Critical Criminology: Visions from Europe

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Criminology is under attack for its seeming shift away from theoretical debates towards empirical, administrative-led research. In this timely book, Ren[ac]e van Swaaningen warns that if criminology is to keep advancing as a discipline there is an urgent need for the resurgence of a theoretical perspective. He believes that by examining critical criminology within a European framework, a new critical perspective in the search for alternative visions of justice will emerge. Through a comprehensive historical and contemporary analysis of critical criminology throughout Europe, the author argues that critical criminological theories must be reassessed and reapplied in the light of current trends within criminology and criminal justice. By placing central themes from the current politics of law and order - such as crime prevention, safety and the position of the victim - in a framework of social justice, the book concludes that critical criminological theories illuminate our understanding both of crime and the institutions constructed to attempt its control.