Crime in an Insecure World
January 2007, Polity
The security measures include the invention of disturbing new forms of ‘counter law’ or ‘law against law’. Counter law criminalizes not only those who actually cause harm, but also those merely suspected of being harmful, as well as authorities who are deemed responsible for security failures. Traditional principles, standards and procedures of criminal law are eroded or eliminated altogether, and civil and administrative law become more salient in processes of criminalization. Counter law also involves the innovative expansion of surveillance technologies and networks. CCTV, smart cards, data matching, data mining, and private policing all facilitate criminalization of the merely suspicious and security failures. Security trumps justice, and uncertainty proves itself.
This book is grounded in leading-edge theory and research across academic disciplines. It contributes to the most critical and contested debates in 21st century politics. It is of great interest not only to students of politics, sociology, law, criminology, risk management and public policy, but also to the general reader.
1 Crime in an Insecure World.
2 National Security.
3 Social Security.
4 Corporate Security.
5 Domestic Security.
- This timely book investigates the alarming trend spreading
across Western countries of treating every imaginable source of
harm as a crime.
- This groundbreaking book contributes to the most critical and
contested debates in 21st century politics.
- The author is an extremely well known and respected academic
who has published a number of very well respected books on Risk
- Comprehensive and clear analysis of how and why the law is
being reformed in western society in the face of perceived
- Brimming with insights about a dystopian world obsessed with crime, risk and uncertainty and therefore possessed by extreme security measures.
—Simon Davies, Times Higher Education Supplement
"As the title suggests, Richard Ericson’s Crime in an
Insecure World captures the central developments facing late modern
society, all of which contribute to the decline of criminal law.
Ericson delivers a deep and compelling analysis of an unraveling
civil society that produces not only a culture of control but also
a culture of suspicion. Written in a straightforward style, the
book helps us understand how structural realignments in a
neo-liberal regime shape our perceptions of crime and
—Michael Welch, London School of Economics and Political Science
"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."
—Richard Sparks, University of Edinburgh