David Stein

A Spectre Is Haunting Law and Society: Revisiting Radical Criminology at UC Berkeley

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In 2012, Jonathan Simon and Tony Platt designed a course - titled "From Community Control to Mass Incarceration: Legacies of 1970s Criminology" - that would revisit the political context and scholarly analysis of the radical wing of UC Berkeley's School of Criminology in the period prior to its closing in 1976. In the article, the author discuss four key contributions of radical criminology that should be of great interest to students, scholars, and activists today. In fact, radical criminologists played a central role in: 1. analyzing the use and proliferation of policing and imprisonment within both a critical theory of the state and the political-economic conjuncture; 2. confronting and challenging governmental definitions of crime in favor of a more scientific and critical perspective; 3. confronting and challenging socially dominant definitions of violence to include state violence - and centrally, warfare; and 4. understanding scholarship in relationship to activist commitments and social movements, and eschewing pretenses of scholarly neutrality.

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