Evolution and Crime: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Evolution and Crime

1st Edition

By Jason Roach, Ken Pease


130 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2013-04-12
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Human physique and behaviour has been shaped by the pressures of natural selection. This is received wisdom in all scientifically informed circles. Currently, the topic of crime is rarely touched upon in textbooks on evolution and the topic of evolution rarely even mentioned in criminology textbooks. This book for the first time explores how an evolution informed criminology has clear implications for enhancing our understanding of the criminal law, crime and criminal behaviour.

This book is directed more towards students of criminology than students of evolution. It is suggested that there is scope for more collaborative work, with criminologists and crime scientists exposed to Darwinian thought having much to gain. What is suggested is simply that such thinking provides a fresh perspective. If that perspective yields only a fraction of the understanding when applied to crime as it has elsewhere in science, the effort will have been worthwhile.

The authors attempt to provide a modest appraisal of the potential contribution that a more welcoming approach to the evolutionary perspective would make to criminology; both theoretically (by expanding understanding of the complexity of the origins of behaviour labelled criminal) and practically (where the evolutionary approach can be utilised to inform crime control policy and practice). An evolutionary lens is applied to diverse criminological topics such as the origins of criminal law, female crime, violence, and environmental factors involved in crime causation.

Table of Contents

1. Crime and Evolution: Strange Companions?, 2. People Who Need People?, 3. Empathy, Theory of Mind and Criminal Behaviour, 4. The Sense of Fairness and the Emergence of Criminal Justice, 5. Violence, 6. Crime: It's a man thing?, 7. Beyond the proximal: evolution, environments and criminal behaviour, 8. The Ultimate Mystery of Inheritance, 9. So What?

About the Authors

Jason Roach is a Chartered Psychologist, a Reader in Crime and Policing, and the Director of the Crime and Policing Group at the University of Huddersfield. He has worked for the UK Home Office, taught at the Crime Reduction College, and worked in various mental health settings. He has published work on various criminological topics including criminal investigative practice, homicide and violent crime, terrorism, and Offender Self-Selection.

Ken Pease is a chartered forensic psychologist and currently Visiting Professor and Fellow of University College London and Visiting Professor at the University Loughbrough.

About the Series

Crime Science Series

Crime science is a new way of thinking about and responding to the problem of crime in society. First, crime science is about crime. Instead of the usual focus in criminology on the characteristics of the criminal offender, crime science is concerned with the characteristics of the criminal event. Second, crime science is about science, advocating an evidence-based, problem-solving approach to crime control. Crime scientists actively engage with front-line criminal justice practitioners to reduce crime by making it more difficult for individuals to offend, and making it more likely that they will be detected if they do offend

The Crime Science series is utilitarian in its orientation and multidisciplinary in its foundations, drawing on disciplines from both the social and physical sciences, including criminology, sociology, psychology, geography, economics, architecture, industrial design, epidemiology, computer science, mathematics, engineering, and biology.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology