Making People Behave : Anti-social Behaviour, Politics and Policy book cover
2nd Edition

Making People Behave
Anti-social Behaviour, Politics and Policy

ISBN 9781843926993
Published June 26, 2009 by Willan
256 Pages

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Book Description

'Anti-social behaviour' has become a label attached to a huge range of nuisance and petty crime, and rarely out of the headlines as tackling this problem has become a central part of the British government's crime control policy. At the same time 'anti-social behaviour' has provided the lever for control mechanisms ranging from the draconian to the merely bureaucratic, most notably in the shape of the Anti-Social Behaviour Order, or ASBO.

This book seeks to explain why anti-social behaviour, as a focus of political rhetoric, legislative activity and social action, has gained such a high profile in Britain in recent years, and it provides a critical examination of current policies of enforcement and exclusion. It examines both the political roots of the variety of new measures which have been introduced and also the deeper social explanations for the unease expressed about anti-social behaviour more generally.

This updated new edition of Making People Behave takes full account of recent legal and policy changes, including the 'Respect' agenda, as well as relevant research on the subject. It also contains two wholly new chapters, one of them devoted to the expanding web of behaviour controls, the other on Scotland which provides an alternative to the enforcement-oriented approach evident in England and Wales – complementing the wider coverage in the book of developments in North America and Europe.

Table of Contents

1. Why 'Anti-social Behaviour'?  2. New Labour, New Ideas  3. A Short History of Behavioural Control  4. Engines of Bad Behaviour  5. The ASBO – Law and Practice  6. Expanding Behaviour Control  7. How Different is Scotland?  8. Enforcement and Problem Solving in the Local Context  9. Cultures of Control –  a European Dimension  10. Conclusions

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Elizabeth Burney is based at the Cambridge Institute of Criminology.


One of the most useful studies of 'antisocial behaviour, politics and policy' is Making People Behave written by Elizabeth Burney. Burney attempts to understand the rise of the antisocial behavior framework within the wider political and policy developments in the UK. To do this she initially explores the ‘intervention’ of antisocial behaviour by the Labour party, not as a conspiracy but through Labour’s engagement with the anxieties of their working class constituents—anxieties that at a policy level became reformulated around a particular understanding of the social problem ‘antisocial behaviour’.

-Stuart Waiton, Springer Science & Business Media B.V. 2010