The arrival of criminology as an academic discipline was a post-war development in Australia as much as in Britain or the United States. Classical criminology had developed as a question about punishment—neo-classical criminology as a question about the criminal. Academic criminology pursued both questions and added others. Less systematic than pragmatic, less theoretical than eclectic, the criminology of post-war universities was both intellectually broader and politically more critical than once thought. This paper outlines the formation of the discipline in Australia during the war and post-war years, from the conditions of production of its first text, The ABC of Criminology (Melbourne University Press 1941), to its moment of governmental embrace around 1960. Who were the major players in this enterprise, what commitments, intellectual and political, did they bring to their work, and what did this local formation owe to its international affiliations?
Journal Article. 13689 words.
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