The study aims to recover and appraise the crime-relevant claims of the range of ideological positions whose proponents have over recent decades competes over the question of how to think about, and act upon, problems of crime and social order – from liberalism, conservatism and social democracy, to populism, technocracy, feminism and green political thought. The study aims to transcend the orientation towards critique, and the gloomy, dystopian disposition, that has come to dominate the social scientific analysis of crime and punishment in recent years. Instead the focus is on reconstruction – the search for principled, plausible visions of just ordering. The study will provide a careful work of ideological clarification that teases out what is at stake when crime is under discussion in ways that shed new light on the prospects and possibilities of creating social and penal institutions that can contribute to the realization of safer and more cohesive societies.
Ian Loader has been awarded a ‘mid-career fellowship’ from the Independent Social Research Foundation for a project entitled ‘In search of a better politics of crime’ The Fellowship commences in September 2016 and runs for one year.