• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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
  • Punishment
  • Economics and criminal activity
  • Morality

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.

Desert and Proportionality
Desert and proportionality

The idea of moral desert is not questioned. Rather, the thought is that a conception of moral desert as moral worth of character and actions cannot be incorporated into a political conception of justice in view of the fact of reasonable pluralism. Having conflicting conceptions of the good, citizens cannot agree a comprehensive doctrine to specify an idea of moral desert for political purposes.

John Rawls, 20011

This chapter will focus on personal desert and proportionality, which are both crucial to a proper understanding of contemporary criminological work on sentencing. Desert, especially personal desert, is vital to the issue of punishment for only when a punishment is deserved, is it proper. As Andrew von Hirsch has noted: ‘The central organising principle of ...

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