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Cover International Law

Vaughan Lowe

Celebrated for their conceptual clarity, titles in the Clarendon Law Series offer concise, accessible overviews of major fields of law and legal thought. International Law is both an introduction to the subject and a critical consideration of its central themes and debates. The opening chapters of the volume explain how international law underpins the international political and economic system by establishing the basic principle of the independence of States, and their right to choose their own political, economic, and cultural systems. Subsequent chapters then focus on considerations that limit national freedom of choice (e.g. human rights, the interconnected global economy, the environment). Through the organizing concepts of territory, sovereignty, and jurisdiction the text shows how international law seeks to achieve an established set of principles according to which the power to make and enforce policies is distributed among States.


Cover The Oxford Textbook on Criminology

18. Critical criminology  

This chapter investigates critical criminology. The strands that are widely regarded as most important in the development of critical criminology are labelling perspectives, Marxist-inspired critical theories, power perspectives, and feminist perspectives. The ideas and insights contained within these theories inspired and prepared the ground for more recent developments in the field, including cultural criminology and convict criminology. Critical criminology not only suggests that we make small alterations to criminal justice systems; instead, it requires us to question everything we think we ‘know’ about these systems and the societies and communities in which we live. It questions how and why we control behaviour, looks at power from the perspective of the oppressed or the powerless, and suggests alternative narratives that should be part of our accepted knowledge base.