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Tim Newburn and Richard Sparks (eds): Criminal justice and political cultures

National and international dimensions of crime control

(Willan Publishing, 2004)

Criminal justice and political cultures

As crime increasingly crosses national boundaries, and international cooperation in the form of police cooperation, international treaties, protocols and conventions takes firmer shape, so the development of policy on the control of crime has become an increasingly international affair. These developments call attention to the points of convergence in the languages and practices of crime control, but also to their persistent differences.

However, the mechanisms, directions and outcomes of the flows of criminological commodities are still less well understood than is commonly assumed.

This book is concerned with the very specific issue of 'policy transfer' within the crime control arena, and with the issues raised by a more broadly conceptualised idea of comparative policy analysis. The contributions in the book examine the different ways in which ostensibly similar vocabularies, policies and practices are taken up and applied in the distinct settings they encounter.

Just how diverse in terms of their social organisation, intellectual formation, political temper and points of intersection with policy networks and the wider public sphere are the 'criminologies' of contemporary European societies? How in turn do the latter intersect with and differ from the language and practice of crime control in North America or other regions of the world?

How to approach such questions and how to investigate such variation is a particularly challenging task and the contributors to this volume offer imaginative and innovative approaches to this enormously important contemporary problem for criminology.

This book brings together an influential international team of contributors and makes a significant contribution not only to an understanding of the changing nature and shape of crime control policy in late modernity, but of the nature of the process of globalisation itself.