Criminology as Epistemic Necropolitics

Tamari Kitossa


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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