• 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.


When any number of persons conduct any joint enterprise according to rules, and thus restrict their liberty, those who have submitted to these restrictions when required have a right to similar submission from those who have benefited by their submission.

H. L. A. Hart, 19841

Legal theorists, such as Andrew von Hirsch and Andrew Ashworth, have made a huge impact upon contemporary Criminology, notably around their work on criminal sentencing. The underlying principles they uphold are to a large extent focused on the issue of fairness and this chapter will set out the basic issues, derived from political theory, which inform their work. It will concentrate upon the work of the pre-eminent American political theorist John Rawls, the work of Kant and the basic notions of ...

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