This book provides a short, comprehensive and accessible introduction to Ultra-Realism: a unique and radical school of criminological thought that has been developed by the authors over a number of years. After first outlining existing schools of thought, their major intellectual flaws and their underlying politics in a condensed guide that will be invaluable to all undergraduate and postgraduate students, Hall and Winlow introduce a number of important new concepts to criminology and suggest a new philosophical foundation, theoretical framework and research programme. These developments will enhance the discipline’s ability to explain human motivations, construct insightful representations of reality and answer the fundamental question of why some human beings risk inflicting harm on others to further their own interests or achieve various ends.
Combining new philosophical and psychosocial approaches with a clear understanding of the shape of contemporary global crime, this book presents an intellectual alternative to the currently dominant paradigms of conservatism, neoclassicism and left-liberalism. In using an advanced conception of "harm", Hall and Winlow provide original explanations of criminal motivations and make the first steps towards a paradigm shift that will help criminology to illuminate the reality of our times.
This book is essential reading for academics and students engaged in the study of criminology, sociology, criminological theory, social theory, the philosophy of social sciences and the history of crime.
‘Steve Hall and Simon Winlow are quite simply the most important Criminologists working in Britain today. The breadth of their vision, their scholarship and the certainty of their conclusions makes them both impossible to ignore and vital to understand. Revitalizing Criminological Theory is the latest in a growing list of extraordinary, insightful, passionate and beautifully crafted works that they have produced and I urge anyone who cares about Criminology to read it.’ - Professor David Wilson, Founding Director Centre for Applied Criminology, Birmingham City University, UK
‘If you buy one criminology book this year make it Revitalizing Criminological Theory by Steve Hall and Simon Winlow. Criminological theory is at the crossroads, where bluesman Robert Johnson was supposed to have sold his soul to the devil. As the authors show in this book all previous criminology theory has sold its soul, including both neo-liberal and left liberal/postmodern criminology. If we are to move beyond this present dichotomy which has pervaded global criminology for decades, we need to follow the signpost out of this mess – it reads "ultra-realist criminology this way" and this text is its handbook.’ - Professor Steve Redhead, Faculty of Arts, Charles Sturt University, Australia
'A vital and timely contribution on why a new criminology is needed. This slim and important volume casts new theoretical light on underlying causes of neoliberal-based harms of the powerful and abject. A much needed breath of fresh thinking.' - J. Robert Lilly, Regents Professor of Sociology, Northern Kentucky University, USA
1. Introduction 2. Mainstream Classical and Contemporary Theories 3. The Critical Tradition 4. The Radical Realist Response 5. Untangling the Politics of Criminological Theory 6. Ultra-Realist Criminological Theory 7. Conclusion: Approaching the Reality of Our Times.
Critical criminology has gone through a number of significant changes since its birth in the early 1970s. New Directions in Critical Criminology provides authoritative original essays on major contemporary issues of central concern to critical criminologists around the world. Each book examines new areas of empirical and theoretical inquiry, and sets out an agenda for innovative progressive ways of thinking critically about crime, law, and social control.
These books are specifically designed to be useful resources for undergraduate and post-graduate students, researchers, and policy makers.