Polity
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Printed at: 20/12/2014  –  12:51:44


polity criminology



About Polity Criminology

Building on our reputation for publishing high quality student textbooks, and cutting-edge work by leading authors, we are pleased to introduce a Polity’s new collection of criminology titles.


Following in the Polity tradition, our textbooks are not only lively and accessible, but also provide intellectually rigorous introductions to core themes in contemporary criminology. Alongside these student-oriented texts, we’re pleased to present some groundbreaking work by world-ranking authors, which set out an exciting agenda for the criminology of tomorrow.

Visit our highlights page for more information on our new and forthcoming general interest titles.

Major Textbooks

Book CoverJames Chriss: Social Control 2nd edition

“The author is widely read in the field of social control, and is to be commended for his coverage of a broad range of material. While the focus is on sociological materials, the author has included relevant concepts and research from related fields, and the connections among disparate literatures reflect insight and originality. The quality of the content is excellent – I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

John DeLamater, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Book CoverStuart Henry: Social Deviance

“Stuart Henry has done a remarkable job of introducing the student to what is perhaps the most intriguing subject in the undergraduate curriculum – the sociology of deviance. Yes, deviance is alive and well. Pick up this book and read it. It is a brisk, engaging, and informative account of normative violations and their aftermath. Our students will enjoy and learn from it."

Erich Goode, State University of New York at Stony Brook


Book CoverEamonn Carrabine: Crime, Culture and the Media

"This book is not just another bite at the 'crime and media' cherry, instead it is a refreshing and sophisticated look at this hotly contested area of debate. Tackling this topic with undoubted finesse, Carrabine adopts an interdisciplinary approach. The result is an accessible text that lays a foundation of knowledge and provides a useful engagement with pertinent material for the study of crime and media to students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level."

Crime, Media, Culture


Book CoverRichard Hammersley: Drugs and Crime

“This excellent book questions a lot of what we believe we ‘know’ about drugs and crime. Hammersley subjects the basic concepts of the field to serious and penetrating analysis, managing to present complex ideas and arguments in a concise and extremely clear way. It is superbly written, insightful, wide-ranging and intellectually stimulating.”

Toby Seddon, University of Manchester


Book CoverDavid Wall: Cybercrime - The Transformation of Crime in the Information Age

"David Wall’s Cybercrime is a refreshing look at new forms of crime. Rather than “decent” desperate nineteenth-century street crime that sends minorities to prison, cybercrime is virtually new; a risky frontier for the middle classes. These new forms find the police ill suited and untrained for their investigation, businesses ready to exploit them, academics fretting – and few, other than David Wall, writing about them with clarity, honesty and detail. Shut down your computer and have a look at this book."

Peter K. Manning, Northeastern University


Book CoverDavid Lyon: Surveillance Studies

In this overview, David Lyon, one of the pioneers of Surveillance Studies, fuses with aplomb classical debates and contemporary examples to provide the most accessible and up to date introduction to surveillance available. The book takes in Surveillance Studies in all its breadth, from local face-to-face oversight through technical developments in CCTV, RFID and biometrics to global trends that integrate surveillance systems internationally. This book is the perfect introduction for anyone wanting to understand surveillance as a phenomenon and the tools for analysing it further, and will be essential reading for students and scholars alike.


Book CoverAngus Bancroft: Drugs, Intoxication and Society

This book takes a nuanced view of drug and alcohol use, examining questions about why people use drugs, and what happens when they are intoxicated, from a wide number of perspectives.


Book CoverSoothill, Peelo & Taylor: Making Sense of Criminology

"I enjoyed reading Making Sense of Criminology. It is an interesting, accessible, wide-ranging and thoroughly up to date introduction to criminology that should find its way onto many reading lists. Students and teachers alike will find it a valuable resource."

Simon Holdaway, Sheffield University

The book explores the key issues, philosophies and debates in criminology, making use of a variety of writers and texts to illuminate recurring themes and tensions in the field. Students are encouraged to become aware of what constitutes data in criminology and to recognize the uses of theory in evaluating criminological problems. In a ground plan of the subject, the history of criminology is set alongside current information about the justice system and awareness of current trends in research.

polity criminology

Book CoverJock Young: The Criminological Imagination

"The terms 'criminology' and 'imagination' do not naturally belong together. Jock Young’s singular achievement is to apply a fine ‘criminological imagination’, exposing the soulless discourse of mainstream criminology and reflecting upon the alternative critical tradition in which he himself played such a central role."

Stan Cohen, The London School of Economics


Book CoverPieter Spierenburg: Violence and Punishment

“Pieter Spierenburg is our leading student of the civilizing process in punishment and society. Violence and Punishment ties together decades of research into the dynamics of violence and state formation; truly the definitive work on the topic.”

Jonathan Simon, University of California Berkeley


Book CoverPieter Spierenburg: A History of Murder

“This book is a triumph. Pieter Spierenburg has used his own research and that of others to illuminate the history of murder in the western world over many centuries, combining familiar literary sources with unfamiliar criminal statistics in ways that should appeal to scholars and general readers alike.”

Roger Lane, Haverford College


Book CoverDario Melossi: Controlling Crime, Controlling Society

“Dario Melossi bestrides the worlds of American and European criminologies as few others can. He has been a key figure on both continents across three decades, and Controlling Crime, Controlling Society is his masterpiece. There are many overviews of the study of crime and society, but none that equals Melossi's grasp of primary sources or historical sensibility.”

Richard Sparks, University of Edinburgh


Book CoverRobert Muchembled: A History of Violence: From the End of the Middle Ages to the Present

“This is one of Robert Muchembled's best books, a lucid and persuasive combination of broad sweep with vivid detail and of synthesis with original research”

Peter Burke, University of Cambridge


Book CoverRichard Ericson: Crime in an Insecure World

"Crime in an Insecure World demonstrates all the virtues of clarity and scholarship that we have come to expect in Ericson’s work. In this timely statement these are joined with a more urgent, morally engaged, even prophetic voice. Ericson urges us to see more clearly that our yearning for an impossible security may yet prove ruinous for our legal order, our civil society and indeed the very safety that we so crave. This powerful and cogent analysis deserves the widest possible audience."


Book CoverRobert Reiner: Law and Order

‘This is a timely, well-organized and coherent treatment of an important topic. It is characterized throughout by the author’s trademark ability to distill a large of amount of factual material and criminological theory and research into a lively, thought-provoking and accessible narrative.’

Ian Loader, University of Oxford


Book CoverStanley Cohen: States of Denial

Winner of the American Society of Criminology's International Division Award for outstanding publication, 2000-2001

“Sociologist Stanley Cohen's timely book about how people and societies deny information which is too disturbing or threatening serves as a brilliant corrective ... This is how scholarship should be - zesty, engaged, witty, and always accessible.”

The Observer

States of Denial is the first comprehensive study of both the personal and political ways in which uncomfortable realities are avoided and evaded. It ranges from clinical studies of depression, to media images of suffering, to explanations of the 'passive bystander' and 'compassion fatigue'. The book shows how organized atrocities - the Holocaust and other genocides, torture, and political massacres - are denied by perpetrators and by bystanders, those who stand by and do nothing.


Book CoverStanley Cohen: Visions of Social Control

"A major achievement ... in range and in analysis it is quite the best thing to have appeared in the area for many years."

Sociological Review

Stanley Cohen has produced an entirely original synthesis of the original literature as well as an introductory guide to the major theoreticians of social control, such as David Rothman and Michael Foucault. This is not just a book for the specialist in criminology, social problems and the sociology of deviance but raises a whole range of issues of much wider interest to the social sciences. A concluding chapter on the practical and policy implications of the analysis is of special relevance to social workers and other practitioners.