Conclusion: Researchers and the Making of Political Worlds

  • Elizabeth R. Turner
Part of the Critical Criminological Perspectives book series (CCRP)


Bringing together the observations from the analysis provided in the previous four chapters, Turner argues that public confidence in criminal justice never was a pre-existing, independently ‘real’ phenomenon: it had to be constructed and was carved out of the raw materials of historical circumstance and political opportunity. This agenda has ‘costs to existence’: influenced by and contributing to a wider political culture that de-emphasises engagement and dialogue between the public and policymakers and casts the public as passive ill-informed individual consumers reliant upon experts to inform them about ‘reality’ and to communicate their opinions to their elected representatives. In assembling a public, researchers create a picture of society which may be reflected back into that society. They are involved in the making of political worlds. As such, they should not hide behind an objectivist epistemology in order to avoid acknowledging the responsibilities they have as inevitably political actors.


Public confidence in criminal justice The politics of research Public opinion Democracy Democratic citizenship 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth R. Turner
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

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