1st Edition

Political Expression and Conflict Transformation in Divided Societies Criminalising Politics and Politicising Crime

By Daniel Kirkpatrick Copyright 2020
    196 Pages
    by Routledge

    196 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book considers how the social construction of crime and the criminalising of political expression impact upon different stages in a violent political conflict.

    The freedom to express our political opinions is regarded as an essential human right throughout most of the world, and yet, in defence of our security, governments often place various restrictions on it. This book directly considers what these restrictions are in the context of deeply divided societies to understand how they impact upon intergroup relations in four different contexts: nonviolent movements, counter-insurgency, peace negotiations, and post-settlement peacebuilding. Drawing on an extensive body of original interviews and archival material, the volume analyses this relationship through an in-depth consideration of Northern Ireland and South Africa, followed by a wider analysis of Turkey, Sri Lanka, Belgium, and Canada. The overarching argument is that the implications of criminalising political expression depend on both its ‘target’ and the wider social reality it contributes towards.

    This book will be of much interest to students of conflict resolution, transitional justice, law, and International Relations.

    Introduction: Mapping the ‘crime’ of political expression  1. Criminalisation and the social reality of crime  Part I: Criminalisation in Context  2. Nonviolent Movements: Criminalising protest and political mobilization  3. Counter-insurgency: Politicising crime to criminalise politics  4. Peace Negotiations: Why negotiate when you can criminalise?  5. Post-settlement: Criminal records and informal decriminalisation  Part II: The Evolution of Criminalisation  6. Transforming criminalisation or criminalising transformation in deeply divided societies  Conclusion: Criminalising political expression today


    Daniel Kirkpatrick is a Research Fellow with the Conflict Analysis Research Centre, University of Kent, UK.