Description : Recent years have witnessed a resurgence of biological research into the causes of crime, but the origins of this kind of research date back to the late nineteenth century. Here, Richard Wetzell presents the first history of German criminology from Imperial Germany through the Weimar Republic to the end of the Third Reich, a period that provided a unique test case for the perils associated with biological explanations of crime. Drawing on a wealth of primary sources from criminological, legal, and psychiatric literature, Wetzell shows that German biomedical research on crime predominated over sociological research and thus contributed to the rise of the eugenics movement and the eventual targeting of criminals for eugenic measures by the Nazi regime. However, he also demonstrates that the development of German criminology was characterized by a constant tension between the criminologists' hereditarian biases and an increasing methodological sophistication that prevented many of them from endorsing the crude genetic determinism and racism that characterized so much of Hitler's regime. As a result, proposals for the sterilization of criminals remained highly controversial during the Nazi years, suggesting that Nazi biological politics left more room for contention than has often been assumed.
Description : What is the relationship between criminality and biology? Nineteenth-century phrenologists insisted that criminality was innate, a trait inherent in the offender’s brain matter. While they were eventually repudiated as pseudo-scientists and self-deluded charlatans, today the pendulum has swung back. Both criminologists and biologists have begun to speak of a tantalizing but disturbing possibility: that criminality may be inherited as a set of genetic deficits that place one at risk for theft, violence, and sexual deviance. If that is so, we may soon confront proposals for genetically modifying “at risk” fetuses or doctoring up criminals so their brains operate like those of law-abiding citizens. In The Criminal Brain, well-known criminologist Nicole Rafter traces the sometimes violent history of these criminological theories and provides an introduction to current biological theories of crime, or biocriminology, with predictions of how these theories are likely to develop in the future. What do these new theories assert? Are they as dangerous as their forerunners, which the Nazis and other eugenicists used to sterilize, incarcerate, and even execute thousands of supposed “born” criminals? How can we prepare for a future in which leaders may propose crime-control programs based on biology? Enhanced with fascinating illustrations and written in lively prose, The Criminal Brain examines these issues in light of the history of ideas about the criminal brain. By tracing the birth and growth of enduring ideas in criminology, as well as by recognizing historical patterns in the interplay of politics and science, she offers ways to evaluate new theories of the criminal brain that may radically reshape ideas about the causes of criminal behavior.
Description : In this richly detailed account of mass media images, David Ruth looks at Al Capone and other "invented" gangsters of the 1920s and 1930s. The subject of innumerable newspaper and magazine articles, scores of novels, and hundreds of Hollywood movies, the gangster was a compelling figure for Americans preoccupied with crime and the social turmoil it symbolized. Ruth shows that the media gangster was less a reflection of reality than a projection created from Americans' values, concerns, and ideas about what would sell. We see efficient criminal executives demonstrating the multifarious uses of organization; dapper, big-spending gangsters highlighting the promises and perils of the emerging consumer society; and gunmen and molls guiding an uncertain public through the shifting terrain of modern gender roles. In this fascinating study, Ruth reveals how the public enemy provides a far-ranging critique of modern culture.
Description : Mention the phrase Homeland Security and heated debates emerge about state uses and abuses of legal authority. This timely book is a comprehensive treatise on the constitutional and legal history behind the power of the modern state to police its citizens. Dubber explores the roots of the power to police—the most expansive and least limitable of governmental powers—by focusing on its most obvious and problematic manifestation: criminal law. He argues that the defining characteristics of this power, including the inability to accurately define it, reflect its origins in the discretionary and virtually limitless patriarchal power of the householder over his household. The paradox of patriarchal police power as the most troubling yet least scrutinized of governmental powers can begin to be resolved by subjecting this branch of government to the critical analysis it merits. Dubber shows us that the question must become how can the police power and criminal law together serve the goals of social equity that define and give direction to contemporary democratic societies? This book goes to the heart of this neglected but crucial topic.
Description : Personal identification is very much a live political issue in Britain and this book looks at why this is the case, and why, paradoxically, the theft of identity has become ever more common as the means of identification have multiplied. Identifying the English looks not only at how criminals have been identified - branding, fingerprinting, DNA - but also at the identification of the individual with seals and signatures, of the citizen by means of passports and ID cards, and of the corpse. Beginning his history in the medieval period, Edward Higgs reveals how it was not the Industrial Revolution that brought the most radical changes in identification techniques, as many have assumed, but rather the changing nature of the State and commerce, and their relationship with citizens and customers. In the twentieth century the very different historical techniques have converged on the holding of information on databases, and increasingly on biometrics, and the multiplication of these external databases outside the control of individuals has continued to undermine personal identity security.
Description : At the dawn of the twentieth century, a deranged killer is on the prowl. New York, 1905. After losing his fiancee in the General Slocum ferry disaster, Detective Simon Ziele transferred to a country town north of Manhattan in the hope of escaping his grief. But only months later he's faced with the shocking murder of a young girl - battered to death in her bedroom on a cold winter's afternoon. And when Alistair Sinclair, one of Columbia University's most noted criminologists learns about the case, he realises it bears an uncanny resemblance to the deranged mutterings of one his research subjects. Ziele must work with Sinclair to determine whether his patient - with a terrifying history of violent behaviour and brutal fantasies - did indeed seek out this innocent young victim ... before the vicious murderer strikes again. In the Shadow of Gotham tells the atmospheric and gripping tale of a haunted man who must search for a killer, while on the run from his own demons ...
Description : The history of criminal justice in modern Germany has become a vibrant field of research, as demonstrated in this volume. Following an introductory survey, the twelve chapters examine major topics in the history of crime and criminal justice from Imperial Germany, through the Weimar and Nazi eras, to the early postwar years. These topics include case studies of criminal trials, the development of juvenile justice, and the efforts to reform the penal code, criminal procedure, and the prison system. The collection also reveals that the history of criminal justice has much to contribute to other areas of historical inquiry: it explores the changing relationship of criminal justice to psychiatry and social welfare, analyzes representations of crime and criminal justice in the media and literature, and uses the lens of criminal justice to illuminate German social history, gender history, and the history of sexuality.
Description : Germany today has one of the lowest incarceration rates in the industrialized world, and social welfare principles play an essential role at all levels of the German criminal justice system. Warren Rosenblum examines the roots of this social approach to criminal policy in the reform movements of the Wilhelmine and Weimar periods, when reformers strove to replace state institutions of control and incarceration with private institutions of protective supervision. Reformers believed that private charities and volunteers could diagnose and treat social pathologies in a way that coercive state institutions could not. The expansion of welfare for criminals set the stage for a more economical system of punishment, Rosenblum argues, but it also opened the door to new, more expansive controls over individuals marked as "asocial." With the reformers' success, the issue of who had power over welfare became increasingly controversial and dangerous. Other historians have suggested that the triumph of eugenics in the 1890s was predicated upon the abandonment of liberal and Christian assumptions about human malleability. Rosenblum demonstrates, however, that the turn to "criminal biology" was not a reaction against social reform, but rather an effort to rescue its legitimacy.
Description : Deleuzian Events: Writing / History brings together articles that deal with Gilles Deleuze's concept of "the event," many of them written by leading Deleuze scholars. The eminently transdisciplinary collection relates the Deleuzian event to the larger cultural field, addressing not only the philosophy of the event, but also its history, its politics and its presence in the arts. Among the variety of topics are zeta-physics, modern dance and postcolonial history. It is indispensable reading for anyone interested in how to make Deleuzian philosophy a productive force within contemporary life.
Description : This book traces the intellectual history of criminology, analyzing the influence of early classical European concepts of criminality and the development of positivist methodologies. It is an original and carefully researched work, adding significantly to our knowledge of the history of criminology. From Cesare Beccarias Dei delitti e delle pene to Charles Goring's The English Convict , Beirne offers refreshing and challenging insights on the intellectual and social histories of a variety of important concepts and movements in criminology.