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School of Law

Dr Thomas MacManus


Senior Lecturer in State Crime

Room Number: Room 608, Queen Mary Graduate Centre, Mile End Campus


Follow Dr MacManus on Twitter: @tmacmanus

Thomas MacManus is Senior Lecturer in State Crime and Acting Director of the International State Crime Initiative (ISCI) at the School of Law. He has a BA (Hons) in Law and Accounting (University of Limerick), an LLM (with distinction) in International Law (University of Westminster) and a PhD in Law and Criminology (King’s College London). Dr MacManus is admitted as an Attorney-at-Law (New York State) and Solicitor (Ireland). He is Editor-in-Chief of State Crime journal and Associate Editor of the International Journal of Human Rights.


Undergraduate Teaching

  • LAW4104 Contract Law I: Formation and Vitiation
  • LAW6021 Jurisprudence and Legal Theory
  • LAW6045 Criminology

Postgraduate Teaching


Dr MacManus' first book analysed the specific criminogenic relationship between the state and corporation, and the state and civil society, in the case of Trafigura’s dumping of toxic waste in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in August 2006. Empirical and ethnographic research undertaken in London and on a field trip to Abidjan revealed that the impunity that was enjoyed by the Ivory Coast state and Trafigura for this state-corporate crime was underpinned by the power of the corporation and by failures of both domestic and international civil society organisations that might have been expected to label and challenge the crimes. Moreover, the research revealed that in the case of this particular example of state-corporate crime, civil society as an agency of censure and sanction played a distinctly retrogressive role. These crimes facilitated a 'commodification of victimhood’, and the failure of domestic civil society organisations ensured that impunity was virtually guaranteed for the corporation and the government. The research also examined the failure of international and domestic legal measures to sanction the perpetrators.

From 2012 to 2014, Dr MacManus worked on an ESRC project (led by Prof Penny Green) which looked at the role of civil society organisations in defining, censuring and resisting criminal acts committed, instigated or condoned by state agencies. It was a cross-cultural study which focuses on civil society’s resistance to state crime in six countries (Burma/Myanmar, Colombia, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Turkey and Tunisia), all of which are undergoing processes of reconstruction following severe violent conflict.

In August 2014, Thomas started working on an ESRC Urgent Grants Mechanism project to determine whether or not conditions of persecution against Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority have developed into genocidal practice. Research was conducted within a state crime framework (Green and Ward 2001; 2004) wherein genocide is understood as a process, building over a period of years, and involving an escalation in the dehumanisation and persecution of the target group.

Dr MacManus is currently looking at the role of public relations companies and the services they offer to states. He continues to work on genocide issues, including the destruction of the Uighur people in China.


  • Trump and Nuclear Weapons (Chapter 9) in Kowalski, J (ed.) (2018) Reading Donald Trump: A Parallax View of the Campaign and Early Presidency. London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Peace Sign, La Comunidad de Paz de San José de Apartadó in Hohmann, J and Joyce, D (eds.) (2018) International Law's Objects. Oxford: OUP
  • Genocide Achieved, Genocide Continues: Myanmar’s Annihilation of the Rohingya (with Penny Green and Alicia de la Cour Venning) (2018) London: International State Crime Initiative
  • State-Corporate Crime and the Commodification of Victimhood: The Toxic Legacy of Trafigura’s Ship of Death (2018). London and New York: Routledge
  • Los rohingya del estado de Rakhine (Myanmar): la evolución de un proceso genocida (with Penny Green and Alicia de la Cour Venning) (2017), Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal (GSP), 12(1), pp
  • Crimes of the Powerful in the Global South: 'State Failure' as Elite Success (with Kristian Lasslett) (2017) in Kerry Carrington et al. (Eds), The Palgrave Handbook of Criminology and the Global South, London: Palgrave Macmillan
  • The denial industry: public relations, ‘crisis management’ and corporate crime (2016) The International Journal of Human Rights 20(6), pp785-797 (DOI: 10.1080/13642987.2016.1156882).

Public Engagement

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