Professor Robert Reiner

Professor Robert Reiner

Emeritus Professor of Criminology

Department of Law

Telephone
020-7955-7253
Room No
New Academic Building 5.11

About me

Robert Reiner is Emeritus Professor of Criminology in the Law Department. He was formerly Reader in Criminology at Bristol University and at Brunel University. He is author of The Blue-Coated Worker (Cambridge University Press 1978), Chief Constables (Oxford University Press 1991), Law and Order: An Honest Citizen’s Guide to Crime and Control (Polity Press 2007) and The Politics of the Police(4th Ed. Oxford University Press 2010); and editor of (with M.Cross) Beyond Law and Order (Macmillan 1991), (with S.Spencer) Accountable Policing (Institute for Public Policy Research 1993), Policing (Aldershot: Dartmouth 1996), (with M.Maguire and R.Morgan) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (Oxford University Press, now in its 5th edition, 2012) and Policing, Popular Culture and Political Economy : Towards a Social Democratic Criminology (Ashgate 2011). He has published over 100 papers on criminological topics in journals and books. He was President of the British Society of Criminology from 1993-6; Director of the LSE Mannheim Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice 1995-8; and convener of the Law Department 2001-4.

Research interests

For most of my career my principal research interest has been the politics of policing, on which I have completed several empirical studies and continue to publish. Between 1994-8 I conducted (with Professor Sonia Livingstone and Dr Jessica Allen) an ESRC funded project analysing changing media representations of crime since World War II, which has resulted in several papers in recent years. In recent years I have been researching and writing on the political economy of crime and crime control. This is reflected in my 2007 Polity book 'Law and Order: An Honest Citizen's Guide to Crime and Control', and several essays. A selection of my papers with a new theoretical introduction is to be published later this year by Ashgate, under the title Policing, Popular Culture and Political Economy: Towards A Social Democratic Criminology.

External activities

 

  • On editorial boards of: Policing and Society (was founding editor 1990-98); Crime, Media and Culture; Journal of Crime, Conflict and Media Culture; Journal of Policing.
  • On steering committees of Nuffield Foundation research projects Policing for London (1999-2002) and Plural Policing (2001-4)
  • General Editor of the Clarendon Criminology series, Oxford University Press

 

Teaching

Books

Crime, The Mystery of the Common-Sense Concept (Polity, 2016)

Crime is a source of endless fascination and fear. Yet behind the apparent consensus that crime must be fought, there is considerable conflict about what should or should not be treated as criminal, and even the most shocking crimes can inspire divisive debate. 
    This concise book explores the seemingly simple, common-sense concept of crime revealing the huge complexities, ambiguities and tensions that lie beneath it. Criminal law is often at odds with different moral perspectives and the practices of different cultures. The mass media distort the picture profoundly, as do politicians in pursuit of law and order votes. The criminal justice system tackles only a limited range of crimes almost entirely ones committed by the poor and relatively powerless while often neglecting the most dangerous and harmful activities of corporations and states, from the carnage of unjust wars to the tragedies engendered by austerity. It is only by examining the multiple and varied perspectives on crime that we can begin to understand and respond appropriately to this social phenomenon.

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The Oxford Handbook of Criminology 5th.ed.  (Oxford University Press 2012)  (ed. with M.Maguire, R.Morgan)

The most comprehensive and authoritative single volume text on the subject, the fourth edition of the acclaimed Oxford Handbook of Criminology combines masterly reviews of all the key topics with extensive references to aid further research. In addition to the history of the discipline and reviews of different theoretical perspectives, the book provides up-to-date reviews of diverse topics as the criminal justice process, race and gender, crime statistics, and the media and crime. The fourth edition has been substantially revised and updated and is essential reading for all teachers and students of criminology and an indispensable sourcebook for professionals.

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Policing, Popular Culture and Political Economy : Towards a Social Democratic Criminology   (Ashgate 2011)

Robert Reiner has been one of the pioneers in the development of research on policing since the 1970s as well as a prolific writer on mass media and popular culture representations of crime and criminal justice. His work includes the renowned books The Politics of the Police and Law and Order: An Honest Citizen's Guide to Crime and Control, an analysis of the neo-liberal transformation of crime and criminal justice in recent decades. This volume brings together many of Reiner's most important essays on the police written over the last four decades as well as selected essays on mass media and on the neo-liberal transformation of crime and criminal justice. All the work included in this important volume is underpinned by a framework of analysis in terms of political economy and a commitment to the ethics and politics of social democracy.

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The Politics of the Police 4th ed (Oxford University Press 2010)

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Law and Order: An Honest Citizen’s Guide to Crime and Control (Cambridge: Polity Press 2007)

Law and order has become a key issue throughout the world. Crime stories saturate the mass media and politicians shrilly compete with each other in a race to be the toughest on crime. Prisons are crammed to bursting point, and police powers and resources extended repeatedly. After decades of explosive increase in crime rates, these have plummeted throughout the Western world in the 1990s. Yet fear of crime and violence, and the security industries catering for these anxieties, grow relentlessly. 

This book offers an up-to-date analysis of these contemporary trends by providing all honest and concerned citizens with a concise yet comprehensive survey of the sources of current problems and anxieties about crime. It shows that the dominant tough law and order approach to crime is based on fallacies about its nature, sources, and what works in terms of crime control. Instead it argues that the growth of crime has deep-seated causes, so that policing and penal policy at best can only temporarily hold a lid down on offending. 

The book is intended to inform public debate about these vital issues through a critical deconstruction of prevailing orthodoxy. With its focus on current policies, problems and debates this book is also an excellent introduction to criminology for the growing numbers of students of the subject at all levels

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Articles

  • 'Conservatives and the Constabulary in Britain: Cross-Dressing Conundums' inThe Politics of Policing: Between Force and Legitimacy: v.21 (Sociology of Crime, Law and Deviance) 6 Jun 2016 by Mathieu Deflem (Editor) Bingley: Emerald Publishing, pp.79-96
  • 'Policing; Past, Present and Future' by Ben Bowling, Shruti Iyer, Robert Reiner and James Sheptycki, in What is to Be Done About Crime and Punishment?: Towards a 'Public Criminology' ed. By Roger Matthews, London: Palgrave (2016)
  • 'Crime: Concepts, Causes, Control' in M.Holborn (ed.) Contemporary Sociology (Cambridge: Polity, 2015) pp.566-97
  • (with Denis O'Connor): 'Politics and Policing: The Terrible Twins' in J.Fleming (ed.) Police Leadership (Oxford University Press, 2015) pp.42-70
  • 'Power to the People? A Social Democratic Critique of the Coalition Government's Police Reforms' in S.Lister and M.Rowe (eds.) Accountability of Policing (Routledge: 2015) pp.132-49.
  • 'Reflections on Michael Freeman's "Law and Order in 1984"' in A.Diduck, N.Peleg and H.Reece (eds.) Law in Society: Reflections on Children, Family, Culture and Philosophy (Leiden: Brill Nijhoff, 2015) pp.273-292.
  • 'Revisiting the Classics: Three Seminal Founders of the Study of Policing: Michael Banton, Jerome Skolnick and Egon Bittner' Policy and Society (2015) 25:3 pp.308-327
  • 'Political Economy and Policing: A Tale of Two Freudian Slips'  in V.Mitsilegas, P.Alldridge and Leonidas Cheliotis (eds.) Globalisation, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice: Theoretical, Comparative and transnational Perspectives (Oxford: Hart, 2015)
  • 'Who governs? Democracy, plutocracy, science and prophecy in policing' Criminology and Criminal Justice (2013) 13 pp.161-180
  • 'Policing and social democracy: resuscitating a lost perspective' Journal of Police Studies 2012/4 nr.25 pp.91-114
  • 'What's Left? The prospects for social democratic criminology' Crime, Media, Culture (2012) 8 (2) pp.135-150
  • 'Political Economy and Criminology: The Return of the Repressed' in S.Hall and S.Winlow (eds.) New Directions in Criminological Theory London: Routledge pp. 30-51
  • 'What Causes Crime?' in S.Khan (ed.) Punishment and Reform: How Our Criminal Justice System Can Cut Crime London: Fabian Society, 2011, pp. 86-94
  • R.Reiner: 'Return of the Nasty Party' in A.Silvestri (ed.) Critical Reflections: Social and Criminal Justice in the First Year of Coalition Government London: Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, 2012, pp. 28-30
  • (C.Greer and) R.Reiner: 'Mediated Mayhem: Media, Crime, Criminal Justice' in (M.Maguire, R.Morgan and) R.Reiner (eds.): The Oxford Handbook of Criminology 5th.ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 245-78.
  • R.Reiner: 'Casino Capital's Crimes: Political Economy, Crime, and Criminal Justice' in (M.Maguire, R.Morgan and) R.Reiner (eds.): The Oxford Handbook of Criminology 5th.ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 301-335.
  • (T.Newburn and) R.Reiner: 'Policing and the Police' in (M.Maguire, R.Morgan and) R.Reiner (eds.): The Oxford Handbook of Criminology 5th.ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, pp.806-837
  • In praise of fire brigade policing: Contra common sense conceptions of the police role London: Howard League 2012, 23 pp.
  • R.Reiner: 'British Society of Criminology Outstanding Achievement Award 2011 Acceptance Speech' British Society of Criminology Newsletter 69, London: British Society of Criminology 2011, pp.9-11
  • R.Reiner: 'Foreword' to Emma Bell: Criminal Justice and Neoliberalism London: Sage 2011 pp.vi-xi
  • Review Symposium in Policing (2011) Vol.5 no.2 in response to The Politics of the Police 4th ed.
  • 'New Theories of Policing: A Social Democratic Critique' in T.Newburn, D.Downes and D.Hobbs (eds.) The Eternal Recurrence of Crime and Control: Essays for Paul Rock Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010 pp.141-82.
  • 'Citizenship, Crime, Criminalization: Marshalling a Social Democratic Perspective' New Criminal Law Review Apr 2010, Vol. 13, No. 2: 241–261
  • 'Police Property' in A.Wakefield and J.Fleming: The Sage Dictionary of Policing London: Sage, 2009, pp.230-231
  • 'Police Property' in A.Wakefield and J.Fleming: The Sage Dictionary of Policing London: Sage, 2009, pp.230-231
  • 'Consent' in A.Wakefield and J.Fleming: The Sage Dictionary of Policing London: Sage, 2009, pp.52-4.
  • 'Crime and the Media' in P.Cane and J.Conaghan: The New Oxford Companion to Law Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008, pp.260-261
  • 'Crime Rates' in P.Cane and J.Conaghan: The New Oxford Companion to Law Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008, pp.267-8
  • 'Dixon of Dock Green' in T.Newburn and P.Neyroud: Dictionary of Policing Cullompton: Willan, 2008, p. 85
  • 'Media and Policing' in T.Newburn and P.Neyroud: Dictionary of Policing Cullompton: Willan, 2008, pp.161-2
  • 'The Law and Order Trap' Soundings: A Journal of Politics and Culture 40, December 2008, pp.123-134.
  • 'Success Or Statistics? New Labour and Crime Control' Criminal Justice Matters 67, Spring 2007, pp.4-5, 37
  • 'Political Economy, Crime and Criminal Justice' in The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, Edited by M.Maguire, R.Morgan and R.Reiner. 4th Ed. Oxford University Press 2007 pp.341-380
  • (With T.Newburn) 'Policing and the Police' in The Oxford Handbook of CriminologyEdited by M.Maguire, R.Morgan and R.Reiner, 4th Ed. Oxford University Press 2007 pp.910-952
  • 'Media Made Criminality' in The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, Edited by M.Maguire, R.Morgan and R.Reiner, 4th Ed. Oxford University Press 2007 pp. 302-337
  • 'Criminology As A Vocation' in Crime, Social Control and Human Rights Ed. By D.Downes, P.Rock, C.Chinkin and C.Gearty, Cullompton: Willan, 2007 pp.395-409
  • (With T.Newburn) 'Police Research' in Doing Research on Crime and JusticeEdited by R. King and E. Wincup, 2nd Ed. Oxford University Press 2007
  • (With T.Newburn) 'Crime and Penal Policy' in Blair's Britain, 1997-2007, Ed. By A. Seldon, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2008
  • 'Media, Crime, Law and Order' Scottish Journal of Criminal Justice Studies 12: July 2006 pp. 5-21.
  • 'Neo-liberalism, Crime and Criminal Justice' Renewal 14/3 2006. Pp. 10-22
  • 'Neo-philia or Back to Basics? Policing Research and the Seductions of Crime Control' Policing and Society 17:1 2007 pp.89-101
  • 'Law and Order: A 20:20 Vision' Current Legal Problems 2006 Oxford University Press 2007 pp.129-60
  • 'Success Or Statistics? New Labour and Crime Control' Criminal Justice Matters 67, Spring 2007, pp.4-5, 37
  • 'Beyond Risk: A Lament for Social Democratic Criminology' in The Politics of Crime Control, Edited by T.Newburn and P.Rock. Oxford University Press 2006 pp. 7-49
  • 'From PC Dixon to Dixon PLC: Policing and Police Powers Since 1954' (With T. Newburn) Criminal Law Review August 2004 pp. 601-18
  • 'Policing and the Media'. In Handbook of Policing, 2nd. ed. edited by T.Newburn. (Willan Publishing 2008)
  • 'From Law and Order to Lynch Mobs: Crime News Since the Second World War'. (With S. Livingstone and J. Allen)  In Criminal Visions: Media Representations of Crime and Justice, Edited by P.Mason. Willan Publishing 2003 pp.13-32
  • 'Crime and Control in Britain' Sociology 34:1 2000 pp. 71-94