This clear, concise text sets out the relationship between political theory and criminology. It critically analyses key theories and debates to shed new light on criminological topics and the political ideas that lie beneath them. The book draws the attention of criminologists to political ideas, placing political themes at the heart of criminological speculation. Organized around key criminological concepts and issues, the book covers all the main topics, including:
- Power and ideology
- The nature of the state
- Social control and policing
- Economics and criminal activity
The book has been carefully developed to support practical teaching and learning. It contains chapter summaries, further reading and a comprehensive glossary, which combined, provide a comprehensive understanding of the themes. The book is essential for upper level undergraduates, postgraduates and academics in Criminology and Criminal Justice. It will also appeal to professionals, academics and students in Law and Politics.
Chapter 1: The Nature of the State
The Nature of the State
Political power is, of course, always coercive power backed by the state's machinery for enforcing its laws. But in a constitutional regime political power is also power of equal citizens as a collective body: it is regularly imposed on citizens as individuals, some of whom may not accept the reasons widely believed to justify the general structure of political authority (the constitution); or when they do accept that structure, they may not regard as well grounded many of the laws enacted by the legislature to which they are subject.
The nature of the state is a topic which divides criminologists. There are those who see it as a neutral instrument which upholds civic order or ...