Criminology

Our growing Criminology list takes a critical stance and features boundary-pushing work with innovative, research-led publications.  

A particular focus of the list are books that engage with our global social challenges, both on a local and international level. We aim to publish books in a wide range of formats that will have real impact and shape public discourse. 

Criminology

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Surveillance capitalism (Zuboff, 2019) represents an unprecedented shift in modes and asymmetries of power. Operating within and through the digital sphere, this new era of capitalism has drastic implications for our understandings of modern surveillance, corporate power, and social control. The digital, in its diffuse simultaneously online and offline form, represents the spatialisation of control within which the user and the data they produce are commodified and their identities consolidated and dissected into knowable, marketable demographics which, once reassembled, no longer represent the human being once behind them (Hammond, 2016; Brusseau, 2020). The digital represents a new frontier of harm production, as user-generated data is exploited to serve corporate interests and the normalisation of digital surveillance has given way to user apathy and technological reliance, undermining user autonomy and opportunities for resistance, while commodifying not only our identities but the entirety of the human experience. Within this context an opportunity emerges to develop a zemiology informed by the digital context that can confront the deepening harms of technologisation and consider the future of resistance. By interrogating the intersection between developments in digital technology and harm production, this article aims to acknowledge the proliferation of normalised corporate surveillance through a development in capitalism (Zuboff, 2015; 2019), and to outline opportunities for theoretical development presented by the digital context, drawing upon works within zemiology (Pemberton, 2016), surveillance studies (Murakami Wood, 2007; Murakami Wood and Ball, 2013), postphenomenology (Ihde, 1990; Verbeek, 2011; Wood, 2021; 2022), and disconnection studies (Kuntsman and Miyake, 2022), to present an invitation to both a unique theoretical orientation and an emerging field of study: digital zemiology.

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This article fills important gaps in criminology by analysing the police response to foxhunting in one English county. Despite the Hunting Act 2004 legislating against hunting with dogs, the article demonstrates how foxhunting proceeds with a ‘business as usual’ discourse. Using Vegh Weis’ (2017) under- and over-criminalisation and historical development of the criminal justice sector (CJS), the article uses foxhunting as an example of the siting of classism in ‘original criminal selectivity’ that continues to explain police practices today. The use of foxhunting is particularly pertinent given the overlap in privileged relationships not only positioned to mechanisms of criminalisation but also to the historical development of foxhunting. The article demonstrates how the under-criminalisation of foxhunting is enabling the perpetuation of violence and harms by hunts and their supporters, the latter drawing more frequently on organised violence. This violence is aimed primarily at hunt saboteurs, whose role is also examined in this article through community activism applied to an abolitionist perspective. The article concludes that the police are there to maintain hegemonic practices positioned to economic power, a relationship that is understood by the intersection of original criminal selectivity, the law and classism.

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Some of the most marginalised and exposed populations during the COVID-19 pandemic have been those incarcerated in penal institutions. In the present article we compare how Norway and Denmark handled the pandemic in their prison systems and analyse these efforts through the lens of how the authorities tried to invoke specific national cultures of social solidarity during the crisis. In both countries we find that increased isolation, inactivity, lack of information, and loss of trust and contact with the outside world aggravated the prison experience. However, in Norway a bigger effort was made, compared to Denmark, to lower the prison population, as well as to create possibilities for maintaining contact with friends and families through video-visits. We then analyse the pandemic prison policies in the context of how both governments through very specific national terminologies appealed to an alleged community spirit. We examine the role and situation of prisoners in connection with these national and cultural projects of social solidarity, and find that in several cases prisoners reacted to the restrictive pandemic regimes by displaying a censorious attitude towards prison staff and authorities much in the manner originally described by Thomas Mathiesen (1965). Prisoners, in other words, held the authorities accountable to their call for community spirit and the values of social solidarity they claimed to represent. This also raises a question concerning the degree to which Danish and Norwegian policies and practices live up to the notion of Nordic penal exceptionalism, or whether the crisis unveiled different penal values.

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The Democratic Republic of Capitalism

The ultimate expression of power is the ability to act beyond the confines of law, with contemporary society enabling elite groups to wield “panoramic power”. From the murderous crimes of the corporate giants that provide us with life’s luxuries and necessities to the data gathering activities of media and educational institutions, the authors offer new thinking on damaging structures of power and privilege.

This accessible book provides a comprehensive understanding of elite corporate wrongdoing, and the late capitalist society that enables harm, considering both how we got into this mess and how we get out of it.

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The ultimate expression of power is the ability to act beyond the confines of the law, with contemporary society enabling elite groups to wield ‘panoramic power’. This book charts how a select few have captured such power and how, along the way, they have eroded the very principles and processes of democracy. Within this democratic republic of capitalism, crimes, including the murderous actions of the corporate giants that provide us with life’s luxuries and necessities, financial crimes that span the globe, the harmful practices of weapon manufacturing, and the data-gathering activities of both media and educational institutions, will each be brought to attention. In doing so, the authors offer new thinking on damaging structures of power and privilege.

This text proposes a thought-provoking and demanding exploration. It contends that for critical criminology to effectively illuminate the pressing issues we confront, there needs to be a comprehensive examination of the lives of our most vulnerable and marginalised citizens in contrast to the most influential. To achieve this objective, the text will leverage a diverse range of examples, cases and controversies pertinent to scholars in criminal and social justice. It argues that a genuinely enlightened comprehension of powerful crimes requires an examination at the meso, micro and macro levels, encompassing a thorough understanding of the socio-economic, political and cultural contexts in which crimes unfold.

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In the contemporary socio-economic landscape, the influence of corporations has burgeoned into a formidable force, reshaping the dynamics of power and governance. This chapter delves into the multifaceted dimensions of the growing influence of corporations, dissecting its impact on politics, society and the global economy. The exploration begins with an analysis of the historical trajectory that has led to the ascendancy of corporations, tracing their evolution from mere economic entities to powerful stakeholders with the ability to sway political decisions and societal norms. By examining key case studies and pivotal moments in corporate history, this chapter seeks to unravel the intricate interplay between governmental policies and corporate strategies that have propelled these entities into positions of unprecedented authority. Furthermore, the chapter explores the symbiotic relationship between corporations and political entities, shedding light on the mechanisms through which corporations leverage their economic clout to influence legislative agendas and regulatory frameworks. It investigates the implications of this synergy on democracy, probing the boundaries between corporate interests and public welfare.

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This chapter investigates the intricate web of illicit activities that span international borders, exploiting the complexities of the global financial system. Beginning with an exploration of the historical evolution of financial crime, the chapter delineates the changing nature of illicit financial activities and the adaptation of criminal enterprises to advancements in technology and globalisation. It investigates the emergence of sophisticated networks that transcend geographical boundaries, posing unprecedented challenges to regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies. It also scrutinises the response of the global community in combating financial crime. It evaluates the effectiveness of international collaborations, regulatory frameworks and technological solutions in preventing, detecting and prosecuting those engaged in illicit financial activities. The examination also encompasses the role of financial institutions, regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies in fostering a united front against global financial crime.

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In this chapter, we turn our critical gaze to our own industry: higher education. It looks at the rampant marketisation and what it means for the generations of students who are ‘buying’ their futures. From the hike in student fees in the UK and the predatory student loan system on both sides of the Atlantic to the new academic entrepreneurs eager to capitalise on this growing industry. Central to this discussion is the realisation that with all lucrative and contemptible industries, the conditions are created that nurture corruption, and much can be exploited; the corrupt university senior executives and those running Ponzi schemes are just a few of the examples that are focused on. An investigation of the repercussions faced by academics who refuse to bend their knee to university executives whose main concern is market forces and a critical discussion surrounding academic freedom and integrity frames this important chapter.

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