Criminology and the Anthropocene: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Criminology and the Anthropocene

1st Edition

Edited by Cameron Holley, Clifford Shearing


204 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780367228149
pub: 2019-04-01
Hardback: 9781138688230
pub: 2017-10-19
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315541938
pub: 2017-10-16
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The Anthropocene signals a new age in Earth’s history, a human age, where we are revealed as a powerful force shaping planetary systems. What might criminology be in the Anthropocene? What does the Anthropocene suggest for future theory and practice of criminology? This book seeks to contribute to this research agenda by examining, contrasting and interrogating different vantage points, aspects and thinking within criminology.

Bringing together a range of multidisciplinary chapters at the cutting edge of thinking and environmental rethinking in criminology, this book explores a mix of key intractable problems of the Anthropocene, including climate change and overexploitation of natural resources that cause environmental insecurities; crime and corruption; related human insecurity and fortressed spaces; and the rise of new risks and social harms.

Of interest to scholars in the fields of criminology, sociology and environmental studies, this book provides readers with a basis for analysing the challenges of, and possible approaches to, the Anthropocene at all levels (local, national, regional and international) and discusses the future(s) of criminology for improving social policies and practices.


"All of social science is struggling to adapt to the Anthropocene. With this humane and smart book, criminology asks the important questions about how we adapt old practices and ways of thinking to a human-made, and human-threatened, world. Some answers are pessimistic, others are hopeful –  all are stimulating."

- Scott Burris, Professor of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law

"This brilliant book shows how life in the Anthropocene throws up new challenges. The authors evocatively throw down the challenge of how to answer questions such as who is guilty of harms that undermine human security, how do we think about intent and responsibility across time, with myriad interacting causes, some human, some not? They take us on a confronting, compelling, thoughtful and insightful journey to re-think how we deliver security."

- Valerie Braithwaite, Professor in the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet), Australian National University

"In this bold, involving and important book Shearing and Holley and their distinguished contributors address questions that are of compelling importance for our time and for any vision of the future that we can credibly imagine. For criminologists, as for practitioners of many disciplines, our human interactions with the planetary systems that sustain the diversity of life on earth pose questions of dizzying complexity and engender dangers of forbidding scope and scale. This book signals – without bombast but with great urgency - that nothing less than a complete re-assessment of our topics, concepts, theories and methods, and a thorough re-evaluation of our roles and responsibilities, will do." 

- Richard Sparks, Professor of Criminology, University of Edinburgh

Table of Contents

1. Thriving on a Pale Blue Dot: Criminology and the Anthropocene (Cameron Holley and Clifford Shearing)

2. Autosarcophagy in the Anthropocene and the Obscenity of an Epoch (Avi Brisman and Nigel South)

3. Carbon Criminals, Ecocide and Climate Justice (Rob White)

4. Moving Towards Ecological Regulation: The Role of Criminalisation (Fiona Haines and Christine Parker)

5. Bentham in the Anthropocene: Imagining a Sustainable Criminal Justice (Pat O’Malley)

6. Cities, Walls and the Anthropocene: When Consciousness and Purpose Fail to Coincide (Monique Marks, Rachel Matteau Matsha and Andrew Caruso)

7. Temporalities in Security: Long-Term Sustainability, the Everyday and the Emergent in the Anthropocene (Adam Crawford)

8. Politics of Anthropocene and Lessons for Criminology (Janet Chan)


About the Editors

Cameron Holley is Associate Professor and Co-Director of Postgraduate Studies and manager/team leader of the Connected Waters Initiative Research Centre and the Global Water Institute at the University of New South Wales.

Clifford Shearing holds professorships at the Universities of Cape Town, Griffith and Montreal and positions at the University of New South Wales and the Durban University of Technology.

About the Series

Criminology at the Edge

Over the last few decades, criminology has become known for its rigorous research methods and innovative analyses as well as for the development and testing of traditional and new theories. Criminology, as a science, has become known for its empirical-based theorizing and its dedication to enable this knowledge to contribute effectively to realizing the goal of creating safe and just societies. This interdisciplinary series explores innovative developments and imagined futures within criminology.

The objective of this series is to expand the boundaries of criminology and facilitate, encourage and disseminate the fruits of a thorough and meticulous discussions of the most important emerging trends within criminology. Innovative criminologists will be encouraged to take risks as they imagine a criminology for the 21st Century, and to think outside existing criminological boxes.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology