Criminology as Epistemic Necropolitics

Tamari Kitossa

Published Date: May 18, 2021 | Accepted Date: May 18, 2021 | Submitted Date: May 18, 2021


I argue in this essay that from 1492 to the present, the Global North has used theories of “crime,” its causation and control, as part of a three-pronged epistemic necropolitical attack on the Global South. I suggest that the emergence of critical criminology and its more recent offshoots, given their dependence on the present or hypothetical war making and coercive state, are themselves a part of the problem. I suggest criminology is a Trojan Horse that brings epistemic toxic waste and destruction in the guise of deterministic theories on crime and its control. Like their Inquisitorial predecessors, I suggest criminology and criminologists are clerical dangers that ought to be avoided by the Global South. Alternatively, I point to scholars that have revolted against the criminological plantation to found sovereign epistemic worldviews and communities that resist the epistemic imperialism of the Global North.


colonialism and imperialism, criminology, epistemic transfer, epistemic violence, Inquisition

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