1st Edition

The Politics of Crime, Punishment and Justice Exploring the Lived Reality and Enduring Legacies of the 1980’s Radical Right

By Stephen Farrall, Emily Gray Copyright 2024
    252 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    252 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores the impact of right-wing political ideology on crime, the criminal justice system, and attitudes towards punishment in Britain. Grounded in a rigorous analysis of repeated cross-sectional surveys such as the British Social Attitudes Survey and the British Crime Survey, as well as individual-level cohort data such as the 1958 National Child Development Study and the 1970 British Cohort Study, it examines changes in long-term crime rates, criminal justice policies, and their integration with social and economic policies in Britain over four decades. It offers a detailed discussion of how radical social and economic changes affected the fear of crime and attitudes to punishment, and how well Thatcherite social and economic values were embedded in contemporary British society. Drawing on a wide literature across criminology, political science, sociology, and social policy, this book demonstrates how a thorough understanding of crime cannot take place without an examination of the wider social policies enacted, the life-courses of the individuals affected, and their communities and the political environment in which they live. It is essential reading for criminologists, sociologists, political philosophers, and social theorists alike since it combines thinking from political sciences, life-courses theories, and detailed analyses of the outcomes of social policy change.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons [Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY)] 4.0 license.

    Table of Contents

    Foreword by Robert J. Sampson

    Author’s Preface



    Part One Introduction

    Chapter One: Re-Imagining the Study of the Politics of Crime

    Chapter Two: Linking Crime, Political Legacies, and the Life-Course Perspective

    Chapter Three: Thatcherism and the Reshaping of Policy Consensus in Britain (1979–1997)


    Part Two Introduction

    Chapter Four: Social Welfare, Housing Policies, and Changes in the Social Locations of Crime

    Chapter Five: Economic Restructuring, Truancy from School, and Engagement in Crime over the Life-Course

    Chapter Six: What Does Radical Social and Economic Change do to Popular Opinions on Crime?

    Chapter Seven: Reconfiguring the Structure of Criminal Justice

    Chapter Eight: The Spatial and Temporal Development of British Prisons from 1901 to the Present: The Role of De-Industrialisation (with Philip Mike Jones)


    Part Three Introduction

    Chapter Nine: Conclusion: Crime - A Relational Understanding of Individuals, Institutions, and Ideology


    Appendix: Modelling the Relationship between Radical Policy Change and Crime



    Stephen Farrall is Professor of Criminology in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Nottingham. He is known for his research into the fear of crime, why people cease offending, and the politics of crime and the criminal justice system. He is the series editor for Routledge’s International Series on Desistance and Rehabilitation.

    Emily Gray is Assistant Professor at the University of Warwick. Her work focuses on the long-term relationships that connect crime with social policy and youth justice. As PI, she has recently begun to explore the long-term trends pertaining to homicide on non-lethal violence in England and Wales.

    "By casting their attention to macrolevel economic and policy changes in the Thatcherite era, Farrall and Gray provide a unique take on the course of both criminal careers and crime policy in contemporary Britain."

    - Robert J. Sampson, Harvard University