Crime and risk: Contested territory for risk theorising

Publication year: 2011
Source: International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 14 June 2011

Hazel, Kemshall

The ‘risk society’ thesis has gained much ground, and has been influential in much recent theorising and commentary on developments in crime and criminology. This article seeks to test these ‘grand claims’ by drawing on a range of empirical evidence from crime, penal practice, health, and social care. The article tests the three key strands of prudentialism, responsibilisation and actuarialism, and concludes that theory should frame the subject as an active mediator of risk and engage more productively with contextuality and conditionality.