Criminology Crime's Changing Boundaries

David Nelken

in The Oxford Handbook of Legal Studies

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780199248179
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:
 Criminology Crime's Changing Boundaries

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This article focuses on recent sociological work on developments in crime and crime control. It considers, in particular, the ways in which concern about different types of unacceptable behaviour is affected by changes in political and geographical boundaries. It discusses trends in crime, criminal justice, and criminology, and the relationship between these and the changing role of the state in national and international crime control. The advantage of putting these topics together in this way is that it allows us to trace connections and see unexpected links. A major theme running through this article is the need to relate transformations in crime control to shifts in forms of governance. Another issue that links the various parts of this article is the central importance of the victim. The move to define crime from the point of view of the victim was originally encouraged by the development of victim surveys which were invented in an attempt to deal with criminology's long-standing problem of measuring the unknown ‘dark figure’ of crime. This instrument made it possible to count and document crime independently of the actions of law enforcement agencies. It is shown that victims have now become an ever more important focus for crime prevention and the criminal process in general, as well as serving as the justification and legitimation for new forms of global criminological expertise.

Keywords: crime control; criminal justice; crime prevention; crime victims; victim surveys

Article.  10026 words. 

Subjects: Law ; Criminology

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