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Chapter

Cover The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

34. Punishment, victimhood, and social control: towards a criminology of transitional justice  

Kieran McEvoy, Ron Dudai, and Cheryl Lawther

This chapter explores the intersection between criminology and transitional justice. It explores a range of debates related to the punishment of offenders in the circumstances of post-conflict or post-authoritarian societies, including the role of prosecutions, amnesties, the reintegration of former combatants, and the role of restorative justice. The chapter next considers the social and political construction of victimhood in transitional contexts including competing notions of the ‘idealized’ victim. The relationship between transitional justice and social control is then examined including the importance of countering denial, the relationship between deviance and memory and the particular contribution of efforts ‘from below’ to counter elites-level narratives on past abuses. The chapter concludes that a criminology of transitional justice provides the basis for revisiting some of the foundational questions on responding to crime and justice in the most challenging of settings—a sobering but intellectually rich research agenda for years to come.

Chapter

Cover Criminology

17. Young people and crime  

Derek Kirton

This chapter examines youth crime and responses to it. It discusses the key principles around which youth justice has evolved and how the balance between them has changed over time. The chapter considers some of the main theories and models that have been put forward to explain youth crime, including patterns linked to social divisions based on class, ethnicity, and gender. Attention is also given to recent ‘moral panics’, such as young people's use of weapons, gang activity, and involvement in the 2011 riots. Finally, a review of contemporary youth justice policy and debate regarding its future direction is provided.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

17. Criminology and transitional justice  

Kieran McEvoy, Ron Dudai, and Cheryl Lawther

This chapter explores the intersection between criminology and transitional justice. The chapter begins with a critical discussion on the utility of criminological scholarship from settled democracies to the exceptional circumstances of post-conflict or post-authoritarian societies. It then explores a range of debates related to the punishment of offenders in such contexts including the role of prosecutions, amnesties, the reintegration of former combatants, and the role of restorative justice. The chapter next considers the social and political construction of victimhood in transitional contexts including competing notions of the ‘idealized’ victim. The relationship between transitional justice and social control is then examined including the importance of countering denial, the relationship between deviance and memory and the particular contribution of efforts ‘from below’ to counter elites-level narratives on past abuses. The chapter concludes that a criminology of transitional justice provides the basis for revisiting some of the foundational questions on responding to crime and justice in the most challenging of settings—a sobering but intellectually rich research agenda for years to come.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Justice

1. Criminal justice: the policy landscape  

Loraine Gelsthorpe

This chapter charts some of the major developments in modern British society against which changes in criminal justice policy should be seen: the emergence of a culture of control amidst economic, technological, and social changes; the politicisation of law and order and the democratisation of criminal justice; the development of a risk society; and the emerging dominance of managerialism. It then discusses the notion of the ‘Big Society’ and considers its impact on criminal justice policy. The final section outlines some events that have driven changes in the direction of criminal justice policy.

Book

Cover The Oxford Textbook on Criminology

Steve Case, Phil Johnson, David Manlow, Roger Smith, and Kate Williams

This book is the essential companion to exploring crime and criminal justice. It provides authoritative yet accessible coverage of all key topics of criminology, with a vibrant, student-focused approach that converts curiosity into critical analysis and students into criminologists. Its full coverage of today’s most pressing criminological issues includes chapters on global criminology (exploring organised crime, drug trafficking, people smuggling, cybercrime, and terrorism), social harm, and green criminology. The book also provides practical, focused guidance on beginning criminological studies and applying criminological knowledge to research, careers, and further study. The authors’ explanations are continually brought to life by the voices and experiences of a wide variety of people connected to criminology and the criminal justice system, from students and academics to prison officers and crime victims.

Chapter

Cover International Human Rights Law

30. Poverty  

Stephen P Marks

This chapter, which addresses the challenge posed by poverty to human rights protection, first explains the meaning of ‘poverty’ and explores its relationship to human rights, development, and social justice. It also considers the context of globalization, and then illustrates the ways in which human rights concerns diverge from those of development and poverty reduction. The chapter examines how economists think about poverty and human rights, and analyses the thinking of governors of central banks and ministers of finance. Next, it addresses the convergence between human rights and anti-poverty agendas, beginning with some economic thinking that is congruent with human rights, and then turns to policies aiming to combat poverty using human rights tools.

Chapter

Cover Sentencing and Punishment

12. Concluding remarks  

This chapter focuses on positive and negative developments in recent years. It welcomes the decline in the prison population and the increased focus on disproportionality. It also discusses those developments which can be viewed as negatives ones, particularly the continuing high imprisonment rate and the continued use of methods of restraining children and young people in custody. It focusses on the impact of Covid-19 on the courts, the prison population and the use of FPNs before discussing the arguments for abolition of the use of imprisonment or its reform. We then refer to the discourse of human rights—both its importance and the attacks on it, before referring to the re-emergence of problem-solving courts. Lastly the authors’ concerns as to ‘what needs to be done’ are considered.

Chapter

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16. Where is ‘victimology’ in an era of #MeToo?  

Maria M. Ttofi, Adrian Grounds, and Lidia Puigvert

This chapter covers the field of victimology reflecting the increasing recognition of how victims experience crime and other forms of ill-treatment. Sexual abuse gained much attention recently, especially with individuals self-disclosing their personal experiences on social media platforms through the #MeToo movement. Additionally, social media platforms facilitated the new collective potential. The chapter clarifies that victimology is centrally concerned with the understanding of the experience of suffering that recognizes antecedents and risk factors for offending identified in longitudinal studies. The possibility of suffering provides an integrative concept for criminology that correlates to the notions of victimization, offending, and the operation of criminal justice.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

3. Towards a global comparative criminology  

Manuel Eisner

This chapter provides an overview of the achievements and challenges of comparative criminology in the field. It elaborates on the development of comparative criminology, which is the study of crime and crime control across two or more larger social contexts to describe differences, testing theories, and drawing practically valuable inferences from comparisons. Due to the data revolution in global criminology, it is becoming possible to broadly describe levels and trends in crime across most parts of the world. Comparative research of criminal justice and penal institutions benefits from adopting a multi-layered ecological framework to understand the effects of social contexts on crime. Overall, comparative criminology aims to become an integrative framework for explaining crime globally along two dimensions.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

41. Confronting state power: dissenting voices and the demand for penal abolition  

Joe Sim

This chapter discusses dissenting voices and demands for penal abolition in line with confronting state power. It starts with the call for defunding prisons being central to the abolitionist praxis in England and Wales, which correlates to George Floyd's brutal murder by a police officer. Additionally, prosecutions add another layer to the abolitionist critique of the dangerous prisoner. Since 1970, abolitionists in England and Wales have demonstrated that another penal and social world is possible through contestation and resistance. The chapter notes the historical movement's idealistic commitment to building a better world, based on a collective, compassionate sense of social justice.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

Introduction: The renewed vision  

This chapter reviews developments in the field of criminology in the context of the fundamental shifts that have occurred over the past seven years in almost every aspect of society, caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the global economic down-turn, rising geo-political tensions, and the impact of activist movements such as #MeToo and Black Lives Matter. It argues that these shifts highlight the continued relevance of British criminology as currently practised, with its expanding knowledge-base, inter-disciplinary insight, and diverse array of methodological tools, all contributing to a better understanding of the conditions necessary to support just social orders. The chapter pays tribute to the previous editorial team and to those that criminology has lost since the last edition. The changing of the generations is reflected in this volume: it constitutes a living archive—a marked step in the life narrative of the field and a celebration of its growing strengths and popularity as a subject.

Chapter

Cover Street on Torts

1. Overview of tort law  

This chapter provides an overview of tort law. It explains that tort law is a branch of the law of obligations which imposes liability for the breach of norms of conduct based on the type of interest at stake and/or the degree of fault present in the defendant. It provides a brief history of tort law. It then moves on to discuss the rights and interests protected by tort law. The chapter considers also theoretical perspectives on tort law. These concern such things as the bases of tortious liability and the issue of whether tort law should serve individual (eg, corrective justice) or social (eg, deterrence) goals.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Police

11. Police powers and accountability  

Benjamin Bowling, Robert Reiner, and James Sheptycki

This chapter focuses on police powers, accountability, and the regulation of police discretion. It begins by considering the legitimation of police legal powers in democratic societies and the problem of police accountability. There is then discussion of policy-making for the police force—priorities in resource allocation, strategy, and style—and the street-level actions of rank-and-file officers. Developments in police powers before and after the landmark Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984, and the principle of fundamental balance between powers and safeguards supposedly enshrined in PACE are covered. The chapter then examines developments in police accountability, including the mechanisms for handling complaints against the police and the role of political control in police governance. It concludes by assessing the attempts to reconcile police power and democratic accountability in contemporary societies characterized by a patchwork of domestic, transnational, public, and private police agencies carrying out ‘high’ and ‘low’ policing.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Police

12. Conclusion: histories of the future  

Benjamin Bowling, Robert Reiner, and James Sheptycki

The concluding chapter pulls together the implications of the earlier chapters of this book for an assessment of where policing is heading, and what is to be done to achieve greater effectiveness, fairness, and justice. It seeks to answer eight specific questions: What is policing? Who does it? What do police do? What are police powers? What social functions do they achieve? How does policing impact on different groups? By whom are the police themselves policed? How can policing practices be understood? It considers technological, cultural, social, political, economic changes and their implications for crime, order, and policing. It also examines the multifaceted reorientation of police thinking, especially shifts in the theory and practice of policing in the 1990s that included the rhetoric of consumerism. The chapter considers the limits of police reform and the implications of neo-liberalism for the police before concluding with a call for policing based on the principles of social democracy.

Chapter

Cover Criminology

Introduction—Criminology: its origins and research methods  

This chapter discusses the origins of the term ‘criminology’, which emerged at the end of the nineteenth century because a group of theorists laid claim to systematic knowledge as to the nature of criminal behaviour, its causes and solutions. Prior to this, commentaries on crime largely arose out of other enterprises. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the administration of criminal justice in most European countries had been influenced by the views of several writers whose approach, although differing in certain respects, has come to be referred to as ‘classicism’. The basic view as to the organisation of society adopted by the classicists was influenced by the social contract theories of Hobbes and Rousseau. Individuals agree to join together to form a society and there is a consensus within the society for the private ownership of property and the protection of its members from harm.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Textbook on Criminology

31. Critical perspectives on punishment  

This chapter details a range of perspectives which effectively question the underlying assumptions behind the concept of ‘punishment’. This represents a shift in emphasis from the system ‘as it is’ to a critical evaluation of its social and ideological foundations, along with some ideas about how it might be different if we follow through the implications of these critical arguments. The chapter explores ideas about the use of punishment as a vehicle for maintaining the dominance of particular interests within society, and using it to exert social control. Implicated in this is the suggestion that claims of legitimacy, fairness, and justice must be called into question, especially in light of the evidence of the unequal treatment of certain groups, such as members of the black and minority ethnic communities. Critical perspectives also invite us to consider why some forms of behaviour, such as corporate negligence and tax fraud, appear to be much less heavily penalised (if at all) than crimes more typically associated with other groups and communities, such as benefit fraud or drug offences.

Book

Cover Understanding Deviance
Understanding Deviance provides a comprehensive guide to the current state of criminological theory. It outlines the principal theories of crime, deviance, and rule-breaking, discussing them chronologically, and placing them in their European and North American contexts considering major criticisms that have been voiced against them, and constructing defences where appropriate. The volume has been revised and brought up-to-date to include new issues of crime, deviance, disorder, criminal justice, and social control in the early twenty-first century. It considers new trends in criminological theory such as cultural criminology and public criminology, further discussion of how post-modernism and the ‘risk society’ is reformulating crime and deviance, and an assessment of how different approaches address the fall in crime rates across most democratic and developed societies. There is also a new chapter on victimology.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

12. Social harm and zemiology  

Paddy Hillyard and Steve Tombs

This chapter examines the relationships between social harm, zemiology, and criminology. It begins by reviewing some of the main arguments set out by those advocating a turn towards social harm and/or zemiology. It then elaborates on some of those arguments, first through illustrating the kinds of harms more significant than those captured by ’crime’ and, following that, to consider how these harms might take peculiar forms under neoliberalism. The chapter then turns to consider ‘criminological’ responses to those arguments—both at the level of the discipline as a set of institutions, and then via an analyses of some of the more critical, intellectual responses. The final substantive section explores the relationship between critical criminology, social harm, and zemiology.

Chapter

Cover McCoubrey & White's Textbook on Jurisprudence

12. John Rawls’ Political Liberalism  

J. E. Penner and E. Melissaris

This chapter explores John Rawls’s political liberalism, a contemporary reworking of the idea of the social contract and one which straddles the boundary between Hobbesian rationality and Kantian reasonableness. The discussions cover the ‘fact of reasonable pluralism’; the ‘original position’ and Rawls’s political constructivism; the principles of justice; the stability of the liberal State; the stages of application of the political conception of justice; and justice and liberal legitimacy.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

5. Political economy, crime, and criminal justice  

Robert Reiner

Trends and patterns in crime and criminal justice are shaped by variations in the overall structure of different political economies. The macro trends in political economy are mediated by varying institutional and cultural factors and, in turn, these feed down into more local neighbourhood and family patterns and ultimately the psychology of different individuals. Whilst there is an element of choice in the commission of crime, this operates in conditions that are influenced by micro, meso, and macro structures. The chapter analyses the history of political economy as a perspective in criminological theory, as well as how crime and criminal justice vary over time and space between different political economies, in particular social democratic and neoliberal ones.