Professor Roger Matthews

Professor of Criminology
Director of Studies, MA in Criminology

About

Professor Matthews completed his PhD at the University of Essex, his MA in Sociology/Criminology at the University of Sussex and a BA (Hons) in Social Science at Middlesex University.

From 1977 to 1990, Professor Matthews was a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Middlesex University. He worked as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Leicester from 1990 to 1993 and a Reader and Professor of Criminology at Middlesex University between 1993 and 2004. Before joining SSPSSR, he was a Professor of Criminology at London South Bank University from 2004 to 2011. 

Research interests

Professor Matthews’ main research interests centre around issues of crime and punishment with a particular focus on crime prevention and community safety on one hand and prisons and penal policy on the other. He has conducted research on armed robbery, shoplifting, the use of CCTV cameras, disorder and anti-social behaviour. In relation to punishment, he has conducted research on diversion from custody, developing alternatives to prison and evaluating the use of community based sanctions. In addition he has conducted research on prostitution and sex trafficking involving comparative studies across Europe and more detailed studies in the UK. 

At the moment Professor Matthews is involved in five research projects: 

  • An examination of women exiting prostitution, undertaken in collaboration with Eaves Housing for Women and funded by the National Lottery. The aim of this project is to examine and understand the process of desistance and the process of leaving prostitution. 
  • An evaluation of a community-based alternative to custody for women in Glasgow, funded by the Scottish Office. This project involves an examination of the effectiveness in providing a community-based form of support for women offenders.
  • An examination of approbation centered diversion programme for women in the Belfast area, funded by the Northern Ireland Office. 
  • An examination of the dynamics of sex trafficking in Scotland, funded by the EHRC, based on interviews with victims and practitioners. 
  • A strategic review of prostitution policy and practice in Glasgow over the last decade, funded by Glasgow City Council, based on extensive research with women involved in indoor and street prostitution, practitioners and policy makers. 

Teaching

Professor Matthews teaches criminology, crime prevention and community safety at postgraduate level.

Supervision

Please contact Professor Matthews if you have a proposal in his areas of interest.

Professional

Memberships 

  • Member of the British Society of Criminology
  • Member of the American Society of Criminology
  • Founding member of the Latin American Society on Penal Law and Criminology (ALPEC).

Advisory 

  • Member of the international advisory board of the journal Theoretical Criminology.  

Publications

Article

  • Matthews, R. (2018). Regulating the Demand for Commercialized Sexual Services. Women’s Studies International Forum [Online] 69:1-8. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wsif.2018.03.007.
    In recent years, attention has increasingly shifted towards the buyers rather than those who provide sexual services. At the same time women involved in prostitution are increasingly coming to be seen as victims in need of support rather than offenders deserving punishment. This article aims to deconstruct the notion of male ‘demand’ for commercialized female sexual services and examines some of the measures that have been adopted in different countries to address and reduce this form of demand.
  • Matthews, R. (2017). False Starts, Wrong Turns and Dead Ends: Reflections on Recent Developments in Criminology. Critical Criminology [Online] 25:577-591. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10612-017-9372-9.
    The nature and direction of criminology has changed significantly over the past two decades. The subject area has also grown exponentially and become more diverse. New fields of inquiry are opening up as new issues are added to the criminological agenda. However, at the same time there are some unwelcome developments in the discipline that impact on the orientation of the subject and which detract from its overall viability and standing. The aim of this paper is to identify these unwelcome trends in order to contribute to the development of a more critical and coherent criminology.
  • Ignatans, D. and Matthews, R. (2017). Immigration and the Crime Drop: International Perspectives. European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice [Online] 25:205-229. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1163/15718174-02503002.
    Explanations of the remarkable decrease in crime over the last two decades across a number of western countries have been in varying degrees unpersuasive. The article presents an exploratory analysis of possible links between immigration into the UK and crime levels. Drawing on a range of international research the paper suggests that in contrast to the popular opinion that increased immigration is associated with an increase in crime, that not only are the recent waves of immigration not statistically linked to increased rates of crime in the UK and elsewhere, but that the proposition that recent waves of immigration may have contributed to the crime drop is tenable. Possible ways of clarifying the issue are suggested.
  • Matthews, R. (2015). Female prostitution and victimization: A realist analysis. International Review of Victimology [Online] 21:85-100. Available at: http://www.dx.doi.org/10.1177/0269758014547994.
    Women involved in prostitution are amongst the most victimized groups in society. However, there are some commentators who present it as a non-victim crime. Although subject to multiple forms of victimization, prostitutes are often not considered to be ‘suitable victims’ by the authorities. Even those who are victims of sex trafficking are poorly treated, and the responses to the European Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings have been uneven and inconsistent. The issue of victimization raises the issue of coercion and the extent to which women involved in prostitution can be said to give their full consent when providing sexual services for payment.
  • Matthews, R. (2014). Female prostitution and Victimasation. International Review of Victimology [Online] 21:85-100. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0269758014547994.
    Women involved in prostitution are amongst the most victimized groups in society. However, there are some commentators who present it as a non-victim crime. Although subject to multiple forms of victimization, prostitutes are often not considered to be ‘suitable victims’ by the authorities. Even those who are victims of sex trafficking are poorly treated, and the responses to the European Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings have been uneven and inconsistent. The issue of victimization raises the issue of coercion and the extent to which women involved in prostitution can be said to give their full consent when providing sexual services for payment.
  • Matthews, R. (2014). Cultural realism?. Crime Media Culture [Online] 10:203-214. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1741659014556045.
    Cultural criminology has provided a much needed energy and diversity within academic criminology. However, it has been criticised for its notion of ‘culture’, its tendency to romanticise deviance and for its lack of engagement with policy development. Realist criminology, on the other hand, has expressed a commitment to taking crime and victimisation seriously and to being policy relevant. The question that this paper addresses is whether these two strands of criminology
    can be combined to produce an approach that is both critical and useful. This was a question that Jock Young raised in his later writings.
  • Matthews, R. (2010). The Construction of ‘So What?’ Criminology: A Realist Analysis. Crime, Law and Social Change [Online] 54:125-140. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10611-010-9249-2.
    From a realist perspective there is a growing body of criminology that can be classified as ‘So What?’ criminology in that it involves a low level of theorisation, thin, inconsistent or vague concepts and categories, embodies a dubious methodology or has little or no policy relevance. The production of ‘So What?’ criminology is, of course, no accident but the outcome of a number of lines of force that have served to shape the nature of mainstream academic criminology in recent years. The aim of this article is to identify some of these lines of force and to assess their impact.
  • Hubbard, P., Matthews, R. and Scoular, J. (2009). Legal Geographies - Controlling sexually oriented businesses: Law, Licensing, and the geographies of a controversial land use. Urban Geography [Online] 30:185-205. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.2747/0272-3638.30.2.185.
    In this article, we explore both a neglected geography (the location of sexually oriented business) and a neglected instrument of sociospatial control (premises licensing). Arguing the former is increasingly shaped by the latter, we suggest that licensing provides a flexible means by which the state is able to reconcile the growing demand for "adult entertainment" with concerns about community standards, urban aesthetics, public safety, and property prices. We demonstrate this through an examination of the role of UK licensing legislation in controlling the location and visibility of such controversial businesses in London's West End. It is demonstrated that, in this case, licensing has encouraged the "upscaling" of sex-related businesses while reducing their overall number and visibility. We conclude that licensing, as a means of controlling contentious urban land uses, constitutes a "field of governance" whose legal geographies remain to be adequately theorized and explored. Copyright © 2009 by Bellwether Publishing, Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Matthews, R. (2009). Beyond ‘so what?’ criminology: Rediscovering realism. Theoretical Criminology [Online] 13. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1362480609336497.
    There has been a growing concern about the lack of policy
    relevance of criminology in recent years. Two influential responses to
    this dilemma have been presented. On one hand, it has been
    argued that academic criminologists should become more active in
    mobilizing points of consensus about what works, while on the
    other hand it has been suggested that there should be a division of
    labour among academics and that the subject be broken down into
    public, professional, policy and critical criminologies. This article
    argues that neither of these responses are tenable and instead calls
    for an approach that links theory, method and intervention with the
    aim of developing a coherent critical realist approach that is able to
    go beyond the existing forms of ‘so what?’ criminology.
  • Hubbard, P., Matthews, R., Scoular, J. and AgustínL. (2008). Away from prying eyes? The urban geographies of ’adult entertainment’. Progress in Human Geography [Online] 32:363-381. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0309132508089095.
    Most towns and cities in the UK and USA possess a number of venues offering sexually orientated entertainment in the form of exotic dance, striptease or lap dancing. Traditionally subject to moral and legal censure, the majority of these sex-related businesses have tended to be situated in marginal urban spaces. As such, their increasing visibility in more mainstream spaces of urban nightlife raises important questions about the sexual and gender geographies that characterize the contemporary city. In this paper we accordingly locate the phenomena of adult entertainment at the convergence of geographic debates concerning the evening economy, urban gentrification and the gendered consumption of urban space. We conclude that these sites are worthy of investigation not only in and of themselves, but also because their shifting location reveals much about the forms of heterosexuality and homosociality normalized in the contemporary city.
  • Hubbard, P., Matthews, R. and Scoular, J. (2008). Regulating sex work in the EU: prostitute women and the new spaces of exclusion. Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography [Online] 15:137-152. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09663690701863232.
    Contemporary prostitution policy within the European Union has coalesced around the view that female prostitution is rarely voluntary, and often a consequence of sex trafficking. Responding, different nation-states have, however, adopted
    antithetical legal positions based on prohibition (Sweden), abolition (UK) or legalisation (Netherlands). Despite the apparently sharp differences between these positions, in this article we argue that there is now a shared preoccupation with repressing spaces of street prostitution. Noting the forms of exploitation that nonetheless adhere to many spaces of off-street work, we conclude that the state and law may intervene in sex work markets with the intention of tackling gendered injustice, but are perpetuating geographies of exception and abandonment.

    La política contemporánea de la prostitución en la Unión Europea se han centrado en la opinión de que la prostitución femenina es casi nunca voluntaria, y muchas veces es la consecuencia del tráfico sexual. En respuesta, las diferentes naciones han, sin embargo, adoptado posiciones legales antitéticas basado en la prohibición (Sueca), la abolición (el Reino Unido), o la legalización (los Países Bajos). A pesar de las aparentes diferencias entres estas posiciones, en este artículo sostenemos que actualmente hay una preocupación común con los espacios represivos de la prostitución callejera. Reconociendo las formas de explotación que, no obstante, conforman a muchos espacios del trabajo fuera de la calle, concluimos que el estado y la ley pueden intervenir en el trabajo sexual con el propósito de enfrentar la injusticia sexual, pero que se perpetúan las geografías de la excepción y el abandono.
  • Matthews, R. (2005). Policing prostitution: Ten years on. British Journal of Criminology [Online] 45:877-895. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azi046.
    During the 1970s and 1980s, a number of vice squads emerged in different locations in England and Wales to respond to the growing public concern about street prostitution. They adopted an essentially enforcement approach which was aimed predominantly at female prostitutes. During the 1990s, however, the nature of police intervention has changed, as they have become increasingly involved in developing multi-agency responses to prostitution. There has also been a significant growth in the last decade of specialist agencies designed to support street prostitutes. This development has produced a changing regulatory framework in which the nature of prostitution and the conception of the female prostitute have been subject to re-examination. In this article, developments in the policing of prostitution over the last decade are reviewed and emerging trends in the regulation of prostitution are identified.
  • Matthews, R. (2005). The myth of punitiveness. Theoretical Criminology [Online] 9:175-201. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1362480605051639.
    There is a widespread claim in the criminological literature that the current period is characterized by a surge in punitiveness and that this 'punitive turn' is fuelled by a new populism. However, the key notions of 'punitiveness' and 'populism' remain largely undefined, with the result that much of the associated analysis is vague, while developments are often asserted rather than explained. Consequently, there is a tendency towards empiricism, on the one hand, and speculative idealism, on the other. It is not that one cannot find examples of punitiveness but since the deployment of punitive sanctions has historically been an endemic feature of the criminal justice system we are faced with question of 'what is new?' In this article it is argued that there has been a one-sided, exaggerated focus on punitiveness in recent times, which has detracted from the development of a progressive realist account of contemporary crime control.

Book

  • Matthews, R. (2015). Criminologia Realista. Edicions Didot Buenos Aires.
  • Matthews, R., Easton, H., Young, L. and Bindel, J. (2014). Exiting Prostitution: A Study on Female Desistance. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
    How people move from deviant to conventional lifestyles is an issue that has attracted considerable interest over the past few years. However, much of this work has focused on men desisting from crime. This book provides one of the first examinations of desistance which is centred on women and, more specifically, how they exit prostitution.
  • Matthews, R. (2014). Realist Criminology. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
    This book challenges contemporary criminological thinking, providing a thorough critique of mainstream criminology, including both liberal criminology and administrative criminology. It sets a new agenda for theoretical and practical engagement, and for creating a more effective and just criminal justice system.
  • Matthews, R. (2009). Doing Time: An Introduction to the Sociology of Imprisonment. [Online]. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Available at: http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=371104.
    Doing Time is an essential text for students in criminology and criminal justice - a one-stop overview of key debates in punishment and imprisonment. This edition, thoroughly revised and updated throughout, is a highly accessible guide, providing the tools to critically engage with today's central issues in penology and penal policy. Examining imprisonment both historically and sociologically, and in international perspective, Doing Time outlines theoretical debates, and goes beyond standard introductory texts to help students develop their own critical and informed opinions. This new edition includes: * three new chapters * an up-to-date bibliography * fully revised statistical information * a guide to key internet resources Issues explored include: * How incarceration became established as the foremost form of punishment * The role of space, time and labour in the evolution of prisons and prison life * Why prison populations are rising despite the fall in crime figures * An examination of key prison populations - juveniles, women and ethnic groups * Crime and the business cycle - links between crime, unemployment and imprisonment * Globalization and crime control * The future of imprisonment .
  • Matthews, R. (2008). Prostitution, Politics & Policy. [Online]. Taylor & Francis Ltd. Available at: http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/books/details/9780415459167/.
    Prostitution has become an extremely topical issue in recent years and attention has focused both on the situation of female prostitutes and the adequacy of existing forms of regulation. "Prostitution, Politics and Policy" brings together the main debates and issues associated with prostitution in order to examine the range of policy options that are available. Governments in different parts of the world have been struggling to develop constructive policies to deal with prostitution - as, for example, the British Home Office recently instigated a GBP1.5 million programme to help address the perceived problems of prostitution.In the context of this struggle, and amidst the publication of various policy documents, "Prostitution, Politics and Policy" develops a fresh approach to understanding this issue, while presenting a range of what are seen as progressive and radical policy proposals. Much of the debate around prostitution has been polarised between liberals - who want prostitution decriminalised, normalised and humanised - and conservatives - who have argued that prostitution should be abolished. But, drawing on wide range of international literature, and providing an overview that is both accessible to students and relevant to policy makers and practitioners, in this book Roger Matthews proposes a form of radical realism that is irreducible to either of these two positions.
  • Matthews, R., Easton, H., Briggs, D. and Pease, K. (2007). Assessing The Use and Impact of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders. [Online]. Bristol: Policy Press. Available at: http://www.policypress.co.uk/display.asp?K=9781847420572&sf1=keyword&st1=9781847420572&m=1&dc=1.
    Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) have become the main sanction for dealing with anti-social behaviour in the UK. This book represents one of the first assessments of this sanction, which has become widely used but remains extremely controversial. The report is based on detailed interviews with ASBO recipients, practitioners and community representatives in areas affected by anti-social behaviour. Examining its use and impact from these various perspectives, the book assesses the effects of ASBOs on the behaviour and attitudes of recipients as well as examining the various issues which arise in relation to their implementation. The report should be read by academics and students who want to make sense of ASBOs, practitioners who are involved in implementing them as well as policy makers who are responsible for designing this sanction. It will also be of interest to all those who have an interest in addressing the issue of anti-social behaviour.
  • Matthews, R. (2002). Armed Robbery. Taylor & Francis Ltd.
    Armed robbery is regarded as one of the most serious crimes, and is widely reported in the media. This book provides an account of armed robbery, based on research with 350 robbers in prison, and on work with two police armed response units.

    Despite the significance of armed robbery in the criminal justice system, the media and in the public mind there has been little systematic research or writing on the subject beyond the popular accounts. In both the USA and the UK there remains a large gap in the literature on the subject, which this book aims to fill. It provides a comprehensive account of armed robbery, based on extensive research with 350 armed robbers in prison, and on work with two police armed response units Despite the significance of armed robbery in the criminal justice system, the media and in the public mind there has been little systematic research or writing on the subject beyond the popular accounts - from the Metropolitan and South Yorkshire Police. This is the book on the subject.

Book section

  • Easton, H. and Matthews, R. (2016). Getting the Balance Right: The Ethics of Researching Women Trafficked for Commercial Sexual Exploitation. In: Siegel, D. and de Wildt, R. eds. Ethical Concerns in Research on Human Trafficking. Springer International Publishing, pp. 11-32. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-21521-1_2.
    This chapter discusses the ethical issues associated with researching women who have been trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. It refers to two studies conducted by the authors. The first was a study commissioned by the Scottish Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) as part of a wider Inquiry into Human Trafficking in Scotland. The second was a study of women exiting prostitution which included a small sample of trafficked women accessed through the Poppy Project in London. What became apparent during both of these studies was the way in which researching those who have been trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation can become a balancing act between gathering and presenting robust evidence about women’s individual experiences and ensuring the physical and emotional safety of the research subjects. Throughout both studies, the researchers needed to negotiate the methodological approach, work in partnership with stakeholders and manage issues around the limits of confidentiality and anonymity. A further balancing act was progressing fieldwork and analysis at a suitable pace for the commissioner while also being reflexive and taking care of the needs of women participants and the researcher’s personal responses to the subject matter. Although alive with ethical and moral issues, research that examines women’s experiences and presents these clearly without causing harm is fundamental to both the policy process and to the development of knowledge about human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation as well as how to conduct sensitive research with vulnerable victims.
  • Matthews, R. (2010). Realist Criminology Revisited. In: Newburn, T. and McLaughlin, E. eds. The Sage Handbook of Criminological Theory. SAGE Publications Ltd. Available at: http://www.uk.sagepub.com/books/Book228876?siteId=sage-uk&prodTypes=any&q=+9781412920384&pageTitle=productsSearch.
    The Sage Handbook of Criminological Theory;
    'For any criminologist looking to make sense of recent developments in the field, this is the go-to book. In essays by leading specialists, it provides the latest updates on traditional theories whilst charting new directions. It also offers interpretive frameworks for criminology's current flux and fragmentation and closely examines relationships among theory, policy, and criminal justice practice. Invaluable and indispensible' - Nicole Rafter, Professor, Northeastern University. "The SAGE Handbook of Criminological Theory" re-centres theory in the boldest, most thought-provoking form possible within the criminological enterprise. Written by a team of internationally respected specialists, it provides readers with a clear overview of criminological theory, enabling them to reflect critically upon the variety of theoretical positions - traditional, emergent and desirable - that are constitutive of the discipline at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Each chapter has been specially commissioned to include the following: a brief historical overview of the theoretical perspective; core ideas and key associated concepts; a critical review of the contemporary status of the perspective; and, reflections on future developments. In addition the Handbook features a substantive introduction by the editors, providing a review of the development of criminological theory, the state of contemporary criminological theory and emergent issues and debates. "The SAGE Handbook of Criminological Theory" is an indispensable international resource for libraries and scholars of all levels studying the rapidly developing, interdisciplinary field of criminology.

Edited book

  • Matthews, R.A. and O’Neill, M. eds. (2003). Prostitution. Ashgate Publishing Group.
    An investigation of the changing nature, meaning and significance of prostitution over time. This book examines the changing issues, debates and campaigns that have surrounded the subject of prostitution at different points in history.

    The authors argue that the widely held contention that prostitution is the "oldest profession" has served to militate against a proper investigation of its changing nature, meaning and significance over time. In responce to this, this volume examines the many facets of prostitution looking in particular at its history, sociology, politics and regulation.
  • Matthews, R.A. and Young, J. eds. (2003). The New Politics of Crime and Punishment. Taylor & Francis Ltd.
    This book provides an overview of recent government initiatives in the field of crime and punishment, reviewing both the policies themselves, the perceived problems and issues they seek to address, and the broader social and political context in which this is taking place. The underlying theme of the book is that a qualitative change has taken place in the politics of crime control in the UK since the early 1990s. Although crime has stabilised, imprisonment rates continue to climb, there is a new mood of punitiveness, and crime has become a central policy issue for the government, no longer just a technical matter of law enforcement. At the same time the politics of crime control have taken on a pronounced gender, race and age preoccupation. This book will be essential reading for anybody seeking an understanding of why crime and criminal justice policy have risen to the top of the political agenda.
  • Matthews, R.A. and Pitts, J. eds. (2001). Crime, Disorder and Community Safety. Taylor & Francis Ltd.
    This book provides an analytic overview and assessment of the changing nature of crime prevention, disorder and community safety in contemporary society.

    This book provides an analytic overview and assessment of the changing nature of crime prevention, disorder and community safety in contemporary society. Bringing together nine original articles from leading national and international authorities on these issues, Crime, Disorder and Community Safety examines recent developments including the shift towards an increase in local authority's responsibility for crime control and community safety, the development of inter-agency alliances, the changing nature of policing and the passing of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. The question underpinning this collection is whether we are experiencing a major watershed in crime prevention and community safety policies. In addressing these issues the various authors explore the theory, politics and practice associated with these changes and assess their significance in relation to a number of specific groups - the disadvantaged, the socially excluded, youth, women and ethnic minorities. Adam Crawford University of Leeds, Marian Fitzgerald University of Leeds, Lynn Hancock Midddlesex University, Tim Hope University of Keele, George L. Kelling Rutgers
  • Matthews, R.A. ed. (1999). Imprisonment. [Online]. Vol. 40. Ashgate. Available at: http://www.ashgate.com/default.aspx?page=637&calcTitle=1&title_id=286&edition_id=355.
    The International library of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Penology is an important publishing initiative that brings together the most significant contemporary published journal essays in current criminology, criminal justice and penology. The series makes available to researchers, academics and students of criminology an extensive range of essays which are indispensable for obtaining an overview of the latest theories and findings in this fast developing field.

Review

  • Matthews, R. (2002). Crime and control in late modernity. Theoretical Criminology [Online] 6:217-226. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/136248060200600205.
    Oxford University Press, 2001. 307 pp. £19.99 (pbk)
    ISBN 0–19–829937–0

Thesis

  • Ignatans, D. (2015). An Examination of the Factors Associated With the ‘Crime Drop’ in England and Wales.
    The explanations of the remarkable decrease in crime that has been reported over the last two decades in a number of western countries thus far are assessed here as having been limited and unconvincing. In the light of these limitations, this thesis explores three under researched factors and their potential impact on recorded and reported crime rates in England and Wales. First, the contribution of security measures to the fall in crime is evaluated. The likely impact of security measures is found to be limited to few crime categories and is seen as an unlikely major determinant of the crime drop. Second, the impact that the recent increase of immigration into the UK may have had on recorded crime levels is examined. European immigrants in particular are found to be associated with lower crime rates, especially with low rates of robberies and assaults. However, the link between immigration and crime is noted to highly fluctuate depending on outside factors and cannot account for the cross-national relative uniformity of the crime drop. Third, changes in volume and distribution of repeat victimisation are explored. Analyses demonstrate that a large proportion of the decrease in crime can be attributed to a drop in repeat events against the same targets. The thesis concludes with suggestions about further research likely to clarify the crime drop and hence to identify mechanisms whereby it might be sustained.
  • Petrosian, V. (2015). Occupy Democracy: A Study of New Media Use by a Sub-Branch of the Occupy London Movement.
    The rise of new media through network globalisation has led to innovative forms of “new” social movements. This study will explore whether Occupy London, a branch of the global Occupy movement, fits within the realm of a “new” social movement. A further six areas of contention are drawn from a review of literature exploring old and new social movement theory, globalisation/alter-globalisation and perspectives on sousveillance and new media. Through ethnographic participant observation and semi-structured interviewing during Occupy Democracy’s May 2015 occupation of Parliament Square, this research studies the political makeup of the movement, its demogaphy, perception by law enforcement and use of traditional and alternative sousveillance techniques in order to fully understand the advancement of the movement, its aims and future. It further analyses how the movement’s advancement in their use of the Internet and other new media platforms could potentially cause a shift from its continuous media blackout to a more growing presence within the criminological landscape.
  • Johnson, H. (2015). The Emotional Trajectories of Women’s Desistance: A Repertory Grid Study on Women Exiting Prostitution.
    This research identifies and explores the emotions of women who are exiting (leaving) prostitution. In both the prostitution and desistance literature, emotional factors clearly emerge as part of the process of change for exiters and desisters; however, there has been very little direct focus on their importance and impact on this process. The research makes a unique contribution to the desistance literature by mapping the process of change for women with particularly complex and challenging circumstances and focusing on the emotional aspects of this change. Overall, the research confirms that understanding the emotional aspects of exit offers new insights and gives rise to a new approach to service provision. The findings reveal that emotions are central to desistance and that role transition is a prerequisite for desistance. The data has shown that exit is a process of self-determination, becoming one’s authentic self, and that this process is bound up with emotional drivers and barriers. The process of exit necessarily involves fostering positive emotional experiences through both external and internal changes. The data suggests that an understanding of dominant emotional constructs at any given time will give a gateway into how best to respond to the needs and motivations of the exiter through service provision and offers an emotionally intelligent model to meet these needs. Service provision plays a key role in bridging the change in lifestyle of exiters through generating emotional energy, increasing access to alternatives, fostering hope, and enabling women to reimagine their lives.
  • Mol, H. (2015). To Miss the Forest for the Trees? A Green Criminological Perspective on the Politics of Palm Oil Harm.
    Globally, the palm oil industry has been linked to practices that fit the most conventional definitions and perceptions of crime as well as the types of social and environmental harm that do not fit strictly legalistic definitions and understandings of crime. This thesis examines both the perceptions and realities of harm in the context of palm oil production in Colombia’s Pacific coast region, attending to the perspectives of corporate executives, public officials, industry representatives, small growers of oil palm, local palm oil critics, and NGOs with a critical stance towards agroindustrial palm oil production. The theoretical and analytical approach put forward to this end redirects the harm debate from a central concern with the academic contestation of harm within criminology, toward a focus on the on-the-ground contestedness of harm. The central research question that underpins the study is: “How are perceptions, practices, and realities of harm linked to palm oil production in the Colombian Pacific coast region contested, and what are the implications of this for debates on harm within green criminology?” Via a rich field-based account of the constructions, practices, and the lived and perceived realities of harm related to palm oil production, and the interrogation of the mechanisms and relations of power that thereby invest practices and discourses of harm, the study contributes empirically and theoretically to the green criminological analysis of the extractive industries, encouraging green criminology to engage with the notion of harm in more complex and nuanced ways. This approach enhances criminological understanding of the power dynamics that draw and keep in place the boundaries between legal harm, tolerated illegal harm, and non-tolerated illegal harm, and the hegemonic notions and practices of legality that thus operate to reproduce the status quo in ways that generate harm to human beings and the natural environment.
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