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Proudhon and Criminology

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Chapter Summary

This chapter contributes to a re-thinking of the history of criminology. Most accounts of criminology suggest its emergence in the classical liberal theories of Cesare Beccarria and Jeremy Bentham or the positivist theories of Cesare Lombroso. The chapter explores Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's views on the causes and solutions to social disorder and suggestions for community-based dispute resolution and responses to crime. The chapter also considers Proudhon's ideas in relation to contemporary discussions of restorative justice and peace-making criminology, situating his work as a precursor to contemporary work in those areas and suggesting that practitioners of those approaches will gain by visiting and engaging with Proudhon's thinking. This makes an important contribution, both to contemporary thinking about crime and causes of crime as well as to anarchist ideas about how to deal with everyday concerns in a practical and critical way and to develop "real world" alternatives to authoritarian social relations.

Keywords: anarchist ideas; authoritarian social relations; Cesare Beccarria; Cesare Lombroso; classical liberal theories; community-based dispute resolution; Jeremy Bentham; peace-making criminology; Pierre-Joseph Proudhon



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