The 12 Dichotomies of Drug Policy

A critique of contemporary drug policy and the drug apartheid.


Tammy Ayres is an Associate Professor in Criminology at the University of Leicester. Stuart Taylor is a Senior Lecturer in Criminal Justice in the School of Justice Studies, Liverpool John Moores University.

It has been a long hard year, full of challenges as we have all had to get used to new ways of working and increased pressures from the academy. Therefore, it is hoped that this blog brings a bit of festive cheer as we approach the Christmas break. Taken from a presentation delivered at the British Society of Criminology’s South West regional event ‘Dangerous Drugs in the Contemporary Era’, it provides an alternative slant on the 12 days of Christmas, drawing on our previous works to identify the 12 dichotomies of drug policy. There are no partridges in pear trees but there is hopefully food for thought. Here we present a critique of contemporary drug policy with our underpinning argument being that ‘any scientific examination of ‘drugs’ renders the present classification of illicit drugs as illogical and the present cultural promotion of legal substances as misguided… it is a ‘war between drugs’ a system of drug apartheid that has privileged the use of certain substances and outlawed the use of other substances, a corrupt system that has much to do with who uses the drugs and little to do with the risks posed by the drugs’(Taylor et al. 2016: 459). This drug apartheid is legitimised by a reductionist drug discourse, which presents fallacy as fact, cementing (erroneous) dominant constructions of drugs into our conscience, but dig beneath these and one unearths a series of contradictions and dichotomies, which together critiques what we see as a ho-ho-hopeless drug policy:

  1. Legal Vs. Illegal

Some substances enjoy unrestricted supply, some are available but regulated, others are prohibited. Resultantly, we often do not see certain substances as drugs. This is particularly true of legal substances, like alcohol, tobacco and sugar, which although legal are no less harmful than many currently prohibited substances. Bancroft (2009) has argued that this dichotomy reflects the social and cultural practices of the mid-20th century, rather than any pharmacological or scientific evidence, with drugs and their legal classification instead tied to Western capitalist interests and the exigencies of the current political economy and consumer culture (Ayres, 2017, 2019, 2020a; Taylor et al. 2020). The word drug has become associated with the illegal substances identified in the 1961 UN Single Convention of Narcotic Drugs and the UK’s 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act as the most dangerous drugs, which warrant their prohibited status. Yet the underpinning reasoning for this differentiation is opaque and not based on evidence or harm

2. Harmful Vs. Harmless

Illegal drugs have been posited as the most harmful – with statistical and visual reminders consistently reinforcing this (Ayres and Taylor, 2020; Taylor, 2008). Illicit drugs have been construed as causing health problems, addiction, crime, anti-social behaviour, and death. Whilst illegal substances can undoubtedly cause such harms, their use does not inevitably lead to such outcomes. In fact, most illegal drug use appears to be unproblematic, resulting in pleasure and fun rather than negativity and despair. Conversely, when we discuss legal substances – non-drugs – we tend to ignore their harmfulness and focus on their positive outcomes. Yet by constructing such substance as non-drugs we camouflage some the most destructive drug-related harms within society – obesity, tooth decay, loss of sleep, liver disease, cancer, the pharmaceutical companies, and the prescription practices of the medical profession. Harms that effect every member of society, in some form or another, at some time in their lives, derived from substances that fly under the dangerous drug radar.

3. Evidence Vs Ideology

This dichotomy between the legal and the illegal, between the harmless and harmful is purported by government to be driven by scientific evidence. Yet a body of critical scholars have begun to question the accuracy of this classification system (e.g. Nutt et al. 2010) and the place of non-drugs like alcohol and tobacco within it. Instead, drug policy is not driven by evidence, but by ideology (Ayres, 2020a; Ayres and Taylor, 2020), which is reflected in the recent swathe of global cannabis reforms (Taylor, et al. 2016, 2018).

4. Mitigating Vs. Enhancing Harm

A key justification for drug prohibition is that it mitigates the harms of those substances deemed dangerous drugs – yet we must question whether this is a tenable claim (Taylor et al. 2016). Firstly, drug prohibition permits us to embed the harms of legal substances as non-drug related. Secondly, drug policy suggests that it is the drugs and/or the drug suppliers/users themselves that cause harm, and yet a growing body of scholars argue to the contrary, that it is drug policy itself that is the primary cause of drug related harm (see Counting the Costs, 2012), like environmental degradation (Ayres, 2020b), as well as to stigmatise certain drug users.

5. Minority Vs. Majority

Yet to understand why we continue our crusade against drugs one must understand that the war on drugs has morphed into a war on drug users, particularly the problematic drug user – the heroin/crack-cocaine addict who commits crime to fund their use. Resultantly, over the past three decades we have developed drug policy based on this group of around 300,000 individuals. Whilst this group do undoubtedly require support and do indeed create harm to themselves and others, they represent the minority. Subsequently whilst we have developed support services for problematic users within the criminal justice system, we have failed to develop a pragmatic policy and services for all drug and indeed non-drug users.

6. Problematic Vs. Pleasurable

Focusing on problematic drugs and their users allows policy to avoid a recognition that for the majority, drug use represents a tangential element of their law-abiding lives; an appreciation that experimental or (in)frequent illegal drug use is a leisure pursuit engaged by a significant minority of the population; or an acknowledgement that many find solace, release and pleasure within their drug using lives. Instead, it allows drugs to be associated with problematic people, problematic behaviours and problematic outcomes as drug users are framed as others that are not like us (Taylor, 2008; Taylor et al. 2016).

7. Inability Vs. Functionality

The dominant view is that drug use negatively impacts on an individual’s ability to social function in terms of work, parenting, relationships etc. Yet this belies that the majority use drugs in a way that does not impinge on their ability to socially function, and for some, the benefits attained through their drug use – as with any other leisure pursuit – may enhance this. Yet instead of acknowledging those that sit in this middle ground, we instead construct two overly simplistic constructions of drug users (see Ayres, 2020a).

8. Civilised Vs. Barbaric

The consumption of certain (non)drugs is deemed civilised and the height of sophistication (e.g. Champagne), while the use of other drugs is associated with barbarism and uncivilization (e.g. the spice zombies) as the problematic drug user is used as a catch-all stereotype for all drug users, which is exacerbated by the media. In fact, the media partakes in objective violence through its purposeful polarisation of intoxication practices: ensuring the condemnation, alienation and criminalisation of the barbaric consumer; and the celebration and social recognition of the civilised (Ayres and Taylor, 2020).

9. Celebrated Vs. Excluded

Resultantly, we celebrate the substance use of the civilised whilst we seek to exclude the barbaric. So, whilst designated public place orders restricting the use of alcohol amongst street drinkers are enforced, those same streets see pop-up prosecco and gin bars permitted to appear as they attract the ‘right’ clientele. Whilst purveyors of alcohol are encouraged to remove high strength varieties of cheap cider from their shelves due to their association with problematic populations, those same shops expand the available range of craft beers and other high-end, high strength alcohol products (Ayres and Taylor, 2020)

10. Criminalised Vs. Commodified

This social accommodation of the civilized allows the corporate promotion and indeed commodification of both harmful substances and harmful behaviours (Ayres, 2020a; Ayres and Taylor, 2021). Yet barbaric use is also used to add an edge to consumer products despite the apparent abhorrence of its users as acts of so-called transgression are packaged up and sold back to us.

11. Individual Vs. Wider Responsibility

The civilised versus barbaric; celebrated versus excluded; and criminalised versus commodified dichotomies combine to serve a purpose. Attributing the barbaric use of legal substances to an irresponsible minority (who eat too much sugar, binge drink etc.) provides a smokescreen of corporate responsibility for the harmful practises of legitimate enterprises (Ayres, 2017; Ayres and Taylor, 2021). Meanwhile, in relation to illegal drugs, this process deflects attention towards the individual responsibility for addiction and away from the relationship between such use and the systematic violence of capitalism (poverty, social exclusion) which interlinks with this. Here the drug apartheid allows us to differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate drug consumption and to develop a system of punitive control to respond to such use (Taylor et al. 2016).

12. Patience Vs. Punishment

Through generic representations of illegal drug users as barbarians (Taylor, 2008) the brutal practices of the drug apartheid are disproportionality applied to the most marginalised in society, who we continue to punish, whilst we hail those celebrities who enter the Priory to combat their addictions. Whilst drug policies rightly distinguish that socially marginalised populations are more likely to develop problematic patterns of (illegal) drug use, they simultaneously place the responsibility for this on poor individual (consumption) choices rather than the wider underlying issues of poverty, education, accommodation, and employment, which characterise problematic drug users’ lives. Conversely, this is a process which (via medicalisation, criminalisation and stigmatisation) exacerbates extant underlying problems, with drug use becoming the key defining factor in users’ lives. Resultantly, the already excluded become further isolated.

Consequently, we need to detach ourselves from dominant constructions of ‘drugs’ and ‘drug users’, contest the drug apartheid, reconceptualise our approach to all substances, abolish drug prohibition, and develop a regulatory system which recognises and incorporates all substances. Until we do, there will be only one outcome, (unnecessary) harm.

Have a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year

References

Ayres, T.C. (2020a) Substances: The luxurious, the sublime and the harmful. In S. Hall, T. Kuldova & M. Horsley (Eds.), Crime, Harm and Consumerism (pp. 108-122). London: Routledge.

Ayres, T.C. (2020b) The War on Drugs and Its Invisible Collateral Damage: Environmental Harm and Climate Change. In A. Brisman and N. South (Eds.), Routledge International Handbook of Green Criminology. London: Routledge.

Ayres, T.C. (2019) Substance Use in the Night-Time Economy: Deviant Leisure?. In T. Raymen, & O. Smith (Eds.), Deviant Leisure: A Criminological Perspectives on Leisure and Harm (pp. 135-160). Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Ayres, T.C. (2017) Drugs, Leisure, Consumption and Harm, BSC Newsletter (winter), pp. 20-26.

Ayres, T. C., & Taylor, S. (2021) Drug Markets and Drug Dealing: Time to move on. In T.C. Ayres & C. Ancrum (Eds.) Understanding Drug Dealing and Illicit Drug Markets: National and International Perspectives. Oxon: Routledge.

Ayres, T.C., & Taylor, S. (2020) Media and Intoxication: Media Representations of the Intoxicated. In F. Hutton (Ed.) Cultures of Intoxication: Key Issues and Debates (pp. 239-261). Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Bancroft, A (2009) Drugs, Intoxication & Society. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Count the Costs (2012) The Alternative World Drug Report. Available at: https://www.unodc.org/documents/ungass2016/Contributions/Civil/Count-the-Costs-Initiative/AWDR-exec-summary.pdf

Nutt, D., King., L., & Phillips, L. (2010) Drug harms in the UK: a multicriteria decision analysis. The Lancet 376(9752): 1558–1565.

Taylor, S. (2016) Moving beyond the other: A critique of the reductionist drugs discourse. Cultuur and Criminalitiet, 1, 100-118.

Taylor, S. (2008) Outside the Outsiders: Media representations of drug use. Probation Journal, 55(4), 369-387.

Taylor, S., Ayres, T.C., & Jones, E. (2020) Enlightened hedonism? Independent drug checking amongst a group of ecstasy users. International Journal of Drug Policy, 83, 102869.

Taylor S, Beckett Wilson H, Barrett G et al. (2018) Cannabis Use in an English Community: Acceptance, Anxieties and the Liminality of Drug Prohibition. Contemporary Drug Problems 45(4):401-424.

Taylor, S., Buchanan, J., & Ayres, T.C. (2016) Prohibition, privilege and the drug apartheid: The failure of drug policy reform to address the underlying fallacies of drug prohibition. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 16(4), 452–469.

Contact

Tammy C. Ayres, University of Leicester
Email: tca2@le.ac.uk

Stuart Taylor, Liverpool John Moores University
Email: s.taylor2@ljmu.ac.uk

Images: Courtesy of authors and Анастасия Белоусова from Pixabay

Workplace violence: a social harm perspective

A call for Criminology to use a social harm approach to the workplace, as evidence of violence at work grows

Anthony LloydAnthony Lloyd is Reader in Criminology and Sociology at Teesside University. His research focuses on labour markets and work within an ultra-realist harm framework. His latest book, The Harms of Work (Bristol University Press) is out in paperback in October.

 

According to recent figures from the NHS staff survey and research by Unison, violence against NHS staff continues to rise.  Official figures indicate that nearly 15% of staff surveyed had been subjected to physical violence from patients, patients’ relatives or the public while numerous incidents continue to go unreported.  Although many assaults are clinical in nature and therefore take place in mental health settings, the Health Service Journal/Unison report found violent incidents growing in other settings.  Around one-third of staff reported an assault in the previous twelve months and the report draws a correlation between high levels of violence and NHS trusts with large financial deficits and poor performance on elective waiting times.  Could it reasonably be extrapolated, then, that services stretched to the limit generate frustration and dissatisfaction increasingly manifesting in violent outbursts against staff?

The reports of increasing violence against NHS workers follows growing evidence that school teachers face rising levels of physical and verbal abuse from pupils and parents.  Research conducted by NASUWT suggests that one in four teachers experience physical violence from pupils on a weekly basis, including being shoved, barged, hit, punched and kicked.  Almost half of the 5,000 teachers surveyed reported being verbally threatened by pupils. In 2016/17, nearly 750 pupils were permanently excluded for violence against an adult whilst almost 27,000 were given fixed period exclusions for a physical assault on an adult.

Police officers, prison staff and, increasingly, fire fighters are routinely assaulted in the line of work.  In 2017-18, one in five police officers were assaulted in the line of duty with 8,500 prison officers assaulted in the same period.  According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 694,000 incidents of violence were recorded in UK workplaces in 2017-18 alone with 374,000 adults experiencing violence at work in that period, 41% of which reported injuries.

These reports and research show that workplace violence is prevalent across a range of occupations with employees often facing threats, intimidation and assault during the course of their work.  Criminology has a track record of investigating violent workplaces (Gill et al, 2002; Martin et al, 2012; Schindeler, 2013).  It is crucial that criminology continue to investigate violence in all arenas, including the workplace.  However, it is also vital to heed Slavoj Žižek’s (2008) warning that physical or subjective violence often masks or distracts from more pervasive and invidious acts of ‘systemic violence’ which underpin neoliberal political economy.  A focus on ‘spectacular’ violence should not detract from the wider violence inflicted upon individuals, communities and institutions through the normal functioning of capitalism.

In my work on service economy employees (Lloyd, 2018a; 2018b; 2019), I observed and interviewed call centre workers, retail employees, hospitality workers, couriers, bar staff and fast-food workers.  While physical violence was not observed and very rarely reported by contacts, verbal abuse from customers was endemic and routine while bullying, harassment and abuse from co-workers and supervisors was frequently reported.  However, the picture that emerged was also one of short-term or zero-hour contracts, minimum wage work, targets and performance management, inflexible work rotas, pressure, stress, instability and the sort of workplace precarity regularly cited within the sociology of work literature (Standing, 2011).

Analysing this research from a social harm perspective opens up the normal functioning of labour markets to a critique that highlights numerous problematic practices and, importantly, absences.

The social harm literature continues to struggle with the fundamental question of ‘harm from what?’ (Pemberton, 2016; Yar, 2012; Hillyard and Tombs, 2004; Raymen, 2019).  What harm occurs when employment contracts increasingly favour the employer over the employee?  What harm is inflicted on individuals and communities through austerity measures?  What harm do we suffer through climate change?  The debate around harm’s ontological grounding continues but my contribution, from an ultra-realist perspective (Hall and Winlow, 2015), suggests that harm can be the absence of positive rights that allow individual and collective flourishing.

Following critical realism, ultra-realist criminology posits the probabilistic causal tendencies of absences (Hall and Winlow, 2015).  For example, the absence of a welfare state would undoubtedly engender harmful consequences for individuals and families.  In this case, the absence of stability was evident through the presence of zero-hour contracts, on-demand work, short-term contracts, ‘flexible’ work arrangements that mostly favoured management, low pay, and often inflexible shifts.  The absence of protection was evident through the presence of unpaid ‘work trials’, failure to pay the National Minimum Wage, regular evidence of physical and mental health problems.  The absence of ethical responsibility for the other was evident in the presence of management bullying, colleague harassment, customer abuse and the ‘special liberty’ (Hall, 2012) or sense of competitive entitlement to act in one’s own interests regardless of consequence or damage to co-workers and employees.  The willingness to harm others is intimately connected to competitive individualism.  Within this theoretical framework, absences have consequences and systemic violence damages far worse than subjective violence.

If we return to the earlier examples of hospital and school violence and consider systemic violence, we see wider harms at work.  The same NHS staff survey that reported significant levels of violence also confirmed that 3 in 5 staff work additional unpaid hours, almost 40% reported feeling unwell due to work-related stress, 56% admitted working while not feeling well enough to perform their duties, 45% felt managers did not ask their opinions, 30% considered leaving their organisation.  One-third suggested they could not provide the level of care for patients that they aspired to, 20% reported bullying and harassment from colleagues and over 40% could not say they looked forward to going to work.

These figures indicate significant issues beyond the threat of physical violence.  Like all public sector organisations, the NHS has been subject to austerity, staff shortages, to the implementation of neoliberal managerialism, particularly the directive for efficiency, productivity and value for money, and to outsourcing and privatisation (Pollock, 2004; Davis et al, 2015).  The staff survey results indicate an absence of protection, stability and ethical responsibility for the other that requires further investigation but seems to suggest that positive rights or flourishing are lacking in a sector that demands more with less, stretches services to breaking point and ramps up dissatisfaction, from both employees and service users.  It is within this context that violent outbursts exist.

The workplace must continue as a site of criminological investigation but should also approach such research from a social harm perspective (Scott, 2017).  Widening the angle of vision to incorporate systemic violence as well as brutal outbursts of physical violence allows us to see the myriad harms of work that contextualise subjective assaults on doctors, nurses and teachers.  Many of our workplaces impede flourishing and well-being, both through subjective violence against the person and the systemic violence of neoliberal ideology.  As neoliberal capitalism continues to erode working conditions, conditions of employment and the social relations between employer, employee and consumer, the absences that emerge generate multiple harms, perpetrated by and against the individual.  It is incumbent upon Criminology to see the whole picture.

 

References

Davis, J., Lister, J. and Wrigley, D. (2015) NHS For Sale: Myths, Lies and Deception, London: Merlin Press.

Gill, M., Fisher, B. And Bowie, V. (2002) Violence at Work: Causes, patterns and prevention, (Eds) Cullompton: Willan.

Hall, S. and Winlow, S. (2015) Revitalizing Criminological Theory: Towards a New Ultra-Realism, London: Routledge.

Hall, S. (2012) Theorizing Crime and Deviance: A New Perspective, London: Sage.

Hillyard, P. and Tombs, S. (2004) ‘Beyond Criminology?’ in Hillyard, P., Pantazis, C., Tombs, S. and Gordon, D. (Eds) Beyond Criminology: Taking Harm Seriously, London: Pluto Press.

Lloyd, A. (2018a) The Harms of Work. Bristol: Policy Press.

Lloyd, A. (2018b) “Working for free: Illegal employment practices, ‘off the books’ work and the continuum of legality within the service economy’, Trends in Organised Crime. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12117-018-9351-x

Lloyd, A. (2019) “Harm at Work: Bullying and special liberty in the retail sector”, Critical Criminology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10612-019-09445-9

Martin, D., Mackenzie, N. and Healy, J. (2012) ‘Balancing risk and professional identity, secondary school teachers’ narratives of violence’, Criminology and Criminal Justice, 13(4), 398-414.

Pemberton, S. (2016) Harmful Societies, Bristol: Policy Press.

Pollock, A.M. (2004) NHS Plc: The Privatisation of Our Health Care, London: Verso.

Raymen, T. (2019) ‘The Enigma of Social Harm and the Barrier of Liberalism: Why Zemiology Needs a Theory of the Good’, Justice, Power and Resistance, 3(1) 134-163.

Schindeler, E. (2013) ‘Workplace violence: Extending the boundaries of criminology’, Theoretical Criminology, 18(3), 371-385.

Scott, S. (2017) Labour Exploitation and Work-Based Harm, Bristol: Policy Press.

Standing, G. (2011) The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, London: Bloomsbury.

Yar, M. (2012) ‘Critical criminology, critical theory and social harm’, in Hall, S. and Winlow, S. (Eds.) New Directions in Criminological Theory, London: Routledge.

Žižek, S. (2008) Violence: Six Sideways Reflections, London: Profile Books.

 

Contact

Dr. Anthony Lloyd, Reader in Criminology, Teesside University

Email Anthony.Lloyd@tees.ac.uk

Twitter @lloyd_a1

Copyright free images courtesy of author and  Flickr

Towards an urbanised criminology for a world of cities

This article presents a dialogue between urban studies and criminology.

author photo

Rowland Atkinson is Research Chair in Inclusive Societies at the University of Sheffield, he is the author (with Sarah Blandy) of Domestic Fortress: Fear and the New Home Front (Manchester University Press).

 

Gareth_Millington

 

Gareth Millington is Senior Lecturer at the University of York, he is the author of ‘Race’, Culture and the Right to the City (Palgrave).

 

 

The fact of the majority of humanity moving into a globalised urban condition has sparked much discussion among urbanists – where and how will people live in dignity? How will they be governed? How will such living be sustainable in economic and environmental terms? We might equally ask – how will this condition generate new rounds of victimisation and why? How will questions of crime, safety and control be resolved in new and existing urban arenas?

We came to these issues as urban sociologists with a strong interest in the question of crime and harm, but also with the realisation that we could fruitfully engage a more formal dialogue between urban studies and criminology. Criminology of course is in many ways an ‘urban’ discipline – who did not know their Chicago school and its concentric rings, who had not been exposed to the maps of Mayhew? Moving beyond this we tried to think about why would we not also want to engage more deeply with the often unacknowledged links between the city, political economy and the development of a critical approach to urban life today. We were particularly keen to explore how urban conditions, characterised by intensifying inequalities in wealth, around housing and access to core services were immensely relevant to criminological thinking. What kind of shared canon, ideas and cities themselves might be foregrounded in a more explicit dialogue of relevance to scholars of the city, as well as those interested in crime and harm?

Urban Criminology starts with an observation, that there is much going on in urban studies that is neither recognised nor considered in criminology, but also that reverse is true. This problematic led us to consider a range of domains in which the conceptual armoury and studies of both disciplines might be engaged in a rewarding exchange of ideas. We organised these areas in terms of questions about more traditional forms of crime and harm, such as those clustered in deprived neighbourhoods or in forms of explicit interpersonal violence, on the one hand, while also thinking about new, emerging or less recognised forms of harm that have become of more widespread concern in recent years. Here we might consider the move from white collar to grander crimes within finance, the use of new technologies and aggressive methods for control in cities, the operation of housing systems that produce new social geographies and stresses or the adoption of new tactics for terrorism in urban arenas around the world.

While these various issues seem immediately relevant to thinking within and across urban and criminological studies arguably none are emphatically new. Our contribution lay in trying to offer a fresh synthesis that highlighted the need for a clearer dialogue between urbanists and criminologists. At the back of these concerns was a challenge to the reader – that to understand many forms of crime today we need to understand how the city itself ‘works’ and indeed, does not work. Such operations include of course a wide range of social, political and economic structures that themselves vary according to national and urban contexts but which are also influenced by global economic forces that generate new and mutating forms of harm.

To offer some sense of how these new combinations of factors and outcomes are coming into view we examine such issues as the relationship between neoliberal governance regimes and the deregulation of safety implicated in the Grenfell tower disaster and creation of more precariously employed city labour forces more generally. Global capital is now also more entwined with the unhousing and trauma associated with demolition, housing displacement and continued mobility of many around the world as capital looks for new spaces to gentrify and appropriate. New forms of boundary making, around gated communities and affluent enclaves with private modes of policing, also appear as a kind of security ‘foam’, complex physical and urban governance structures that raise new questions about how inequality, crime and (in)security are distributed and related through the contemporary city.

We might ask, what is ‘urban’ about crime? We suggest in the book that what binds much of the varied concerns of criminology and urban studies today is the need for a deepened critical perspective. Such a perspective should recognise the primacy of the urban condition and its manifold form. It should also avoid naivety in understanding that, at root, power and inequality produce more aggressive responses to the question of crime (while sidelining others forms of harm), but also that these same conditions are themselves generative of harm in cities around the world today. In addition, the relationship between national and global political management of economies can be linked to new forms of risk, value extraction (from labour and nature) and the expansion of financial services. All of this generates significant questions for how we should understand to the question of how urban systems are producing new and different forms of crime and harm. Fraud, manipulation and laundering among global and urban elites seem particularly important areas for further investigation.

Where to from here? We hope that Urban Criminology offers the means of galvanising critical criminology in attempts at seeing the city as a site in which harm may be produced and indeed mitigated. Urban life is replete with examples of violence, harm and aggressive political actions towards vulnerable populations. But it is also a site of hope, social action and movements that are increasingly conscious of and antagonistic toward question of inequality, power and unfair modes of social control. Cities may be key sites of harm as we move forward, but they may also offer the crucibles within which fairer and more just social conditions may be formed. We hope that the book may offer some contribution to such discussions, between urbanists and criminologists in the future.

Urban Criminology is published by Routledge

 

Contact

Rowland Atkinson, University of Sheffield

Email: rowland.atkinson@sheffield.ac.uk

Twitter: @qurbanist

 

Gareth Millington, University of York

Email: g.millington@york.ac.uk

Twitter: @GRMillington

 

Images: courtesy of the authors