Supreme Court Justices Thomas, in 1991, and Kavanaugh, in 2018, were accused of sexual violence by Anita Hill and Christine Ford, respectively, and were both later confirmed in their positions. To better understand these outcomes and the political context in which they occurred, we analysed headlines from US newspapers using a directed content analysis. We drew on Schneider and Ingram’s established social construction of target populations theory to examine how newspaper headlines characterised the relative power and valence of political figures in each year. Results identified both consistencies and shifts in social constructions across time. In 2018, there were more negative characterisations of the nominee, accuser and the President, and more negative and less powerful characterisations of the public. In both years, the Senate and political parties were characterised negatively and powerfully. These findings provide evidence that intransience in political institutions, increased negative partisanship, and weakened public power may illuminate the parallel outcomes despite changed social mores, such as the advent of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
Responding to an earlier article () by two scholars involved in convict criminology at Westminster University and a third from the US, this article mounts a defence of the British Convict Criminology group against the analysis and conclusions of the first article. We argue that convict criminology is diverse and needs to embrace different approaches that correspond to national circumstances, both in prisons and universities. We suggest that far from stagnating, convict criminology in the UK is beginning to thrive and has much to offer critical criminology. This offer is strengthened by adopting critical and convivial academic practice supportive of people’s various efforts and experiences in British prisons and British universities. Our article offers a critical engagement with issues of nomenclature, convictism and coloniality which we believe will be important for an inclusive convict criminology for the future.
Following the armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia, a new criminology of war developed, producing fresh insights and opening up original research streams. The incorporation of war within the remit of criminological analysis, advocated by classical as well as critical criminology, rapidly gained new momentum. The focus on asymmetrical conflicts and invasions unveiled the massive killing of civilians, bringing war into the arena of victimology. Moreover, the examination of the material forces that drive international conflicts situated such conflicts among the violent predatory offences that concern most criminological theories. The study of ‘war crimes’, ultimately, led some authors to shift attention towards ‘war as crime’. After briefly summarising the developments that shaped a criminology of war, this paper attempts further analytical steps towards the formulation of a criminology against war. A critique of the concept of ‘just wars’ is followed by the examination of the ambiguities that cloud the notions of jus ad bellum and jus in bello. Current legal provisions regulating international conflict are described as blank norms, while principles of peacebuilding are finally pinpointed.
This article critically analyses the assumptions and effects of the ‘daring to ask approach’ to gender based violence (GBV), as expressed in the policies that govern social services’ work in Sweden. We show how GBV is constituted as a sensitive issue connected with shame and as something that will not be brought up spontaneously; GBV is something that women who had experienced it carry with them as an ‘untouched truth’ waiting to be discovered by social workers while women’s worries about the consequences of telling are not made intelligible. The very speaking as such is seen as emancipatory, and the social worker is understood as a facilitator. With this approach follows standardised questions, aiming for neutrality and equity. However, these are so wide and unspecific, that the risk is that no one thinks the questions are directed to her. By making the assumptions and effects of a seemingly self-evident strategy visible, we demonstrate areas in need of further research and policy development, such as barriers to help-seeking (beyond stigmatisation) and effects of standardisation. This is an important undertaking since without critical scrutiny of the policies there is a risk that stakeholders assume that merely asking will resolve the problem of GBV.
Digital technologies are increasingly being used within the context of domestic and family violence (DFV) to facilitate coercive and controlling behaviours – also known as digital coercive control (DCC). Drawing on the perspectives of a small sample of nine DFV practitioners and scholarly experts, this article examines the barriers victim/survivors of DCC encounter as they seek help in Victoria, Australia. We find that DCC has distinct impacts on victim/survivors who are socially and geographically isolated. DFV support services also experience a range of challenges in detecting and responding to DCC, including in risk assessment and management, highlighting a requirement for further training of frontline workers to better respond to DCC.
The aim is to show how digital financial services are used to perpetrate digitally facilitated economic abuse. The article is based on interviews with women in Sweden who are survivors of intimate partner violence and economic abuse.
The use of digital financial services is rapidly expanding and in Sweden they are used by the majority of the population. They are available on smart devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops and have become a part of everyday life. Research on technology facilitated abuse and research on economic abuse have not addressed the risks for economic abuse via digital financial services. To bridge this gap, we suggest a merging of these fields to focus on what we call digitally facilitated economic abuse.
Findings show that digital financial services constitute risks for economic abuse and facilitate abusive behaviours. Smart devices serve as digital bank books, wallets and identity cards, all rolled into one neat little package, opening up for new methods for economic abuse. Abusers use digital financial services to limit and restrict the woman’s access to money, to monitor and control her use of money by breaching her financial privacy, to economically exploit her and to put her in debt.
Gender-based violence (GBV) is a key area of concern hindering progress towards gender equality. Students at university are especially vulnerable to sexual assault and intimate partner violence, but the mental health effects of such violence (and of the burden of reporting) may not be considered during university investigations. This article provides an overview of the current guidelines for investigating GBV in university proceedings in the UK context and offers concrete recommendations to better account for mental health in such inquiries.
This paper is concerned with the exercise of penal power over families affected by imprisonment, and the implications for legitimacy and inclusion. Imprisonment imposes harms upon families, however theories as to how this shapes attitudes towards the justice system and feelings of citizenship are still developing. This paper brings together insights from prison sociology and Lukes’ radical conceptualisation of power to argue that prison rules are the most ‘solid’ dimension of power which families encounter, and therefore it is the day-to-day decisions of officers which are most likely to be challenged. However, by excluding families from decision-making spaces, and shaping beliefs about what actions are possible and desirable, the justice system also exercises power over families in more diffuse ways which, while they provoke less resistance, are just as damaging to citizenship and inclusion.
Governments worldwide are increasingly engaging service users to reform public policies and services and enhance public value. Survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) are one group seeking to be heard by governments and gradually being engaged to improve policy outcomes. However, the history of the victims’ rights movement and feminist scholarship on political institutions indicate significant risks for survivors in these engagements with the state. This article examines the nature of these risks and how they are experienced and challenged, through a case study analysis of the implementation of the Australian state of Victoria’s Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council. Analysing government reports and interviews with survivors and policymakers, the article investigates how the state asserts control over survivors under the guise of co-production, inadvertently compromising public value creation. Informed by a feminist institutionalist lens, our analysis finds that efforts to address the power imbalances and gendered norms reflected in the informal rules of co-production are likely to better realise public value in terms of improved outcomes for all members of society, especially those experiencing GBV. The co-production risks we highlight and the ways to mitigate them we suggest are also relevant to other areas of co-production with other marginalised service users.