The Globalisation of Crime: Understanding Transitional Relationships in Context

The Globalisation of Crime: Understanding Transitional Relationships in Context

The Globalisation of Crime: Understanding Transitional Relationships in Context

The Globalisation of Crime: Understanding Transitional Relationships in Context


On a contracting world stage, crime is a major player in globalization and is as much a feature of the emergent globalized culture as are other forms of consumerism. The Globalization of Crime charts crime's evolution. It analyses how globalization has enhanced material crime relationships such that they must be understood on the same terms as any other significant market force. Trends in criminalization, crime and social development, crime and social control, the political economy of crime, and crime in transitional cultures are all examined in order to understand the role of crime as an agent of social change and present an integrated theory of crime and social context. This was the first book to challenge existing analyses of crime in the context of global transition, and show that crime is as much a force for globalization as globalization is a force for crime.


Crime cannot be understood outside its social context. For the analysis which follows context is viewed as physical space, institutional process, patterns of relationships and individual variation. Context is a transitional state within which crime influences, and is influenced by, a variety of social, cultural, political and economic determinants.

Contextual analysis is essentially interactive. As an object of such analysis crime is not limited to people or situations or reactions. Crime is more effectively understood as relationships which develop along with the dynamics of its selected context. Essential for the motivation of these relationships is the representation of crime as choice.

In order to appreciate crime beyond its localised manifestations, a contextual analysis needs to be comparative at many levels. the identified interest in globalisation suggests several dualities (local/global; custom/modernisation; market/enterprise) which dominate the comparative contextual analysis to follow. Initially the comparison will be within context (e.g. crime as a feature of social development internal to a particular transitional culture). Concurrently the comparison of context with context (e.g. locality and globe) will evolve. the latter holds out much for critically appreciating the representations of crime and the interests which promote them.

To achieve its fullest potential within the theme of globalisation, comparative research should, therefore, concentrate within a nominated cultural context; across two or more contexts within the same culture; across time and space within a culture in transition; culture to culture; and (not or) simultaneously at the local and global levels.

Crime assumes a variety of social functions dependent on context. These may co-exist while contradicting or challenging any single understanding of crime. With crime being culturally relative, it has the potential

Culture here is preferred to notions such as society and community because, while culture is a relative concept, it relies on common forms and functions which allow for comparisons of civilisation and social development. in the comparative exercise, referent cultures are a useful locator when examining social relationships and behaviours in transition.

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