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Third wave criminology

Edwards, Adam Michael and Hughes, Gordon 2009. Third wave criminology. Presented at: British Sociological Association Annual Conference, Cardiff, 16 April 2009.

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Abstract

Developments in the sociology of science suggest there are ways of demarcating social scientific knowledge from other kinds of knowledge that frame controversies in public policy. The ‘Third Wave’ of social studies of science defines concepts of expertise and experience as the means by which scientific knowledge can be demarcated from other kinds of knowledge associated with, for example, party political competition, pressure group campaigning, journalism and experiments in direct democracy or ‘community engagement’ in the public policy process. This paper considers the relevance of arguments over the possibility and desirability of a Third Wave of science studies for analogous arguments in criminological research over the appropriate relationship between science and politics in defining problems of crime, formulating policy responses and evaluating their outcomes. The paper discusses four basic conceptions of the science-politics relationship in criminology: bifurcation 1: scientism (where it is acknowledged that science and politics are entirely separate kinds of knowledge and that politics ought to be subordinated to a science of crime); bifurcation 2: politicism (where it is acknowledged that science and politics are entirely separate kinds of knowledge and that science ought to be subordinated to the political arbitration of crime problems); conflation (where it is argued that science is just another political construction of the crime problem) and tension (where it is acknowledged that science and politics overlap but are distinguishable in terms of the kinds of expertise, experience and formative intentions they entail). The paper considers the potential of this latter concept, of the tension between science and politics, for transcending long-running arguments within the academy between positivist and constructionist thinking about crime and amongst academics and public policy-makers over the appropriate relationship between the rational-bureaucratic and popular-democratic basis for policy-making.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
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Last Modified: 20 Oct 2017 09:23
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/19006

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