Willan – 2003 – 228 pages
In this important and original book, Reece Walters examines the politics of criminology and the ways in which criminological knowledge is generated. It includes an overview of the politics and practice of conducting criminological research (drawing upon material from Britain, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the USA), and the ways that regulatory and governing authorities set research agendas, manipulate the processes and production of knowledge and silence or suppress critical voices through various techniques of neutralisation.
The book argues for 'knowledges of resistance' - a position that promotes critique, challenges concepts of power and social order, wrestles with notions of truth and adheres to intellectual autonomy and independence. It provides invaluable insights into the relationship between the criminological researcher, public officials and corporate representatives. Drawing upon a wide range of interviews with academics and administrators from government and business, the book provides rare insights into the ways that knowledge about crime and criminal justice is produced and consumed, revealing why certain topics of criminological enquiry are rarely funded and why others receive ongoing political and governmental support.
The book will be essential reading for anybody interested in the development of criminological theory and research, and the context and influences that shape it.
1. Questions, contours and methods 2. Contours of criminological knowledge: haunted by a spirit of pragmatism? 3. Criminology, government and public policy 4. The politics and control of criminological knowledge 5. Silencing the critics: the 'War on Terror' and the suppression of dissent 6. New modes of governance and the commercialization of criminological knowledge 7. Reflections and new horizons
Reece Walters is Professor of Criminology at the Open University, UK.