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Queering State Crime Theory: The State, Civil Society and Marginalization

Critical Criminology

Published online on


This article argues that criminology desperately needs to look at the ways in which states marginalize and persecute lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and queer (LGBTQ) identities. It critically examines the ways in which states reproduce hegemonic dictates that privilege those who adhere to gendered heterosexual norms over all others. This article further considers how the application of state crime theories, in particular Michalowski’s (State crime in the global age, pp. 13–30, Devon, Willan, 2010) tripartite framework, might further foreground the responsibility of the state in protecting LGBTQ identities. Examples of how this framework could be applied are given, with the case study of criminalization of same sex relations being focused on in depth. The article concludes by positing four key points to be considered in any analysis that attempts to critique the role of the state in the perpetuation of heterosexual hegemony.