Criminology 9/11

Willem de Lint

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    9/11 is a historically significant event that was hastily designated by authorities as an act of both terrorism and war. It led to a call for forensics investigations and commissions of inquiry, notably the 9/11 Commission, which reported famously on alleged lapses in intelligence, preparedness and bureaucratic imagination. Some high profile crime events may be understood as ‘apex crimes’, conceptualized here as a subtype of political crime in which the ideological order, official narrative, contested and problematic forensics and third party review are each constitutive features. In support of a sociology of 9/11 as a criminal event and apex crime, the paper considers how 9/11 has ‘played out’ or been understood in criminology. The implication of the analysis is that the absence of serious academic engagement with 9/11 as a crime event is indicative of a lack of critical scrutiny of high-level political crimes in scholarly discourse (in criminology and other disciplines) and that this gives a pass to one of the most significant crime events in the past 50 years.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1157-1177
    Number of pages21
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2020


    • 9/11
    • critical criminology
    • political crime
    • disciplinary knowledge


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