Article

Urban Politics and Crime

Thomas D. Stucky

in Criminology

ISBN: 9780195396607
Published online August 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396607-0125
Urban Politics and Crime

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The study of urban politics and crime is at a very basic level an interdisciplinary endeavor, bringing together political science, political sociology, sociology of law, criminology, and criminal justice theory and research, among others. Although for many years politics, particularly the basic stuff political scientists study, was not seen as central to the study of crime, it has become much more so in recent years. There has been a growing recognition that understanding politics is necessary to understand crime and how we can and should respond to it. The articles and books cited in this entry focus on the nature of city politics, how it varies, and the implications this has for crime and justice policies. One question that is addressed is what drives public policies on criminal justice. Some argue that criminal justice policies simply reflect the desires of the voting public. Others argue that there are limited resources and those resources are often controlled by those in power, particularly the racial majority. So one theme that is explored here is the extent to which “racial threat” drives criminal justice policies. The entry also traces the various ways that politics, particularly institutional politics (as opposed to rioting and protests, which are often thought of as noninstitutional politics) are included in recent research on various criminal justice questions, such as the causes of crime, the nature and amount of punishment, how to treat criminals, how to pay for city services such as the police and the courts, the number and activities of the police, and violence against the police.

Article.  7587 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Criminal Justice ; Criminology

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