Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Making sense of the social world


Professor Stenson is an Honorary Professor at the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. He was previously Professor of Criminology at Buckinghamshire New University and Middlesex University, London. He taught a wide range of courses in sociology and criminology (including sociological and criminological theory) and has long been an active member of the British Society of Criminology, serving as chair of the southern regional branch and on the national executive committee. He is a joint author of the UK, QAA national benchmarks in criminology and is on the editorial boards of Critical Criminology journal and Criminal Justice Matters.

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(excluding reviews)

  • Lippert, R. and Stenson, K. (2010) `Advancing Governmentality Studies: Lessons from social constructionism`, Theoretical Criminology, 14, 4:473-494.
  • Stenson, K. (2010) Risk, Crime and Governance, in Martine Herzog-Evans (ed.) Transnational Criminology manual, volume 1, Nijmegen: Wolf Legal Publishers.
  • Fletcher, R and Kevin Stenson (2009) `Governance and the London Metropolitan Police Service`, Policing, A Journal of Policy and Practice. 3 (1) 12-21. Special issue on policing and governance, edited by Kevin Stenson.
  • Stenson, K. (2008) `Governing the Local: Sovereignty, Social Governance and Community Safety`. Social Work and Society (on line), - click  archive - volume 6, 1: (21 pages) –Special issue on De-and Re-Territorialisation of “the Social”` - commentary on the work of Kevin Stenson  http//
  • Stenson, K. (2008) `Beyond Kantianism: Responses to Critiques` Social Work and Society (on line), - click archive - volume 6, 1: (7 pages) –Special issue on De-and Re-Territorialisation of “the Social”` commentary on the work of Kevin Stenson [14]
  • Stenson, K. (2008) ‘Surveillance and Sovereignty', in M. Deflem (ed) Surveillance and Governance: Crime Control and Beyond” Sociology of Crime, law and Deviance, Volume 10, Bingley: Emerald.
  • Lea, J. and Stenson, K. (2007) `Security, Sovereignty, and Non-State Governance “From Below”` Canadian Jnl. of Law and Society, 22, 2: 9-28. Special issue of journal on `Governance from Below` edited by Kevin Stenson and Randy Lippert.
  • Stenson K. (2007) “Urban Governance and Legality ‘From Below’”. (with Randy Lippert). In Canadian Journal of Law and Society, Volume 22, 2: 1-8.
  • Stenson, K (2007) Editorial of special issue, edited by Kevin Stenson, of Criminal Justice Matters on `Security and Surveillance` (2007), no. 68, summer.
  • Stenson, K. (2007)`Framing the Governance of Urban Space`, in: - R. Atkinson and G. Helms (eds) Securing an Urban Renaissance: crime, community and British urban policy Bristol: The Policy Press
  • Stenson, K (2007) “Staatsmacht, Biopolitik und die locale Regierung von Kriminalität in Grossbritannien” in S. Krasmann and M. Volkmer (eds) “ Michel Foucault’s >>Geschichte der Gouvernementalität<< in den Socialwissenmschaften  Internationale Beiträge” Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag.
  • Stenson, K (2007) “Das Lokale regierung. Den Kampf um Souveränität im Ländlichen England”, in F. Kessl and H-U Otto (eds) Territorialisierung des Sozialen, Regieren uber soziale Nahraume. Opladen and Farmington Hills: Verlag Barbara Budrich
  • Stenson, K, (2007) Editorial special issue on Security and Surveillance, Criminal Justice Matters 60.
  • Stenson K and Waddington, P.A.J. (2007) Macpherson, Police Stops and Institutional Racism (with P. Waddington) in M. Rowe (ed) Policing Beyond Macpherson Cullompton: Willan.
  • Stenson K. (2005)`Sovereignty, Biopolitics and Community Safety in Britain" (2005) Theoretical Criminology (special Issue on community safety in Europe) 9,(3) 265-287.
  • Waddington, P.A.J., Stenson, K, and Don, D. (2004) "In proportion: race and police stop and search" British Journal of Criminology 44,6: 889-914.
  • Stenson, K. and Edwards, A. (2004) 'Policy Transfer in Local Crime Control: Beyond Naive Emulation', in T. Newburn and R. Sparks (eds) Criminal Justice and Political Cultures, national and international dimensions of crime control, pp.209-233. Cullompton:Willan.
  • 'Managing Risk and the Causes of Crime' (with Caroline Metcalf) in Criminal Justice Matters, Spring 2004: 8,9, 42.
  • Stenson, K. (2004) Editorial (with R. Garside) of special issue of Criminal Justice Matters on The Causes of Crime (Spring ).
  • Stenson, K. and Edwards, A. (2003) 'Crime control and local governance: the struggle for sovereignty in advanced liberal polities', Contemporary Politics Vo1.9, 2: 203-218.
  • Editorial (with Penny Frazer) of special issue of Criminal Justice Matters on Dangerous Offenders (Spring 2003), edited by Stenson and Frazer.
  • Stenson, K. (2002) 'Community Safety in Middle England - the local politics of crime control'. In G. Hughes and A. Edwards (eds) Crime Control and Community, the new politics of public safety, pp.109-139. Cullompton: Willan.
  • Stenson, K. (2002) "Reconstructing the Government of Crime" in G. Wickham and Pavlich G.,(ed) "Post Foucaultian Possibilities" Oxford: Hart (pp. 93-108) 2002 (Onati Law series).
  • Stenson, K (2001) "The New Politics of Crime Control" (pp 15-28); and "Crime Control and liberal government: the third way and the return to the local" (with Adam Edwards) (pp 58-86). (2001) In Stenson, K., and Sullivan, R.K. (eds) "Crime, Risk and Justice, the politics of crime control in liberal democracies". Cullompton: Willan
  • Stenson, K (2001) "Someday Our Prince Will Come: zero tolerance policing and liberal government" in T. Hope and R. Sparks (eds) "Crime, Insecurity and Order" Routledge.
  • Editorial of special issue of Criminal Justice Matters on Community Penalties, 39 (Spring 2000) (edited by K. Stenson)
  • Stenson, K. (2000) "Crime Control, Social Policy and Liberalism" in G. Lewis, S. Gerwitz and J. Clarke (eds) "Rethinking Social Policy" Sage 2000 (for D860 Open University Social Sciences Masters programme).
  • Stenson, K. (1999)"Crime, Risk and Governance in a Southern English Village", in G. Dingwall and S. Moody (eds) Crime and Conflict In the Countryside, University of Wales Press.
  • Stenson, K. (1999)"Crime Control, Governmentality and Sovereignty", in Russell Smandych (ed) Governable Places, readings on governmentality and crime control, Aldershot: Dartmouth: Ashgate .
  • Stenson, K. and Watt, P.(1999) Governmentality and the 'The Death of the Social?': a discourse analysis of local government texts in the South East of England, in Urban Studies, 36:1:189-201 spring
  • Stenson, K. (1998)"Beyond Histories of the Present", Economy and Society, 27:4:333-352.
  • Stenson, K. (1998)"The Displacement of Social Policy as crime Control" in S. Hanninen (ed) The Displacement of social Policy Jyvaskyla: University Of Jyvaskyla Press.
  • Watt, P and Stenson, K. (1998) "The Street: 'Its a bit dodgy around there', safety, danger, ethnicity and young people's use of public space. 'Social Spatialisation and Youth in a Southern English Town" in T. Skelton and G. Valentine (eds) Cool Places, Geographies of Youth Cultures, London: Routledge.
  • Stenson, K. and Watt, P. (1996) "Poverty amidst Plenty" Poverty, 95: 13-16, 1996.
  • Stenson, K. (1995)"Communal Security as Government - the British Experience", in W. Hammerschick et al (ed) Jahrbuch Fur Rechts Und Kriminalsoziologie, Baden: Nomos, 1995
  • Stenson, K. and factor, F. (1995)"Governing Youth, new directions for the youth service" in The Social Policy Review 7 (eds) Baldock and M. May, Canterbury: The Social Policy Association.
  • Stenson, K. and Factor, F. (1994) Fiona Factor Youth Work, Risk and Crime Prevention", Youth And Policy, 45.
  • Stenson, K. (1994) "The Social Work Interview, the Dialectic of Orality and Literacy", in S. Henninen (ed) . Government of Poverty and Reproduction of Silence Helsinki: National Agency For Welfare and Health.
  • Stenson, K. (1993b) "Community Policing as A Governmental Technology", Economy and Society, 22,3: 37389, Aug.
  • Stenson, K. (1993a)"Social Work Discourse and The Social Work Interview", Economy and Society, 22,1: 4276, Feb.
  • Stenson, K. and Cowell, D. (eds) (1991) The Politics of Crime Control, Sage: Beverly Hills/London -Oct. 1991. (includes K. Stenson, `Making Sense of Crime Control`).
  • Stenson K. and N. Brearley (1991) `Left Realism In Criminology and The Return To Consensus Theory` in R. Reiner and M. Cross (eds.) "Beyond Law and Order, criminal justice policy into the 1990's", London: Macmillan.
  • Stenson, K. and Factor, F. (1988) "Constructing An Identity"--(Jewish Youth), Youth In Society, no. 140, July.
  • Stenson, K.  and Factor, F. (1988) "Identity Crisis"--(Jewish youth), Youth In Society, no. 139, June.
  • Stenson, K. (1987) "At The End Of The Line" (a study of the policing of Jewish Youth) (with F. Factor) Youth in Society, no. 122 Jan.
  • Stenson, K. and Gould, N.  (1986)"A Comment On 'A Framework For Theory In Social Work' By Whittington and Holland", Issues of Social Work Education, vol 6, no 1, summer.


Official Reports

  • ‘Fear and Safety in Bracknell Forest Stage Two Report 2008’, with Dr Nadia Wager, Crime and Conflict Research Centre, Middlesex University, Commissioned by Bracknell Forest Council
  • ‘The Experiences and Views of Young people in Newham in relation to Crime, Bullying and Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Conflict Research centre, (with David Porteous and Denise Martin, Caroline Chatwin, and Anthony Goodman), commissioned by London Borough of Newham Council, 2007
  • ‘Fear and Safety in Bracknell Forest Stage One Report 2006’, with Dr Nadia Wager, Commissioned by Bracknell Forest Council
  • "Disproportionality in police stop and search in Reading and Slough (with P. Waddington and D. Don.) Thames Valley Police. 2002.
  • 'Minority ethnic groups in High Wycombe and the Probation Service': Phase One Report on a Connecting Communities Project'. Watt P, Clark W, Stenson K, (2002) for The Home Office
  • 'Evaluation of Parents as First Teachers in Buckinghamshire', Stenson K. and Jones, D.W., for Turners Court Trust and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. 2002.
  • External Best Value Report on Youth Services, for Wycombe District Council, Bucks., 2001.
  • "First Report on the Evaluation of Parents as First Teachers" K. Stenson and D. Jones. Commissioned by Turners Court Youth Trust. August 2001.
  • "Community Safety in the New Buckinghamshire, the evidence base - an examination of the information sources underpinning the Crime and Disorder Strategy of the Chiltern Crime and Community safety partnership". For Buckinghamshire County Council, 2000.
  • Report for Home Office 'Targeted Police Initiatives, Crime Reduction Strategy assessment of short term listed bids' - `Academic review of bids by police forces (Blackpool, Exmouth, Tottenham) for grants for innovative policing strategies.' Home Office (unpublished), 2000.
  • "The Police and Inter-Ethnic Conflict" Stenson, K., M. Travers and C. Crowther, for The Metropolitan Police Service, April 1999.
  • "Early Intervention (parental support) Projects" by Kevin Stenson - report commissioned by The Thames Valley (Crime Prevention) Partnership and Turner's Court Youth Trust, 1997.
  • "Deprivation In Lane End" Watt, P., K. Stenson and P. Kehoe, Wycombe: Wycombe District Council, 1997.
  • "Deprivation In High Wycombe" Stenson, K, P. Watt, A. Chappell and P. Kehoe Wycombe: Wycombe District Council 1996.
  • 'Multi-Agency Regulation Of Youth Assembly' (with F. Factor), for Home Office Research and Planning Unit, Nov. 1992 (unpublished).
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Research Interests

General Interests

My enduring theoretical interest has been in exploring the new forms of liberal governance that have emerged since the rise of New Right ideologies and administrations, with particular reference to the politics of crime control. My contribution to governance theory has been to try to shift away from a narrow emphasis on historical, archival work and the analysis of written texts towards more realist institutional analysis, employing a range of methods and data sources, including oral discourses. I also emphasise a need to counterbalance an interest in `governance from above` by state, NGO and major commercial agencies, with a focus on `governance from below`, by a host of networks and agencies from friendship groups to paramilitary and `terrorist` organisations. I have undertaken a range of externally funded, policy oriented, empirical research. This has included: studies of young people’s perceptions and uses of public spaces, social work, probation and policing practice (including stop and search); the link between inter-ethnic conflict and policing; urban development and social order; the links between deprivation, crime and other social problems; the development and evaluation of community safety policies and practices; and parent support programmes.

Current Research Interests

I am currently involved in a study, organised from Brunel University by Prof Nicola Madge, on youth and religion, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council. I am currently writing for publication on the themes of Crime Politics and Government and the interaction between governance from above and below.


As first supervisor, I have taken eight students through to completion of their PhDs in the fields of criminology, sociology and social policy. I would welcome enquiries.

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  • Member of British Society of Criminology – served as chair of southern regional branch, the national executive committee and on the criminology benchmark committee
  • Member of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies
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Telephone: +44(0)1227 823072 Fax: +44(0)1227 827005 or email us

SSPSSR, Faculty of Social Sciences, Cornwallis North East, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF

Last Updated: 11/08/2016