1st Edition

Urban Criminology The City, Disorder, Harm and Social Control

By Rowland Atkinson, Gareth Millington Copyright 2019
    306 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    306 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Urban Criminology offers an accessible analysis of our urban condition, viewed through the prism of crime, disorder and social harm. This book gathers cutting-edge treatments, research field reports and critical examinations of crime and harm in cities, from the disciplines of urban studies and criminology. The social, economic and political composition of cities and the various inequalities that mark out and drive the problem of crime in many cities today are foregrounded. Readers follow a series of thematic engagements, generating a deeper understanding of a range of key areas that include problems of violence, social and spatial divisions, housing, policing and the role of the urban economy in issues of financial crime.

    This book comes at a time of rising crime in many cities and complex responses by city administrations and communities. It presents a critical, political thesis – that crime in cities must be understood with reference to the varying social structures, political forces and economic opportunities of cities. These influences intersect to produce dramatic variations in victimisation and attempts at social control, often felt most strongly around class and gender divisions. To understand crime, we must better understand the life of the city. Urban Criminology seeks to present an integrated framework that brings to life these key issues and seeks to enthuse students of our urban condition – to locate the harms within it and to identify ways of reducing the risk of crime.

    This book is ideal reading for all students with an interest in cities, crime, community life, urban sociology and urban cultures.

    1. Understand crime, understand the city

    2. Place and locality: neighbourhoods and crime

    3. Urban economies

    4. Governance and social control in the urban arena

    5. Policing, the police and social order in the city

    6. Urban violence

    7. Housing systems, housing tenure and the dis/orderly city

    8. The political economy of urban safety


    Rowland Atkinson is Research Chair in Inclusive Societies in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield, UK.

    Gareth Millington is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of York, UK.

    "As this book shows, to understand crime is, in many ways, to understand the city. And in the 21st century, cities are growing, and are projected to grow, at unprecedented rates. These dramatic developments have vital criminological implications which have, so far, not been systematically and accessibly addressed. Urban Criminology is a great start for anyone interested in urbanization, crime control, social inequality, and social production of harm more generally."

    Katja Franko, Professor, Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law, University of Oslo. Norway

    "An accessible, incisive and state-of-the-art overview of the wide-ranging intersections between crime, disorder and cities written by two of the leading lights in recent urban criminology. Urban Criminology deserves to become the definitive teaching and lay person's book on the subject."

    Stephen Graham, Professor of Cities and Society, Newcastle University, UK

    "Urban Criminology provides an adept synthesis of insights from the urban studies and criminological literatures and melds them to provide scholars with a fully rounded understanding of changes in the urban economic, political and social fortunes of cities. These processes are not only to be understood as ‘contextualising’ our understanding of crime rates, victimisation, social harm, vulnerability and social control; these forces shape and restructure their distribution, socially and spatially, in urban space. As well as blending interdisciplinary ways of seeing the urban arena, Urban Criminology draws on global examples and literatures to animate and illustrate core arguments. This book provides an unrivalled understanding on multiple scales: from the level of the neighbourhood to the free-play of global capital flows and their consequences for organised crime and urban inequalities. This book provides students of urban studies and criminology alike with a critical understanding of the importance of the distribution of power and inequality for understanding crime, harm and social control."

    Lynn Hancock, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Liverpool, UK

    "Cities are more often than not uncritically associated with crime and disorder. This book carefully dissects how and why a range of different urban processes can become associated with violence and delinquency - or not - and offers a wide-ranging, historically-grounded, and geographically-nuanced perspective as to why the contemporary urban age might simultaneously represent both the best of times and the worst of times. Its clear and original narrative make it essential reading for anybody wanting to understand the world we live in today."

    Dennis Rodgers, Research Professor, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland

    "Urban Criminology is a timely and important book. While cities and crime are at the forefront of academic, political and public discourses, their intersection is rarely considered. This book highlights the quintessential unity of these topics. Its inclusion of contemporary topics, including street and financial crime, the role of housing systems, labour markets and the place of violence, offer an original and striking analysis. At a time when continued globalisation and rising urbanisation is underpinned by a damaging capitalist political economy, critical criminology and urban studies need to cooperate more closely. Urban Criminology offers a clear roadmap for this vital collaboration."

    Simone Tulumello, Research Fellow, University of Lisbon, Portugal