High Crime in American Government

This article explores the conceptual, methodological, and practical implications of research on state crimes against democracy ... delineates a general category of criminality and calls for crimes that fit this category to be examined comparatively ... forms of political corruption that frequently involve political, military, and/or economic elites at the very highest levels of the social and political order.

Negative Information Action: Danger for Democracy

This article explores evidence of, and provides insight into, secrecy-related information actions that are sometimes used to circumvent established government policy and law. These information actions may also be used to cover up such circumventions after the fact. To better understand secrecy as a negative information action and its impact on democracy, secrecy-related information actions are described according to methods, information technologies, and knowledge support. Negative information actions are willful and deliberate acts designed to keep government information from those in government and the public entitled to it. Negative information actions subvert the rule of law and the constitutional checks and balances. Negative information actions used by government officials to violate policies and laws during the IranContra Affair are identified, analyzed, and categorized by type. The relative impact of negative information actions on enlightened citizen understanding is demonstrated using a Negative Information Action Model by assigning a location according to type on a continuum of enlightened citizen understanding. Findings are compared with democratic theory and conspiracy doctrine.

From Administration & Society, Vol. 41, No. 5 November 2009

Preventing State Crimes Against Democracy

This article analyzes U.S. vulnerabilities to state crimes against democracy ... actions or inactions by government insiders intended to manipulate democratic processes and undermine popular sovereignty ... crimes involving top officials in high office are difficult to detect and successfully prosecute because they are usually complex and compartmentalized; investigations are often compromised by conflicts of interests; and powerful norms discourage speculation about corruption in high office.

If anyone can get hold of these articles please let us know. JS


These look very promising. The publications should be available eg in university libraries.