- Stephen JonesStephen JonesHonorary Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University of Bristol
This chapter focuses on realist criminology, a phenomenon that appeared under different names in Britain and the USA during the 1980s. Just as with the re-emergence of interactionism and the development of the ‘new criminologies’ in the 1960s, realist criminology owes much to the political background of the day: what is sometimes referred to as the ‘Reagan–Thatcher Decade’, with right-wing governments in both countries. In such a climate, it is hardly surprising that little interest was shown in considerations of why people commit crimes, but great interest was shown in doing something about it. Out of this, two ‘realisms’ have emerged: a ‘Right Realism’ and a ‘Left Realism’.