Add Parsimony and Stir . . . Exploring the Explanation of State Crime

Michael Lynch, Michael Long, Paul Stretesky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In recent years there has been an attempt to develop a single, general theory of state crime. The procedure used for this purpose has involved ad hoc theorizing and thick descriptions based on qualitative data assessments from a relatively small number of cases. This creates a “theory” that describes all known information and is modified with the discovery of each new piece of information. Using this procedure, the theory proposes no hypotheses for testing, and cannot be falsified. Moreover, the theory is only based on “positive” cases or cases where state crimes are the given outcome (i.e., state crimes never fail to occur). The non-parsimonious nature of the theory that has resulted from these procedures cannot be empirically tested. For state crime theory to advance, parsimonious, empirically testable models with identifiable, measurable concepts must be pursued.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-118
JournalAmerican Journal of Criminal Justice
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

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