Routledge Handbook of International Criminology

Routledge Handbook of International Criminology

Routledge Handbook of International Criminology

Routledge Handbook of International Criminology

Synopsis

This handbook represents the latest thinking and findings from a group of senior and promising young scholars around the world who came together in an effort to broaden our perspectives in understanding crime and social control across borders and nationalities. This collaborative project articulates a new way of thinking about criminology and to strive for an over arching framework that is truly international. To reduce the complexity of this effort into manageable portions, three distinct, albeit often overlapping, types of crime are presented: international crime (e.g. crimes against humanity); transnational crime (e.g. human trafficking); and national crime (e.g. description of one nations system and its related crimes). Each of these perspectives are articulated through chapters on the traditional components (e.g. theory and methods), the international components (e.g. comparative methods, transferability), and a series of case studies of nations. At the end of each chapter is a list of prompting questions suitable for students to pursue as their senior and masters theses. Many of these questions are also intended for young scholars to move the field forward.

Excerpt

Knowledge in international and comparative criminal justice and criminology has grown considerably since Gerhard O. W. Mueller and I first started teaching at Rutgers in 1974. In the early days, the publisher of our textbook, Criminology (1991), thought it was unnecessary to devote a whole chapter to comparative and international criminology. When Elmer H. Johnson edited the International Handbook of Contemporary Developments in Criminology in 1983, world criminology and comparative criminal justice were struggling for their place among other disciplines. Johnson described the field as being handicapped by “ethnocentricity.” His twovolume text provided seven chapters on the state of criminology throughout the world (e.g. the United Nations, international organizations, feminist and radical criminology perspectives) and forty country chapters. The authors were invited to focus on, “What is criminology?” The responses varied widely based on contributors’ placement in education and in the field.

Change, however, has occurred over the last thirty years since Johnson’s text. Criminology and criminal justice have moved into the spotlight in many ways. In the United States, the international divisions of both the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the American Society of Criminology have grown from a handful to one of the largest divisions of each organization. The luncheons that provide the networking opportunities for academics have grown from a table of close friends to a reception of over one hundred. In Europe, the British Society of Criminology (1985) and the European Society of Criminology (2000) were founded. In similar fashion, other countries and regions developed professional societies, including the Indian Society of Criminology (1970) and the Asian Criminological Society (2009). Articles on comparative or international research, virtually impossible to publish in the past, now appear in a growing number of internationally focused journals. Criminologists are increasingly being consulted on policy issues. The change started to become visible in the 1970s in the United Nations where Mueller served as the Chief of the Crime Branch, reaching out to academics and non-governmental organizations for knowledge building and assistance and in the American Society of Criminology’s work with the United States Attorney General Janet Reno during my presidency. Yes, we have made great strides, but we have not moved along rapidly enough to keep up with the globalization of crime. Other academic and practitioner fields, such as business, economics, and health care, have been racing forward. Unfortunately, Johnson’s ethnocentricity is still very much alive in many countries and many universities in the field of criminology and criminal justice. Only a handful of universities have degree programs in international criminology or criminal justice and many universities around the world do not recognize criminology as a field of study.

International criminology can no longer be seen as a luxury for those who have achieved sufficient status to enable them to travel or as a perk given as a reward for some other activity. Rather, changes need to be made in this growing area of concern. It requires retooling to meet . . .

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