Engaging and Debating the Role of Public Criminology: Introduction to this Special Issue

Lauren Eisler, Carrie Sanders


In his 2004 presidential address to the American Sociological Association, Michael Burawoy implored sociologists to engage “publics beyond the academy in dialogue about matters of political and moral concern” (2004:  5) and to “promote dialogue about issues that affect the fate of society, placing the values to which we adhere under a microscope” (Burawoy et al., 2004:  104).  This edited volume is dedicated to discussing, debating and illustrating how academic research can contribute to public discourse, understanding and action in regards to crime and its control.  Specifically, the issue provides empirical accounts of the ways in which academic research can: i) evaluate and reframe cultural images of crime and criminals, ii) evaluate and assess rule making and breaking, and, iii) evaluate and critique the justice system.


public criminology; sociology; critical criminology; academia; moral panics; terrorism

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