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Dr Thomas MacManus

Research Fellow

Room Number: 608


Follow Thomas MacManus on Twitter: @tmacmanus

Thomas MacManus is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow based at the International State Crime Initiative in the Department 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). Thomas is admitted as an Attorney-at-Law (New York) and Solicitor (Ireland). Thomas is an Editor in Chief of State Crime journal, and Joint Editor of Amicus Journal: Assisting Lawyers for Justice on Death Row. He is also a Director of the Colombia Caravana.



Postgraduate Teaching


In 2005, Thomas spent three months working in Trinidad & Tobago as an Intern-Attorney consulting with death row clients of the London Panel of Solicitors. The placement comprised of novel research opportunities, which included the interviewing death row inmates, defense lawyers, prison officials and an executioner.

Dr MacManus' doctoral thesis (completed December 2012) 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. The findings presented suggested that scholars should adopt a more cautionary approach to civil society’s capacity to label, censure and sanction crime.

From 2012 to 2014, Thomas 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. Dr MacManus spent three months in Burma and three months in Colombia researching for this project.

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 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 (Green and Ward 2001; 2004).

Since May 2015, Dr MacManus has been looking at the role of public relations companies and the services they offer to states.


Selected publications:

  • Utopia in the Midst of Dystopia? The Peace Community of San José de Apartadó (with Tony Ward) (2016) Justice, Power and Resistance 1(1) Foundation Volume Special Issue on Non-Penal Real Utopias: pp217-234
  • Censuring Criminal Corporations in the Face of Cover-up and Denial: Trafigura and the British Press (2013) in Eco-global Crimes: Harms and abuses and the consequences for human and non-human individuals and species, Nicosia: University of Nicosia Press
  • Countdown to Annihilation: Genocide in Myanmar (with Penny Green and Alicia de la Cour Venning) (2015) London: International State Crime Initiative
  • Civil Society and State-Corporate Crime: A Case Study of the Ivory Coast (2014) State Crime, 3(2), pp200-219
  • Para-state Crime and Plural Legalities in Colombia (with Tony Ward) (2015) in Barak, G. (ed.), Routledge International Handbook on the Crimes of the Powerful, Oxon: Routledge
  • The 2008 Burmese Constitution: may fail to reach international law requirements, certainly fails to reach the requirements of humanity (2013) Governance and Development (see blog post)
  • Toxic Waste Dumping in Abidjan (2012) (see e-resource)
  • Interview by Human Rights in Ireland, ‘Resisting State Crime in Ivory Coast’, 14th June 2010 (see blog post)
  • ‘The Council of Europe’s Role in the Cruel, Unusual and Degrading Treatment of Death Row Inmates’ (2010), Amicus Journal, Issue 21
  • ‘From Death Warrant to Death: Customary Procedure for Execution in Trinidad and Tobago’ (2006), Amicus Journal, Issue 16
  • ‘Fatal Judgement for Trinidadian?’ Socialist Lawyer, Number 44, July 2006

PhD Supervision

PhD Supervision:

  • Saeb El Kasm: 'Fighting State Corruption'
  • Amy Corcoran: ‘Resisting state crime through art’
  • Lina Johannsen: ‘Forced evictions and land grabbing in Costa Rica’
  • Angela Sherwood: ‘Haitian squatter resistance in the post-disaster city’
  • Dominic Mystris: ‘Regional accountability at the International Criminal Law Section of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights’
  • Natalie Brinham: 'State crime, legal frameworks, statelessness and victim agency'
  • Evrim Kilic: 'Preventive detention and the global war on terror'
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