Nowadays there is an increasing concern about the role of governments' policies in perpetuation of violence cycles. However, State violence (from war to torture, or to police violence) was an issue that was neglected by the criminological community until recently (Aas, 2007; Young, 2007). This study aims at knowing the real extent of tolerance and legitimation of State violence by common citizens. Although this study only focuses on the Portuguese data, this is a project that is being carried out in forty-three countries across the world by the Group on International Perspectives on Governmental Aggression and Peace (GIPGAP). With a view to contributing to understanding the legitimation processes of State violence by Portuguese citizens, a comparative analysis of the judgments of 600 participants towards different types of State violence was conducted. Based on the identification of the participants' arguments to either legitimate or reject each type of violence, we tried to understand in what extent those judgments differentiate according to the degree of normativity of the act (perceived as legal or illegal), its nature (e.g., aggression or death) and its target(e.g., civilians or prisoners of war).
- Death penalty
- Police violence