© 2014

Realist Criminology


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Roger Matthews
    Pages 28-51
  3. Roger Matthews
    Pages 52-71
  4. Roger Matthews
    Pages 94-116
  5. Roger Matthews
    Pages 117-137
  6. Roger Matthews
    Pages 138-155
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 156-179

About this book


This book challenges contemporary criminological thinking, providing a thorough critique of mainstream criminology, including both liberal criminology and administrative criminology. It sets a new agenda for theoretical and practical engagement, and for creating a more effective and just criminal justice system.


Realism critical criminology criminological theory crime prevention policing prisons liberal criminology administrative criminology rational choice theory cultural criminology crime Crime Prevention criminal justice criminology Rational choice realism

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of KentUK

About the authors

Roger Matthews is Professor of Criminology at London South Bank University, UK. He is Head of the Crime Reduction and Community Safety Research Group. He is sole author of Armed Robbery and Prostitution, Politics and Policy . He has also produced joint authored texts on community safety and edited a number of books on criminological theory, imprisonment and crime control.

Bibliographic information


"Roger Matthews, a pioneer of realist criminology, is one of the most interesting and important criminological theorists in Britain today. In this exciting new work, he sets out the stall for critical realism - a sophisticated appraisal of and provocative challenge to mainstream criminology. It is just the stimulus to fresh debate that the discipline needs. Realist Criminology is essential reading for all serious students and scholars of criminology." - Lucia Zedner, University of Oxford, UK

"In this timely and wide-ranging book, one of realist criminology's most respected pioneers argues forcefully for a criminology that is honest, engaged, and socially responsible a criminology that both takes the human toll of crime seriously and supports interventions that advance public safety, human emancipation and social justice. This is a vision that should help to shape debates about the tools and aims of the study of crime for many years to come." - Elliott Currie, University of California, Irvine, USA

"We can learn from critical criminology as we sustain a commitment to working on a realist construction site. This means taking crime seriously, struggling for crime prevention through creating a more just society. In this book, Roger Matthews re-joins that tradition in a way that is contemporarily responsive to competing traditions." - John Braithwaite, Australian National University, Australia

"I have great sympathy with Matthews' ambition to renew and extend the realist project ... I share too his clearly passionate commitment to a criminology that combines theoretical curiosity and empirical rigour with a hopeful, worldly orientation to the betterment of penal politics and policy. Matthew's book performs best as a clear and vivid effort to introduce a new generation of students and scholars to realism and to spell out why it still matters today." - Ian Loader, British Journal of Criminology