Emancipatory Politics and Praxis: An anthology of essays written for the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control, 2013-16
David Scott (with Emma Bell, Joanna Gilmore, Helen Gosling, J M Moore and Faith Spear)
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Foreword by Ida Nafstad and Per Jorgen Ystehede
- Introduction: Reflections on the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control
Section A: Critical criminology and the utopian imagination
- Critical criminology and the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control [with Joanna Gilmore and JM Moore]
- Re-awakening our radical imagination: thinking realistically about utopias, dystopias and the non-penal [with Emma Bell]
- A disobedient visionary with an enquiring mind: an essay on the contribution of Stanley Cohen
- Critical criminology in the corporate university
Section B: Iatrogenic penal harms and visions of justice
- Beyond criminal justice: it’s a long road to wisdom, but a short one to being ignored [with JM Moore]
- Constance Lytton: living for a cause [with Faith Spear]
- Speaking the language of state violence: an abolitionist perspective
- Against criminal injustice, for social justice: reflections and possibilities
Section C: Abolitionist real utopia
- Reimagining citizenship: justice, responsibility and non-penal real utopias [with Emma Bell]
- Otherwise than prisons, not prisons otherwise: therapeutic communities as non-penal real utopias [with Helena Gosling]
- Playing the get out of jail for free card: creating a new abolitionist based consensus?
Now more than ever we need a concerted vision of social justice, transformed into an academic pragmatism that can help stem the rising tide of oppressive governance, media-driven vitriol and the ubiquitous devastation of neoliberal capitalism. This incisive and illuminating collection of essays by David Scott (and co-authors), informed by decades of research and activism conducted by members of the European Group for the Study of Deviancy and Social Control, delivers a powerful message of defiance and hope, providing a pathway towards a ‘real utopia’ of inclusiveness, genuine equality and a humanitarian foundation for social order. While focussing largely on penal abolitionism, Scott deftly extends his arguments to provide a broader picture of the abuses of state power and the means of resistance to them, employing an accessible language that will inspire a readership hungry for change, and an even larger one as yet unaware of its appetite for a more just world. Paddy Rawlinson, Associate Professor of International Criminology at Western Sydney University
Scott's anthology is a timely reminder of the crucial importance of critical criminology and its close bond with grass roots activism at a time when continuing penal expansion, austerity policies and exclusionary practices yet again define much of the states' approach to 'justice'. Engaging in a discussion of its theoretical underpinnings, the collection also shows how academic work grounded in critical criminological thought provides a powerful challenge to the exclusionary and often harmful order of contemporary societies. The book underlines how a collaborative, supportive and non-hierarchical academic space, such as that provided by the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control, leads to the flourishing of critical ideas and innovative thinking about justice, equality, fairness, power and resistance in today's world. It is a message of which the increasingly 'corporate' contemporary academic institutions should also take heed. Agnieszka Martynowicz, PhD candidate, Ulster University
David Scott's essays represent the very best in abolitionist thought. They are based on a critical combination of rigorous scholarship and activist interventionism. Taken together, they provide a searing indictment of the deadly and relentless power of the state to inflict pain and punishment on the poor and the powerless. His essays offer an alternative vision to this punitive degradation, underpinned as they are by a utopian commitment to a world based on the progressive ideals of social inclusion, social justice and democratic accountability. Professor Joe Sim, Liverpool John Moores University
In this book, David Scott epitomises the core values and sentiments of the European Group. The collection of essays and reflections demonstrates the collaborative and collegial nature of critical criminologists working towards effectively challenging entrenched models of ‘justice’. Scott provides a tribute to some of the most prolific and influential critical criminologists alongside a genealogy of the Group overall. The ideas put forth in the chapters offer valid alternatives to harmful and ineffectual criminal justice perspectives and practices based on the author’s substantive empirical engagement with the justice system. It also demonstrates some of the challenges facing critical criminologists – new and established – working in (and against) an increasingly neoliberal, marketised higher educational system. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in crime, harm and social justice alternatives. Dr Marian Duggan, Lecturer in Criminology, University of Kent
‘Inclusivity’ defines the development, consolidation and maintenance of critical analysis and its relevance beyond the conference hall or classroom. It requires open and accessible dialogue, with discussions and debates unlimited by 'tradition' (however recent), initiating collective participation unhindered by institutional status or formal standing. Too often, academic groups and conferences reflect the structural constraints of established institutions. They are hierarchical, often isolationist, and regularly intimidate those who enter within the lecture hall. Soon to reach its half century, the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control has challenged academic orthodoxy in so many ways. It has promoted critical scholarship entwined with political intervention, critiquing mainstream criminological and penal theories, policies and practices. As an organisation inevitably marginalised by its proclaimed ‘outsider’ status, the European Group’s existence has waxed and waned, regularly undermined by financial precariousness. In this engaging, reflective volume David Scott recalls his first involvement with the Group in Venice, 2001. Soon after, as attendance at the annual conference dwindled and our close friend and organiser, Karen Leander, died in tragic circumstances, the Group faced closure. David had other ideas and, with support, he became directly instrumental in the Group’s revival and renewal as a primary, innovative forum for critical exchange. This book is an exemplar of his collaborative contribution to a process that has taken the European Group to a new and sustainable level without compromising its founding principles. It is testimony to his academic scholarship, to his political commitment and to his unswerving comradeship. Professor Phil Scraton, School of Law, Queen’s University, Belfast.
Reading Emancipatory Politics and Praxis the words that immediately jumped off the page were 'justice', 'vision' 'dedication' and the meaning of solidarity. We need all of this and each other ever more in these dangerous times. Ann Singleton, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of Poverty and Social Justice, University of Bristol
As one would expect from Scott and fellow members of the European Group, this passionately written text overflows with compassion, wisdom and hope. The chapters are beautifully written and contain a mix of personal reflections, historical discussions and theoretically informed explorations. Their cumulative effect is to shed light on the violence contained within and inherent to the criminal justice system, and in doing so, this collection asks that the reader thinks more critically about harm and their social, political and economic consequences. Rather than simply accept the status quo, this collection of short chapters by Scott and others makes a strong case for working towards an alternative 'real utopia' which seeks to minimise harm and inequality, rather than the current criminal justice system which helps to perpetuate it. Emancipatory Politics and Practice should be a core text for anyone interested in the violent power of criminal justice systems and in the opportunities for resistance and social justice. Dr Lisa White, Senior Lecturer, University of Lincoln
Emancipatory Politics and Praxis is a powerful collection of essays which provide a solid foundation for future directions in critical criminological research. Above all, the book makes clear that ‘critical criminology’ is about more than just critique – it requires a commitment to emancipatory knowledge, solidarity and the resistance of oppression in all its forms. It is essential reading for students, academics and activists alike. Dr Joanna Gilmore, Lecturer in Law, University of York
The book is at once a tribute to the European Group’s roots and a testament to its renewed vitality. The essays capture wonderfully the intellectual and political spirit of the collective and also canvass a number of key themes and concerns in a thorough and accessible manner. David Scott and colleagues have produced what deserves to be regarded as the essential primer to contemporary critical thinking about criminalisation, social harm and social justice. Georgios Papanicolaou, Reader in Criminology, Teesside University
An informative and thoughtful book that provides deep insights into the evolution of critical criminology, and that of the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control itself. Scott and his colleagues also provide inspiration for us in continuing this emancipatory work. Maeve McMahon, Associate Professor, Department of Law and Legal Studies, Carleton University,