Monday, 30 November 2009

Podcast and video of Loic Wacquant talk

Loic Wacquant gave a talk at the LSE in October called 'Bringing the Penal State Back In,' and a video and audio version of this talk are now available on the LSE website. You can find the video here and the audio version here.

Call for papers: conference on childhood

Saturday 3rd July - Monday 5th July 2010
Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom

Call for Papers
This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary conference project seeks
to investigate and explore all aspects of childhood. The period of life
prior to adulthood is one of dramatic change and development of
physical, intellectual, psychological, and many other types of
characteristics. The nature of childhood and its significance as a
separate phase of live, however, is viewed quite differently in
different cultures and in different historical eras. This conference
will look at all aspects of the experience of childhood as well as the
social and cultural perceptions of children and childhood. We encourage
submissions on any theme to do with the nature of childhood, including,
but not limited to the ones listed below.

For more information, and how to submit papers, click here.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

New Book: Crime and Criminal Justice in Disaster

Kelly Frailing, one of our Ph.D. students, has recently co-edited a book titled Crime and Criminal Justice in Disaster in conjunction with her Master's advisor Dee Wood Harper:

The sudden disruption of the normal flow of human activity in the form of disaster gives rise to both pro-social and antisocial behavior. For some, disaster is an opportunity to take advantage of others’ misfortune and increased vulnerability. Crime and Criminal Justice in Disaster has two principle objectives; to understand why and how crime occurs in the wake of disasters and how the criminal justice system responds to disasters and the crime that follows.

This volume is a collection of original essays by sociologists, criminologists and law enforcement professionals, most of whom have had first-hand experience with the impact of disaster on the criminal justice system. Part 1, Historical and Theoretical Aspects of Disaster and Crime, provides a discussion of crime and disaster in an historical context and proposes a typology that locates certain types of crime in the different phases of disaster. Part 2, Natural Disaster, Disorder and Crime, examines a variety of crimes, such as looting, robbery, drug dealing and fraud in the wake of disasters, with one chapter suggesting that some disasters themselves are crimes. Part 3, The Criminal Justice System Response to Disorder and Disaster, examines specific disasters as case studies from September 11, 2001, through Hurricane Katrina to Mumbai. The nation’s disaster response infrastructure also comes under close scrutiny.

Crime and Criminal Justice in Disaster is exceptionally timely considering the natural disasters which have occurred in the opening years of the 21st century and the ubiquity of the terror threat. These events have led to national and international concern for how the public sector in general and the criminal justice system in particular responds to disasters and crime. While designed primarily as a text for courses in criminal justice, criminology, homeland security and emergency management, the essays also have a broader audience appeal for readers interested in these issues.

See here for more details. It's published in 2010 so watch out, it looks like a very engaging, timely and, importantly, up-to-date collection.

Although this is probably too narrow a theme for this book, I'd be interested to know if there's anything about 'looting in the time of disaster'. Looting often features somewhere in the news when a disaster happens and it can often hold very different meanings. I have read two newspapers today- one of them said that there has been looting in Cockermouth in the aftermath of the floods and one said there hasn't. Has anyone ever done an analysis of the representations of looting in the media?

Psychology Summer Institute

July 19 - 25, 2009
Washington, DC
PSI provides educational, professional development, and mentoring experiences to advanced doctoral students of psychology and psychologists who are in the early stage of their careers. Participants are guided toward developing a grant proposal, postdoctoral fellowship, dissertation, treatment program, publication, or program evaluation project. All projects must focus on issues affecting ethnic minority communities.

Participants will receive one-on-one mentoring on their projects by a consultant. Expert faculty will present seminars on selected topics such as grant writing, publishing, and specific areas of research or service delivery. There will also be opportunities to network with representatives from federal agencies and foundations.

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Gordon Brown's plans to reduce the budget deficit

Nick Robinson points out that Gordon Brown’s plans to implement laws to ensure that the budget deficit is halved will be seen as gestures which are worth little more than the paper they’re written on. This is, in my opinion, very true: what would the consequences be if the government failed? I guess the thinking is that there would be some kind of deterrence theory in action. So there would have to be some form of punishment and there would need to be some incentives too. Does anyone know what the punishment would be? The possibility of re-election would be an obvious incentive which begs the question, don’t MPs consider that to be sufficient to do good by their electorate?

What is more interesting to me is the use of the law to even do such a thing: it gives a whole new dimension to ‘governing through crime’ because the government is now planning on governing itself through crime. This could, I suppose, be expected from a government which has implemented more laws than any before it. The proposal also raises issues around the government’s belief in the power of crime to control behaviour as well as signifying and solidifying its belief in the potential of pre-emptive Orders which are supposed to control behaviour before it has even occurred, as seen in the very wide and very vague definition of anti-social behaviour. Finally, I wonder what would happen in terms of the victim’s charter if the government broke this new law and didn’t halve the budget deficit in the required period? If the victims are supposed to be at the heart of the criminal justice system and the government makes the whole electorate a victim, what happens then?

As this is the first bit of 'comment writing' on here, I think I’ll leave it there. Any comments anyone?

Recent publications by our students

Two of our students have recently published their work:

Elizabeth Gurian, whose work is about female serial offenders, has published an article in the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. The article provides information on female serial murderers who either work in a mixed-sex offending group or alone. Specifically, offender/victim characteristics, convictions and sentences are explored along with future research and implications for treatment. It can be found in the November issue issue of the journal (under the 'Online First' option).

Alexandra Cox, whose work is about young people charged with crimes, has written a short piece for the Huffington Post on the uses of neuroscience in juvenile justice.

Free trial for Sage Criminology journals


Free Online Trial to SAGE Journals in Criminology and Criminal Justice November 1 - December 31, 2009 By registering for this free trial, you will have access to these journals until December 31, 2009. Sign up now!

* Crime & Delinquency * Child Maltreatment * Crime, Media, Culture * Criminal Justice and Behavior * Criminal Justice Policy Review * Criminal Justice Review * Criminology & Criminal Justice * European Journal of Criminology * Feminist Criminology * Homicide Studies * International Criminal Justice Review * International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology * Journal of Correctional Health Care * Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice * Journal of Interpersonal Violence * Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency * Law, Culture and the Humanities * Police Quarterly * Probation Journal * Punishment & Society * The Prison Journal * Sexual Abuse * Social & Legal Studies * Theoretical Criminology * Trauma, Violence & Abuse * Violence Against Women * Youth Justice * Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice

Click here to register:

Call for Papers: Social Policy Association Conference

Call for Postgraduates,
Social Policy Association Conference, 5-7 July 2010, University of Lincoln
Today we announce exciting changes to the Social Policy Association Conference!
This year, the conference will include events for postgraduates.
We invite postgraduates to attend the conference and to participate in a range of events. You can:

• develop a poster presentation,
• present your research in a symposium
• get together with peers to submit a proposal for a symposium
• take part in a teaching and learning workshop,
• come along to networking events with peers and established scholars.

You can submit a proposal to present your research

Proposals will be reviewed by a Programme Committee prior to acceptance. The closing date for the submission of abstracts and proposals is Friday 19th March 2010.
You will be asked to mark your abstract submission:

• ‘Postgraduate Symposium’
• ‘Postgraduate Poster Presentation’, or
• ‘Postgraduate Networks’

and email to
There will be a 50% subsidy in registration fees for Social Policy Association (SPA) or British Sociological Association (BSA) members. Details will be made available on the conference website:
You must be a member of the SPA or BSA to present your work and to take advantage of reduced conference fees.
Up to £40 travel expenses are available to all SPA postgraduate members on a first come first served basis, see the website for further details:

Call for Papers: Deviance and Social Control

From 11-17 July in Gothenberg, Sweden, the International Sociological Association will hold its 17th World Congress. One of the panels for ISA Research Committee 29, "Deviance and Social Control" is described below. If you would like to present a paper on this panel, please let me know by December 1st, 2009. Please submit your paper abstract by email directly to Abstracts should be approximately 250 words. Please be sure to provide the full name, affiliation, phone, fax, and email address for all authors.

Session 4: International criminal justice policymaking: The relevance of socio-criminological research
Organizer: Rosemary Barberet, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, USA,,
This session will explore the relevance of socio-criminological research to international organizations involved in criminal justice policymaking, such as the United Nations (including the World Health Organization and the World bank), the European Union, the Organization of American States, the International Criminal Court, INTERPOL, the Council of Europe, and many others. What are the policy implications of the growing body of internationalized socio-criminological research and how might they be linked in to the activities of these intergovernmental policymaking organizations?

The full call for RC 29 can be found at:
Information on the congress itself is at:

Thanks and please feel free to forward this message to any other interested parties.


We've created this site as space to share ideas, events, and resources for and about students at the Institute of Criminology at Cambridge. We welcome comments, feedback, and advice!