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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This Open Space piece discusses the implementation of a chatbot for victim-survivors who are subjected to domestic abuse. Being deployed as part of the ISEDA project (Innovative Solutions to Eliminate Domestic Abuse), a Horizon Europe project involving 15 partners from nine European countries, the chatbot will aim to provide women who are subjected to domestic abuse with information about domestic abuse, local support services, links to emergency services and potentially act as a place to store evidence that can be used in court. We discuss the ethical considerations surrounding the implementation of the chatbot within the project, and use of technology to support women within the domestic abuse sector in general. We highlight some of the positives alongside pitfalls of this way of working, and outline some of the considerations surrounding longevity of the chatbot in light of empowering under-funded women’s services.

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People in labour have a right in law and policy to say no to vaginal examinations. This should be uncontroversial: in almost no other space is it acceptable to penetrate another’s body without their say-so. Yet reports abound of women in labour having fingers inside their vaginas even after saying ‘no’. Some describe their experiences as being akin to rape.

This article argues that the framing of vaginal examination as routine may be seen as a form of authoritative speech that severely limits the ability of women and birthing people to say no to unwanted examination. Routine vaginal examination creates and determines the routine of labour care, delivers finding of fact in relation to progress of labour and creates normative and practical expectations of birthing people and clinicians. This constrains birthing people’s ability to prohibit vaginal examination on their body. This framing also presents a limited and inadequate conception of what a vaginal examination is, which further limits people’s ability to successfully say ‘no’.

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The latest assault on Palestine by the Israeli occupation, beginning in early October 2023, marked another instance of colonial violence supported by the West. Through material, ideological and political support, Western political figures, media, intellectuals and civil society organisations have facilitated the decimation of Palestinian society, historically and currently. This intervention argues that Western intellectuals have an important task; to break with this history and collectively engage in crucial solidarity with the Palestinian cause of liberation from Israeli colonial occupation. By connecting and engaging with Palestinian movements and organisations at the forefront of the struggle, Western intellectuals should demand an immediate and permanent ceasefire, call for boycotting, divesting from Israeli universities and Western institutions complicit in the occupation, recognise the illegitimacy of Israeli settler colonialism, and build long-lasting relationships with Palestinian counterpart institutions.

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The NHS is now firmly positioned as a site of immigration control. As the Hostile Environment filters further into the NHS the principle of universality is increasingly disputed. As such, paradoxically, harm is reproduced through an institution which is intended to provide care. Despite the increasing breadth of recognition of the implications of charging migrants within the NHS in England, insights into specific practices within Wales are limited. Therefore, this research starts to address this paucity by providing initial insights into the extent of NHS charging within Wales.

The results from multiple freedom of information (FOI) requests sent to all seven health boards in Wales (carried out between January 2019 and August 2023) suggest that NHS treatment charging is common at scale across all health boards providing secondary care in Wales. In some instances, patients are being charged 150% of the cost of their treatment, and a significant number of patients are being incorrectly charged for care. It also appears that many patients have difficulty paying these charges, with significant outstanding invoices and many health boards resorting to using debt-collection agencies and/or payment plans in an attempt to elicit payment, and patients’ details being shared with the UK Home Office as a result.

Considering the harms which are produced through NHS charging regulations, campaigners and advocates including Patients Not Passports Wales call for charging regulations to be withdrawn from the NHS in Wales and across the UK.

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The issue of sexual harassment of early-career academics in Ireland has recently been brought to the fore through the mainstream media. Little research has been undertaken, however, on highlighting and documenting such experiences, leading to a lack of awareness and dearth of specifically targeted initiatives for this cohort. The authors, themselves early-career academics, attempt to highlight this problem by sharing data generated through focus group interviews with early-career academics, who reported experiences of sexual harassment in the context of challenges they faced in their work environment. The data presented here are shared to highlight these issues as being more common among early-career academics than believed. The authors call for further research to be undertaken focusing on early-career academics in order to raise awareness of such issues and for more resources to be developed to prevent and respond to sexual harassment and violence in higher education in Ireland.

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