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- Author or Editor: Sandra Walklate x
This chapter suggests an analysis of the mechanisms underlying the processes associated with the rise of victimhood and its impact. It offers a critical understanding of the current imagining of the crime victim in the discourse of community safety. It considers what is meant by community in the context of community safety. It further considers what is meant by safety in this same context. It offers a perspective on the nature of the crime victim presumed by the community safety discourse by considering the concept of protection in understanding who the victim of community safety might be. It gives a few words on images of the community in relation to crime and safety.
In recent years, the academic study of ‘war’ has gained renewed popularity in criminology. This book illustrates its long-standing engagement with this social phenomenon within the discipline.
Foregrounding established criminological work addressing war and connecting it to a wide range of extant sociological literature, the authors present and further develop theoretical and conceptual ways of thinking critically about war. Providing a critique of mainstream criminology, the authors question whether a ‘criminology of war’ is possible, and if so, how this seemingly ‘new horizon’ of the discipline might be usefully informed by sociology.
In chapter one, Introduction: Can there be a criminology of war?, we first outline the objectives of this book followed by establishing its central problematique: to question if a ‘criminology of war’ possible, and if so how this might be studied as a sociologically informed endeavour. Following this we go on to define at length the notion of “war” to be used throughout each forthcoming chapter. This is achieved by two means: first a Clausewitzean definition of ‘war’ is described to establish a baseline for our understanding, this is followed by a reinterpretation of the concept of ‘war’ as having both ‘old’ and ‘new’ forms. These definitions are used in the forthcoming chapters (2-8) for the purposes of framing our discussions and providing points of reference and departure. The outline, structure and intentions of the book are then provided.
In chapter two, Theorising “war” within sociology and criminology, we make use of both sociological and criminological scholarship to outline thematically some of the ways in which the subject of “war” has been studied as an interdisciplinary endeavour. This chapter serves two key purposes: first to illustrate that studying “war” has an identity politics of its own within criminology and sociology. Both historical and contemporary work helps reason the study of war as a critical and pacifistic endeavour, particularly via scholarship produced throughout the First and Second World Wars. Second, to make clear that although not sustained throughout its history, studying “war” is not necessarily a new endeavour for criminology (nor sociology).
In chapter three, The war on terrorism: criminology’s “third war”, we pose a central problematique. Within this chapter, we suggest that the seemingly “new” criminological study of war is a product of renewed interest to studying matters related to the “war on terrorism” in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre on 11th September 2001 (9/11). Although by no means a criticism of the work produced during this period, we provide examples which indicate that the aftermath of 9/11 brought with it fresh impetus to study attendant matters of “war” and “security” within criminology which (inadvertently) diverted attention from previous relevant sociological and criminological scholarship. The remaining chapters of this book set about attempting to redress some of this oversight within the discipline.
In chapter four, The “forgotten criminology of genocide”, some of the historical influences within criminology established in chapter two are revisited to highlight the connections the discipline has to the topic of genocide. In particular, these connections pertain to the Holocaust, defining genocide as an international crime in the aftermath of the Second World War, and thinking about how the contemporary notion of “genocide” can be informed sociologically to recognise its ongoing violence and pervasiveness throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.
In chapter five, From nuclear to “degenerate” war, we turn attention to criminological work produced in the aftermath of the Cold War, specifically related to nuclear warfare. In doing so, seminal work within criminology is used to provide an account of the ways in which the detonation, production, and proliferation of nuclear weapons can be considered as forms of extortion, deviance, and international state criminality. An intervention is then made in this work to suggest that if alternatively understood as a form of “degenerate war”, then analytic attention would draw not only state criminality into view but, importantly, state victimisation.
In chapter six, The “dialectics of war” in criminology the issue of “terror bombing” is foregrounded as an extensive weapon of “new” wars used against civilians throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. However, with the intention of transgressing this as merely a matter of “state crime” this is redefined as a form of “risk transfer” war wherein military lives are strategically prioritised over those of civilians. In making this observation, juxtapositions are proposed between civilian victims of war, the “deviant” soldier, and what we term the politics of remembering and “forgetting” war violence. These two “dialectics of war” are outlined to illustrate how war is relational with society, and how certain matters relating to deviant military bodies have been prioritised ahead of the murder of civilians within the discipline of criminology past and present.
In chapter seven, Criminology’s “fourth war”? Gendering war and its violence(s), a reanalysis of genocide is provided (as previously discussed in chapter four) via an analytic “prism” including: the sub discipline victimology, feminism (as broadly defined) and the study of gender (qua masculinity). The main intention of this chapter is to make clear that the study of war (and crime) within criminology (and sociology) has frequently overlooked its inherent gendered masculine nature. In so doing, this chapter provides a corrective to much of the literature presented throughout previous chapters of this book and gives affordance to critical ways of reflecting upon other conceptual frameworks and concepts used, and assumptions made, in our discussion to this point.
In the Conclusion chapter eight, Beyond a “new” wars paradigm: bringing the periphery into view, the conceptual framework of “old” and “new” wars presented in this Introduction, and as generally applied throughout subsequent chapters, is revisited to offer a critique of the broader arrangement of material in this book. This brings into view ways of thinking critically about facets of the “new wars paradigm” more generally and helps us to illustrate omissions from the larger body of work that we have presented during chapters two to seven. Key to the critique of “new” wars, and a notable problematique of criminological literature related to war, is an intellectual fixity that largely omits an awareness and critical understanding of Colonialism and Imperialism as brutal acts of war violence.