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An International Journal

v 11 #3: Table of Contents and Abstracts

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Critical Criminology is the official journal of the American Society of Criminology’s Division on Critical Criminology. 

PLEASE NOTE: Paul Leighton's term as editor has ended. The Journal remains active, but these pages will not be updated beyond what occurred during Paul's editorship. Please check the journal's official homepage at Springer (formerly Kluwer) for current information. 

The full text of all articles is available via Critical Criminology's official homepage at Springer (click on the volume/issue, then the article, and login or purchase access)


Steve Tombs and Dave Whyte

Even in formally open, liberal, ‘democratic’ states, a series of barriers exist as obstacles to critical criminologists who wish to conduct research that scrutinises the activities of powerful states and corporations.  Much evidence suggests that in the current political climate, the barring of access to sources of data, neo-liberal re-configurations in the funding of research, and the narrowing of publishing and dissemination opportunities to counter-hegemonic voices are severely limiting the ability to conduct critical research. This paper reports on recent experiences of researchers concerned with unmasking the crimes of the powerful and argues that, despite the considerable obstacles that power uses to obscure and mystify the illegal and violent practices engaged in by states and corporations, there remains fertile space around research agendas, and in universities, for critical researchers to exploit. In order to gain insight from the ways in which researchers can, and do establish alternative agendas, this paper seeks to explore some of the principles which might inform and encourage those forms of resistance, and to set out precisely how we might continue to subject the powerful to scrutiny. [Access full text via SpringerLink]

This article is based on the forthcoming book: Tombs, S. and Whyte, D., eds. Researching the Crimes of the Powerful. Peter Lang: New York. (2003)


Karen L. McKie

Following the execution of two German nationals in the United States in 2001, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found the U.S. in violation of international law stating that foreign nationals must be notified of their right to contact their embassy. When they learned of this right ten years after their arrest, they were barred from raising the claim and after exhausting available avenues in American courts, the German consulate took the case to the International Court of Justice. The U.S. executed the two men while the case was still before the ICJ, in spite of its request to stay the execution and German objections that “violations of Article 36 followed by death sentences and executions cannot be remedied by apologies or the distribution of leaflets.” This paper discusses the importance of consular notification to the fairness of prosecutions. Cases reviewed here indicate the U.S. still frequently does not provide notification and is at times oblivious to the ICJ’s ruling. The paper discusses reasons the U.S. should honor notification, including reciprocity for Americans traveling abroad and the larger development of international law. A final section provides several mechanisms for bringing U.S. practices into compliance that could be easily implemented. [Access full text via SpringerLink]

More information on the death penalty (CJ Ethics) ~ Foreign Nationals on Death Row or International Perspectives on Capital Punishment (Death Penalty Information Center)


Jeff Ferrell

Over the past two decades or so a misguided, militaristic "war on drugs" has been waged through a variety of means, including drug interdiction programs on the streets and highways of the United States, and high-profile campaigns in the United States media designed to construct drug use as a dangerous social problem. Yet during this same period, a far more deadly social problem--the death of some 40,000 people a year in automobile accidents along these same streets and highways--has largely been excluded from public consciousness and public debate. Recently, a remarkable convergence of circumstances made visible this profound imbalance in public awareness and public policy, and perhaps even began to remedy it. The roadside shrines that decorate the highways of New Mexico and other states likewise serve this purpose, encoding the collective tragedy of automotive death in the cultural landscape; they challenge critical criminologists to find in the shrines' tragic beauty and ongoing accumulation a new focus, a new everyday criminology of the automobile that extends the well known corporate crime literature on this industry. [Access full text via SpringerLink]

Read excerpts from his article with photos of shrines taken by the author

The Theory of Differential Oppression: A Developmental-Ecological Explanation of Adolescent Problem Behavior

Beverly Kingston, Bob Regoli and John Hewitt

The developmental-ecological perspective provides a means for understanding how the oppression of children occurs within multiple social contexts that interrelate to produce harmful outcomes for children. Because children lack power due to their age, size, and lack of resources, they are easy targets for adult oppression. Children are exposed to different levels and types of oppression that vary depending on their age, level of development, socioeconomic class, race, and the beliefs and perceptions of their parents. According to the theory of differential oppression, oppression leads to adaptive reactions by children: passive acceptance; exercise of illegitimate coercive power; manipulation of one’s peers; and retaliation. Reducing the oppressive acts of adults and alleviating the damaging circumstances that characterize the social environment of children is critical to reducing the prevalence of juvenile delinquency and other problem behaviors. [Access full text via SpringerLink]

Review of Critical Criminology at the Edge: Postmodern Perspectives, Integration, and Applications by Dragan Milovanovic

Bruce A. Arrigo [Access full text via SpringerLink]

Review of In Bad Company: America''s Terrorist Underground by Mark S. Hamm

Randy Blazak [Access full text via SpringerLink]

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