Understanding Crime Prevention: Social Control, Risk, and Late Modernity

By Gordon Hughes | Go to book overview

Postscript: Beyond crime prevention?
Introduction
A new paradigm beyond crime prevention?

Introduction

In this brief Postscript I speculate on the directions in which crime prevention strategies, and the analysis of them by social scientists, may go in the future. Hudson (1996: 3) has acutely observed that 'Some theorists claim that this period of modernity is now over… If this is so, then we can expect considerable implications for conceptions of justice and systems of punishment'. A similar tale of change is likely in the mercurial field of relations that is termed crime prevention. On a more cautionary note, Esping-Andersen (1990: 223) remarks that:

The proliferation of labels, such as 'post-modernist', 'post-materialist',
'post-Fordist 'or 'post-industrial', often substitutes for analysis. But it
mirrors the recognition that we are leaving behind us a social order that
was pretty much understood, and entering another the contours of
which can be only dimly recognised.

The current situation, according to the theorist of post-modernity, Zygmunt Bauman (1993: 245) is even more uncertain:

What the post-modern mind is aware of is that there are problems in
human and social life with no good solutions, twisted trajectories that
cannot be straightened up, ambivalences that are more than linguistic
blunders yelling to be corrected, doubts which cannot be legislated out

-154-

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