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Books Received
September 2014

Listed below are books received for review over the last two months. Entries include publishing information as well as a description of the book. Unless otherwise stated, the book description is taken from the publisher's website or the book jacket. Selected titles from this list will be chosen for a full review in forthcoming issues of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books. Previous books received are available from the links below.

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An Introduction to Crime and Crime Causation, edited by Robert C. Winters, Julie L. Globokar, and Cliff Roberson. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 2014. 323p.

An Introduction to Crime and Crime Causation is a student-friendly textbook that defines and explains the concepts of crime, criminal law, and criminology. Ideal for a one-semester course, the book compares and contrasts early criminal behavior and today’s modern forms of crime. It also explores society’s responses to criminal behavior in the past and in the present day. It covers both major and lesser-known crime causation theories and their impact on society.

Topics covered include:

  • The importance of understanding crime data
  • The goals of punishment
  • The history of criminology, including the influence of social Darwinism on early trait theorists
  • Crime causation theories, including a comparison of mainstream and critical theories
  • The relationship between crime and biology, including the influence of genetics, substance use, and mental illness
  • The social structural approach to crime, including a consideration of the changing contexts of urban criminality
  • The nature and function of the justice system at the local, state, and federal levels, and basic categories of crimes
  • Drug trafficking crimes, drug court efforts, and perceived weaknesses in current antidrug efforts

Each chapter begins with a set of objectives and concludes with a summary. Interactive questions promote classroom discussion and practicum sections facilitate contextual learning. Drawn from different and distinct backgrounds, the authors each have unique perspectives on crime, making for a particularly well-rounded text that explores crime from several angles. The book attempts to educate readers in the development of new insights on crime and crime causation and provides a greater understanding of the steps that need to be taken before a significant reduction in crime can occur.” From Publisher’s website.

Black Men Can’t Shoot, by Scott N. Brooks. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2009. 248p.

“The myth of the natural black athlete is widespread, though it’s usually talked about only when a sports commentator or celebrity embarrasses himself by bringing it up in public. Those gaffes are swiftly decried as racist, but apart from their link to the long history of ugly racial stereotypes about black people—especially men—they are also harmful because they obscure very real, hard-fought accomplishments. As Black Men Can’t Shoot demonstrates, such successes on the basketball court don’t happen just because of natural gifts—instead, they grow out of the long, tough, and unpredictable process of becoming a known player. Scott Norman Brooks spent four years coaching summer league basketball in Philadelphia. And what he saw, heard, and felt working with the young black men on his team tells us much about how some kids are able to make the extraordinary journey from the ghetto to the NCAA. He tells the story of two young men, Jermaine and Ray, following them through their high school years and chronicling their breakthroughs and frustrations on the court as well as their troubles at home. Black Men Can’t Shoot is a moving coming-of-age story that counters the belief that basketball only exploits kids and lures them into following empty dreams—and shows us that by playing ball, some of these young black men have already begun their education even before they get to college.” From Publisher’s website.

Borders, Asylum and Global Non-Citizenship: The Other Side of the Fence, by Heather L. Johnson. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014. 251p.

“The experience of border crossing for refugees and irregular migrants challenges global border and migration controls in multiple contexts. Using qualitative field research in Tanzania, Spain, Morocco and Australia, Heather Johnson asks how a global regime of migration management and control can be perceived through the dynamics of particular border spaces: refugee camps, border zones and detention centres. She explores how irregular migrants are impacted by the increasingly security-oriented practices of border control, and how they confront these practices. Johnson rejects the characterization of border spaces as exceptional, abject and exclusionary, arguing instead for an understanding of politics as everyday contestation that reveals a radical political agency, re-imagining the global non-citizen as a transgressive and powerful figure. Building on recent scholarship that rethinks irregularity and non-citizenship, her conclusions have broad implications for how we understand irregular migration from a position of dialogue and solidarity.” From Publisher’s webpage.

Checking the Courts: Law, Ideology, and Contingent Discretion, by Kirk A. Randazzo and Richard W. Waterman. Albany, New York: State University of New York, 2014. 215p.

“How does the language of legislative statutes affect judicial behavior? Scholars of the judiciary have rarely studied this question despite statutes being, theoretically, the primary opportunity for legislatures to ensure that those individuals who interpret the law will follow their preferences. In Checking the Courts, Kirk A. Randazzo and Richard W. Waterman offer a model that integrates ideological and legal factors through an empirical measure of statutory discretion. The model is tested across multiple judicial institutions, at both the federal and state levels, and reveals that judges are influenced by the levels of discretion afforded in the legislative statutes. In those cases where lawmakers have clear policy preferences, legislation encourages judges to strictly interpret the plain meaning of the law. Conversely, if policy preferences are unclear, legislation leaves open the possibility that judges will make decisions based on their own ideological policy preferences. Checking the Courts thus provides us with a better understanding of the dynamic interplay between law and ideology.” From Publisher’s website.

The Codification of Criminal Law, edited by Michael Bohlander and Daley Birkett. The International Library of Essays on Criminal Law Series. Farnham, Surrey, UK; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014. 556p.

“This volume contributes to the codification debate by bringing together research articles which compare and contrast the experience of countries which have a criminal code with those operating a case law system. The articles consider the criticisms that are often made of criminal code systems such as: the implicit restrictions on judicial discretion; the tendency towards inflexibility; the discrepancy that can develop between the theory and the development of the law in practice; and the potential difficulty of a criminal code fitting into a country’s domestic socio-legal culture. The advantages of the case law system are also considered such as reliance on the judiciary for the development of the nation’s criminal law as well as the ability to legislate on the problems of the day by enacting topical laws for distinct subjects. Whereas wholesale codification is a much more accepted phenomenon in the continental law traditions, simplistic transplants from one legal tradition can result in systemic frictions and other anomalies which may offend domestic culture. This collection is an invaluable reference tool which supports the discussion over codification and promotes better understanding across the common law/civil law divide.” From Publisher’s website.

Collective Violence, Democracy and Protest Policing, by David R. Mansley. Abingdon, UK; New York: Routledge, 2014. 166p.

“In this book David Mansley argues that the frequency with which violence intrudes on to the streets is related to both how society is governed and how it is policed. With the help of an innovative methodology, he quantifies and tests three variables – collective violence, democracy and protest policing – using protests in Great Britain in 1999–2011, for his sampling frame. The result is the design of new tools of measurement and a harvest of new data, including previously unpublished details of banning orders and riot damages, that enable us to reflect, with the benefit of broad sociological perspective, on the causes of contemporary violent events.

Mansley’s explanation of the trends he identifies draws from the work of the best thinkers on violence – especially Charles Tilly, Thomas Hobbes and Norbert Elias. He shows how the style of protest policing and the depth of democracy, both of which function under the direction of the political economy, are crucial to the state’s credentials as the monopoly supplier of legitimate violence. His discussion touches on such current topics as the institution of police commissioners, the privatisation of policing duties, and the decline in homicide.

This cultured study, which includes an engaging review of the existing scholarship on violence, is essential material for undergraduate and postgraduate students reading criminology, sociology or political theory.” From Publisher’s website.

Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United, by Zephyr Teachout. London; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014. 384p.

“When Louis XVI presented Benjamin Franklin with a snuff box encrusted with diamonds and inset with the King’s portrait, the gift troubled Americans: it threatened to “corrupt” Franklin by clouding his judgment or altering his attitude toward the French in subtle psychological ways. This broad understanding of political corruption—rooted in ideals of civic virtue—was a driving force at the Constitutional Convention.

For two centuries the framers’ ideas about corruption flourished in the courts, even in the absence of clear rules governing voters, civil officers, and elected officials. Should a law that was passed by a state legislature be overturned because half of its members were bribed? What kinds of lobbying activity were corrupt, and what kinds were legal? When does an implicit promise count as bribery? In the 1970s the U.S. Supreme Court began to narrow the definition of corruption, and the meaning has since changed dramatically. No case makes that clearer than Citizens United.

In 2010, one of the most consequential Court decisions in American political history gave wealthy corporations the right to spend unlimited money to influence elections. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion treated corruption as nothing more than explicit bribery, a narrow conception later echoed by Chief Justice Roberts in deciding McCutcheon v. FEC in 2014. With unlimited spending transforming American politics for the worse, warns Zephyr Teachout, Citizens United and McCutcheon were not just bad law but bad history. If the American experiment in self-government is to have a future, then we must revive the traditional meaning of corruption and embrace an old ideal.” From Publisher’s website.

Criminal Careers in Transition: The Social Context of Desistance from Crime, by Stephen Farrall, Ben Hunter, Gilly Sharpe, and Adam Calverley. Clarendon Studies in Criminology Series. New York; Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2014. 352p.

“Continuing previous work exploring why people stop offending, and the processes by which they are rehabilitated in the community, Criminal Careers in Transition: The Social Context of Desistance from Crime follows the completion of a fifth sweep of interviews with members of a cohort of former probationers interviewed since the late-1990s. The research undertaken since the inception of the project in 1996 has focused on developing a long-term evidence base, rather than a rapid assessment, examining whether (and how) probation supervision assists desistance from crime.

Building on interviews from previous sweeps, the authors continue their exploration into the needs identified by probation officers and probationers, the extent to which these have been successfully met over the medium to long-term, and whether this suggests that probation helps probationers to desist. The authors argue that probation supervision did indeed help the probationers, but that this had taken a long time to 'bear fruit' and was related to other social and personal changes. There is discussion of a number of key topics, including sample members' continued social and personal development (including the impact of parenthood on them) and their motivation to change and maintain a law-abiding lifestyle, as well as their experiences of dealing with the stigma of a criminal record and the long-term process of 'remaking' themselves. This core empirical research and analysis is framed by a comprehensive review of not only the contemporary literature on desistance and reoffending, but also what constitutes a successful and effective research design in this field.

Whilst there have been several attempts to develop theories of desistance, few have attempted to understand and theorise the long-term impacts of probation supervision. Criminal Careers in Transition addresses this by building an account of the processes which help to shape the speed, nature, and direction of an individual's efforts to avoid further offending and, thus, develop a theory of assisted desistance. The book continues the authors' exploration of the emotional trajectories of crime, victimisation, and desistance and the role of citizenship values in pathways out of crime, as well as original research into the spatial dynamics of desistance.” From Publisher’s website.

Criminal Judges: Legitimacy, Courts and State-Induced Guilty Pleas in Britain, by Mike McConville and Luke Marsh. Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2014. 320p.

“Against a backdrop of a dysfunctional criminal justice system, the authors bring an avalanche of legal and empirical material to question the legitimacy of the relationship between judges, lawyers, politicians and defendants in modern Britain. Examining existing legal structures and court practices through the lens of what used to be called ‘plea bargaining’ the authors provide a graphic picture of why case disposals through enforced guilty pleas promote injustice, feed discrimination and skew the judicial function. This is the most comprehensive examination to date of case disposition methods in England, Wales and Scotland, underpinned by a new socio-legal theory on the criminal process.

Criminal Judges is sure to provoke debate on the forces which drive the criminal justice process and will therefore be of great interest to all those concerned about the future of criminal justice policies and practices. It will appeal to academics, researchers, policy advisors and practitioners of criminal law.” From Publisher’s website.

Criminal Law and Human Rights, edited by P.H.P.H.M.C. van Kempen. The International Library of Essays on Criminal Law Series. Farnham, Surrey, UK; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014. 490p.

“The significance of fundamental individual rights to substantive criminal law, criminal procedure law and sentencing law is undeniable for anyone who is familiar with the criminal justice system. The fourteen essays selected for this volume portray and discuss the meaning and rationale of those human rights that are most relevant to that system. They have been chosen for their high quality, timeless approach and general attention to issues that are of universal interest and thus not too closely related to the technicalities of a specific criminal justice system. In combination with the introduction to this volume, the essays cover almost the entire criminal justice system and offer a general overview as well as an in-depth examination of criminal law and human rights. As a result, this volume is essential for researchers, lecturers and students concerned with the tensions and harmonies between the values the criminal justice system and human rights respectively serve.” From Publisher’s website.

The Death Penalty in Africa: The Path Towards Abolition, by Aimé Muyoboke Karimunda. Farnham, Surrey, UK; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014. 252p.

“Human development is not simply about wealth and economic well-being, it is also dependent upon shared values that cherish the sanctity of human life. Using comparative methods, archival research and quantitative findings, this book explores the historical and cultural background of the death penalty in Africa, analysing the law and practice of the death penalty under European and Asian laws in Africa before independence. Showing progressive attitudes to punishment rooted in both traditional and modern concepts of human dignity, Aimé Muyoboke Karimunda assesses the ground on which the death penalty is retained today. Providing a full and balanced appraisal of the arguments, the book presents a clear and compelling case for the total abolition of the death penalty throughout Africa.” From Publisher’s website.

Dirty Assets: Emerging Issues in the Regulation of Criminal and Terrorist Assets, edited by Colin King and Clive Walker. Farnham, Surrey, UK; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014. 372p.

“Adopting a multi-disciplinary and comparative approach, this book focuses on the emerging and innovative aspects of attempts to target the accumulated assets of those engaged in criminal and terrorist activity, organized crime and corruption. It examines the ‘follow-the-money’ approach and explores the nature of criminal, civil and regulatory responses used to attack the financial assets of those engaged in financial crime in order to deter and disrupt future criminal activity as well as terrorism networks. With contributions from leading international academics and practitioners in the fields of law, economics, financial management, criminology, sociology and political science, the book explores law and practice in countries with significant problems and experiences, revealing new insights into these dilemmas. It also discusses the impact of the ‘follow-the-money’ approach on human rights while also assessing effectiveness.

The book will appeal to academics and researchers of financial crime, organized crime and terrorism as well as practitioners in the police, prosecution, financial and taxation agencies, policy-makers and lawyers.” From Publisher’s website.

Dirty Entanglements: Corruption, Crime, and Terrorism, by Louise I. Shelley. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014. 368p.

“The entangled threat of crime, corruption, and terrorism now deserves high-level-policy attention because of its growth trajectory. Using lively case studies, this book analyzes the transformation of crime and terrorism and the business logic of terrorism. Louise I. Shelley concludes that corruption, crime, and terrorism will remain important security challenges in the twenty-first century as a result of economic and demographic inequalities in the world, the rise of ethnic and sectarian violence, climate change, the growth of technology, and the failure of nineteenth- and twentieth-century institutions to respond to these challenges when they emerged.” From Publisher’s website.

Drug Mules: Women in the International Cocaine Trade, by Jennifer Fleetwood. London; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. 208p.

“This innovative book examines the role of women in the international cocaine trade. Going beyond the stock assumptions about women's roles as drug mules, Fleetwood employs discursive and narrative approaches to offer an alternative account focusing on the lived experiences of women involving in trafficking.

Drawing on extensive ethnographic research and in-depth interviews with traffickers imprisoned in Ecuador, these narratives challenge contemporary drug trafficking myths and shed light on the hidden world of international drug trafficking. More than describing the reality beyond the hype, this book offers theoretical insights that sit at the intersection of gender theory and global criminology, arguing that women's participation in the drug trade cannot be adequately understood through the lenses of either victimization or agency.

A valuable resource to scholars of gender, globalization and crime, Fleetwood situates women's offending in the twenty-first century, uniquely examining gender, structure and agency in the context of transnational crime.” From Publisher’s website.

Excusable Evil: An Analysis of Complete Defenses in International Criminal Law, by Maartje Krabbe. School of Human Rights Research, Vol. 50. Cambridge, UK: Intersentia, 2014. 397p.

“Could Hitler have pleaded insanity? Can a soldier participating in a massacre claim duress because his superior forced him? In domestic criminal law complete defenses, such as insanity and duress, are relatively common legal concepts. But what is the role of these arguments in international criminal law? Can horrific large-scale crimes, such as genocide and crimes against humanity, ever be excused?

This book provides an analysis of cases featuring complete defenses before international criminal courts (IMT, IMTFE, ICTY, ICTR and ICC). The conclusion of the analysis is that international criminal courts recognize most complete defenses in principle. However, they consistently reject them in practice. Courts thus tend to say: “Insanity is available as a complete defense … but not in this case”. This conclusion raises questions as to the compatibility between complete defenses and international crimes: When they are never accepted in practice, should such defenses be available at all? The final Part of the book answers this question in the affirmative and provides recommendations on the contents of complete defenses in the field of international criminal justice.” From Publisher’s website.

The Ex-Prisoner’s Dilemma: How Women Negotiate Competing Narratives of Reentry and Desistance, by Andrea M. Leverentz. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2014. 248p.

“When a woman leaves prison, she enters a world of competing messages and conflicting advice. Staff from prison, friends, family members, workers at halfway houses and treatment programs all have something to say about who she is, who she should be, and what she should do. The Ex-Prisoner’s Dilemma offers an in-depth, firsthand look at how the former prisoner manages messages about returning to the community.

Over the course of a year, Andrea Leverentz conducted repeated interviews with forty-nine women as they adjusted to life outside of prison and worked to construct new ideas of themselves as former prisoners and as mothers, daughters, sisters, romantic partners, friends, students, and workers. Listening to these women, along with their family members, friends, and co-workers, Leverentz pieces together the narratives they have created to explain their past records and guide their future behavior. She traces where these narratives came from and how they were shaped by factors such as gender, race, maternal status, age, and experiences in prison, halfway houses, and twelve-step programs—factors that in turn shaped the women’s expectations for themselves, and others’ expectations of them. The women’s stories form a powerful picture of the complex, complicated human experience behind dry statistics and policy statements regarding prisoner reentry into society for women, how the experience is different for men and the influence society plays.

With its unique view of how society’s mixed messages play out in ex-prisoners’ lived realities, The Ex-Prisoner’s Dilemma shows the complexity of these women’s experiences within the broad context of the war on drugs and mass incarceration in America. It offers invaluable lessons for helping such women successfully rejoin society.” From Publisher’s website.

Fear of Crime in the United States: Causes, Consequences, and Contradictions, by Jodi Lane, Nicole E. Rader, Billy Henson, Bonnie S. Fisher, and David C. May. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2014. 286p.

Fear of Crime in the United States: Causes, Consequences, and Contradictions examines the nature and extent of crime-related fear. The authors describe and evaluate key research findings in the specific areas of methodology; gender, age, race and ethnicity, and socioeconomic status; contextual predictors; and the consequences of fear of crime. They discuss the improvement of fear of crime measures over time; the consistent finding that women are more afraid of crime; the impact of age, race and ethnicity, and socioeconomic status on fear; and the importance of environmental factors (such as witnessing crime and perceptions of diversity, disorder, and decline) and indirect victimization (through acquaintances and the media) on fear. The book also describes the physical, psychological, behavioral, and social effects of fear of crime. In the end, the authors tie the findings together to suggest important policy and research implications from the wealth of available research.” From Publisher’s website.

The Financial Crisis and White Collar Crime: The Perfect Storm?, by Nicholas Ryder. Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2014. 532p.

“Concentrating on the relationship between the 2007 financial crisis and white-collar crime in both the United States of America and the United Kingdom this unique book asserts that such activity was an important variable that contributed towards the crisis. It also reveals a number of similarities and differences in the approach towards white-collar crime emanating from the financial crisis.

Offering an important analysis of the factors which contributed to the global financial crisis and the role played by economic crime, the author provides an insightful critique of the legislative, regulatory and enforcement responses on both sides of the Atlantic. Specific examples include mortgage fraud, predatory lending, Ponzi fraud schemes, market misconduct and the manipulation of LIBOR. Nicholas Ryder’s conclusions are powerful, and those responsible for policing the financial markets should take careful note of the recommendations he puts forward.

This timely book will be of great use to both teachers and students of financial crime relevant modules. It will also appeal to policy-makers in government departments, law enforcement agencies and financial regulatory agencies, as well as professionals within the financial services sector, law and accountancy.” From Publisher’s website.

Gun Crime in Global Contexts, by Peter Squires. Abingdon, UK; New York: Routledge, 2013. 400p.

“Every year around three-quarters of a million people die (directly or indirectly) as a result of gun violence, with most deaths occurring in the poorest, yet also most highly weaponized parts of the world. Firearm proliferation -- 875 million global firearms -- is a direct contributor to both regional conflicts and to crime. This book attempts to understand the inter-related dynamics of supply and demand which are weaponizing the world.

Now over ten years after Peter Squires’s Gun Culture or Gun Control?, the issues pertaining to gun violence and gun control have developed dramatically. With Gun Crime in Global Contexts, Peter Squires offers a cutting-edge account of contemporary developments in the politics of gun crime and the social and theoretical issues that surround the problem. This book contains:

  • an innovative political analysis of neo-liberal globalization and weapon proliferation;
  • an overview of recent gun control debates and gang strategies in the UK;
  • an updated analysis of US gun politics: self-defence, race and the ‘culture war’;
  • a critical analysis of US school and rampage shootings, how they have impacted the gun debate and how different societies have responded to mass shootings;
  • an examination of the UN's development of an Arms Trade Treaty (2001--13);
  • a discussion of weapon trafficking;
  • discussions about youth gangs around the world, including those in Brazil, Kenya, West Africa, Mexico and South Africa.”

From Publisher’s website.

Hate Crime in Cyberspace, by Danielle Keats Citron. London; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014. 352p.

“Most Internet users are familiar with trolling—aggressive, foul-mouthed posts designed to elicit angry responses in a site’s comments. Less familiar but far more serious is the way some use networked technologies to target real people, subjecting them, by name and address, to vicious, often terrifying, online abuse. In an in-depth investigation of a problem that is too often trivialized by lawmakers and the media, Danielle Keats Citron exposes the startling extent of personal cyber-attacks and proposes practical, lawful ways to prevent and punish online harassment. A refutation of those who claim that these attacks are legal, or at least impossible to stop, Hate Crimes in Cyberspace reveals the serious emotional, professional, and financial harms incurred by victims.
Persistent online attacks disproportionately target women and frequently include detailed fantasies of rape as well as reputation-ruining lies and sexually explicit photographs. And if dealing with a single attacker’s “revenge porn” were not enough, harassing posts that make their way onto social media sites often feed on one another, turning lone instigators into cyber-mobs.

Hate Crimes in Cyberspace rejects the view of the Internet as an anarchic Wild West, where those who venture online must be thick-skinned enough to endure all manner of verbal assault in the name of free speech protection, no matter how distasteful or abusive. Cyber-harassment is a matter of civil rights law, Citron contends, and legal precedents as well as social norms of decency and civility must be leveraged to stop it.” From Publisher’s website.

Illegality, Inc.: Clandestine Migration and the Business of Bordering Europe, by Ruben Andersson. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2014. 360p.

“In this groundbreaking ethnography, Ruben Andersson, a gifted anthropologist and journalist, travels along the clandestine migration trail from Senegal and Mali to the Spanish North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. Through the voices of his informants, Andersson explores, viscerally and emphatically, how Europe’s increasingly powerful border regime meets and interacts with its target–the clandestine migrant. This vivid, rich work examines the subterranean migration flow from Africa to Europe, and shifts the focus from the “illegal immigrants” themselves to the vast industry built around their movements. This fascinating and accessible book is a must-read for anyone interested in the politics of international migration and the changing texture of global culture.” From Publisher’s website.

The International Law of Migrant Smuggling, by Anne T. Gallagher and Fiona David. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014. 783p.

“Whether forced into relocation by fear of persecution, civil war, or humanitarian crisis, or pulled toward the prospect of better economic opportunities, more people are on the move than ever before. Opportunities for lawful entry into preferred destinations are decreasing rapidly, creating demand for a range of services that is increasingly being met by migrant smugglers: individuals or criminal groups who facilitate unauthorized entry into in another country for profit. This book, a companion volume to the award-winning The International Law of Human Trafficking, presents the first-ever comprehensive and in-depth analysis of the international law of migrant smuggling. The authors call on their direct experience of working with the United Nations to chart the development of new international laws and to link these specialist rules to other relevant areas of international law, including law of the sea, human rights law, and international refugee law. Through this analysis, the authors identify and explain the major legal obligations of States with respect to migrant smuggling, including those related to criminalization, interdiction and rescue at sea, protection, prevention, detention, and return.” From Publisher’s website.

Kafka’s Law: The Trial and American Criminal Justice, by Robert P. Burns. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2014. 192p.

The Trial is actually closer to reality than fantasy as far as the client’s perception of the system. It’s supposed to be a fantastic allegory, but it’s reality. It’s very important that lawyers read it and understand this.” Justice Anthony Kennedy famously offered this assessment of the Kafkaesque character of the American criminal justice system in 1993. While Kafka’s vision of the “Law” in The Trial appears at first glance to be the antithesis of modern American legal practice, might the characteristics of this strange and arbitrary system allow us to identify features of our own system that show signs of becoming similarly nightmarish? With Kafka’s Law, Robert P. Burns shows how The Trial provides an uncanny lens through which to consider flaws in the American criminal justice system today. Burns begins with the story, at once funny and grim, of Josef K., caught in the Law’s grip and then crushed by it. Laying out the features of the Law that eventually destroy K., Burns argues that the American criminal justice system has taken on many of these same features. In the overwhelming majority of contemporary cases, police interrogation is followed by a plea bargain, in which the court’s only function is to set a largely predetermined sentence for an individual already presumed guilty. Like Kafka’s nightmarish vision, much of American criminal law and procedure has become unknowable, ubiquitous, and bureaucratic. It, too, has come to rely on deception in dealing with suspects and jurors, to limit the role of defense, and to increasingly dispense justice without the protection of formal procedures. But, while Kennedy may be correct in his grim assessment, a remedy is available in the tradition of trial by jury, and Burns concludes by convincingly arguing for its return to a more central place in American criminal justice.” From Publisher’s webpage.

Kids Gone Wild: From Rainbow Parties to Sexting, Understanding the Hype Over Teen Sex, by Joel Best and Kathleen A. Bogle. New York: New York University Press, 2014. 200p.

“To hear mainstream media sources tell it, the sex lives of modern teenagers outpace even the smuttiest of cable television shows. Teen girls “sext” explicit photos to boys they like; they wear “sex bracelets” that signify what sexual activities they have done, or will do; they team up with other girls at “rainbow parties” to perform sex acts on groups of willing teen boys; they form “pregnancy pacts” with their best girlfriends to all become teen mothers at the same time. From The Today Show, to CNN, to the New York Times, stories of these events have been featured widely in the media. But are most teenage—or younger—children really going to sex parties and having multiple sexual encounters in an orgy-like fashion?

Researchers say no—teen sex is actually not rampant and teen pregnancy is at low levels. But why do stories like these find such media traffic, exploiting parents’ worst fears? How do these rumors get started, and how do they travel around the country and even across the globe?

In Kids Gone Wild, best-selling authors Joel Best and Kathleen A. Bogle use these stories about the fears of the growing sexualization of childhood to explore what we know about contemporary legends and how both traditional media and the internet perpetuate these rumors while, at times, debating their authenticity. Best and Bogle describe the process by which such stories spread, trace how and to where they have moved, and track how they can morph as they travel from one medium to another. Ultimately, they find that our society’s view of kids raging out of control has drastic and unforeseen consequences, fueling the debate on sex education and affecting policy decisions on everything from the availability of the morning after pill to who is included on sex offender registries.

A surprising look at the truth behind the sensationalism in our culture, Kids Gone Wild is a much-needed wake-up call for a society determined to believe the worst about its young people.” From Publisher’s website.

Male Sex Work and Society, edited by Victor Minichiello and John Scott. New York; York, UK: Harrington Park Press, 2014. 512p.

“This new collection explores for the first time male sex work from a rich array of perspectives and disciplines. It aims to help enrich the ways in which we view both male sex work as a field of commerce and male sex worker themselves.
Leading contributors examine the field both historically and cross-culturally from fields including public health, sociology, psychology, social services, history, filmography, economics, mental health, criminal justice, geography, and migration studies, and more.
Synthesizing introductions by the editors help the reader understand the implications of the findings and conclusions for scholars, practitioners, students, and members of the interested/concerned public.” From Publisher’s website.

Mass Incarceration on Trial: A Remarkable Court Decision and the Future of Prisons in America, by Jonathan Simon. New York: The New Press, 2014. 224p.

“For nearly forty years, the United States has been gripped by policies that have placed more than 2.5 million Americans in jails and prisons designed to hold a fraction of that number of inmates. Our prisons are not only vast and overcrowded, they are degrading—relying on racist gangs, lockdowns, and Supermax-style segregation units to maintain a tenuous order. In short, mass incarceration has proven to be a fiscal and penological disaster.

A landmark 2011 Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Plata, has opened an unexpected escape route from this trap of ‘tough on crime’ politics and points toward values that could restore legitimate order to American prisons and ultimately lead to the dismantling of ‘mass incarceration.’ Berkeley law professor Jonathan Simon—an internationally renowned critic of mass incarceration and the war on crime—argues that, much like the epic school segregation cases of the last century, this new case represents a major breakthrough in jurisprudence. Along with twenty years of litigation over medical and mental health care in California prisons, the 2011 Brown decision moves us from a hollowed-out vision of civil rights to the threshold of human rights.

Exposing the priority of politics over rational penal policy—and debunking the premise that these policies are necessary for public safety—this perceptive and groundbreaking book urges us to seize the opportunity to replace mass incarceration with a system anchored in the preservation of human dignity.” From Publisher’s website.

The Methamphetamine Industry in America: Transnational Cartels and Local Entrepreneurs, by Henry H. Brownstein, Timothy M. Mulcahy, and Johannes Huessy. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2014. 172p.

“Galax, a small Virginia town at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, was one of the first places that Henry H. Brownstein, Timothy M. Mulcahy, and Johannes Huessy visited for their study of the social dynamics of methamphetamine markets—and what they found changed everything. They had begun by thinking of methamphetamine markets as primarily small-scale mom-and-pop businesses operated by individual cooks who served local users—generally stymied by ever more strenuous laws. But what they found was a thriving and complex transnational industry. And this reality was repeated in towns and cities across America, where the methamphetamine market was creating jobs and serving as a focus for daily lives and social experience. 
The Methamphetamine Industry in America describes the reality that the methamphetamine industry is a social phenomenon connecting local, national, and international communities and markets. The book details the results of a groundbreaking three-stage study, part of a joint initiative of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Justice, in which police agencies across the United States were surveyed and their responses used to identify likely areas of study. The authors then visited these areas to observe and interview local participants, from users and dealers to law enforcement officers and clinical treatment workers.
Through the eyes and words of these participants, the book tells the story of the evolution of methamphetamine markets in the United States over the past several years, given changes in public policies and practices and changing public opinion about methamphetamine. The authors look closely at how the markets are part of a larger industry, how they are socially organized, and how they operate. They also consider the relationships among the people involved and those around them, and the national, regional, and local culture of the markets. Their work demonstrates the importance of understanding the business of methamphetamine—and by extension other drugs in society—through a lens that focuses on social behavior, social relationships, and the cultural elements that shape the organization and operation of this illicit but effective industry.” From Publisher’s website.

Perpetrators and Accessories in International Law: Individual Modes of Responsibility for Collective Crimes, by Neha Jain. Oxford, UK; Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2010. 250p.

“International criminal law lacks a coherent account of individual responsibility. This failure is due to the inability of international tribunals to capture the distinctive nature of individual responsibility for crimes that are collective by their very nature. Specifically, they have misunderstood the nature of the collective action or framework that makes these crimes possible, and for which liability may be attributed to intellectual authors, policy makers and leaders. In this book, the author draws on insights from comparative law and methodology to propose doctrines of perpetration and secondary responsibility that reflect the role and function of high-level participants in mass atrocity, while simultaneously situating them within the political and social climate which renders these crimes possible. This new doctrine is developed through a novel approach which combines and restructures divergent theoretical perspectives on attribution of responsibility in English and German domestic criminal law, as major representatives of the common law and civil law systems. At the same time, it analyses existing theories of responsibility in international criminal law and assesses whether there is any justification for their retention by international criminal tribunals.” From Publisher’s website.

Pharmaceuticals, Corporate Crime and Public Health, by Graham Dukes, John Braithwaite, and J.P. Maloney. Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2014. 424p.

“The pharmaceutical industry must exist to serve the community, but over the years it has engaged repeatedly in corporate crime and anti-social behaviour, with the public footing the bill. This readable study by experts in medicine, law, criminology and public health, with deep experience of the industry, documents problems ranging from false advertising and counterfeiting to corruption, fraud and overpricing. It is a fresh and revealing look at the unacceptable pressures brought to bear on doctors, politicians, patients and the media.

Uniquely, the book presents realistic and worldwide solutions for the future, with positive policies encouraging honest dealing, as well as partial privatization of enforcement and a transformation of science policy to develop the medicines that society needs most. The authors examine in turn each of the main facets of the pharmaceutical industry’s activities – research, manufacturing, information, distribution and pricing – as well as some questionable aspects of its relationship with society.

Offering a considered analysis of pharmaceutical rights and wrongs as they have developed, particularly over the last half-century, this book is rich in new insights for managers in the pharmaceutical industry, regulatory agencies and health agencies.” From Publisher’s website.

The Politics of Law and Stability, edited by Susan Trevaskes, Elisa Nesossi, Flora Sapio, and Sarah Biddulph. Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2014. 532p.

The Politics of Law and Stability in China examines the nexus between social stability and the law in contemporary China. It explores the impact of Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) rationales for social stability on legal reforms, criminal justice operations and handling of disputes and social unrest inside and outside China’s justice agencies.

The book presents an extensive investigation into the conceptual and empirical approaches by the Party-state to the management of Chinese citizen complaint and unrest. It explores how the Party-state responds to what it sees as potentially de-stabilizing social action such as public protest, discord, deviance and criminal behaviour. This timely and important study reaches across a broad variety of areas within the legal sphere, including substantive criminal law and criminal procedure law reform, labour law, environment and land disputes, policing and surveillance, and anti-corruption drives. The central thread running through all the chapters concerns how the imperative of social stability has underpinned key Party-state approaches to social management and responses to crime, legal disputes and social unrest across the last decade in China.

This book will appeal to lawyers, political science scholars and social scientists in the area of China studies. Scholars generally interested in Chinese criminal law and criminal law procedures will also find much in this book that will be of interest to them.” From Publisher’s website.

Preventing Terrorism and Violent Extremism, by Andrew Staniforth. Blackstone’s Practical Policing Series. New York; Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2014. 312p.

“Providing you with an accessible and authoritative guide to neighbourhood policing and the counter-terrorism measures available to police officers, Preventing Terrorism and Violent Extremism presents the tools and operational know-how needed to tackle the range of threats to both national security and community safety.

This book places counter-terrorism policing within the setting of everyday operations, allowing you to assess how provisions under CONTEST 3 and Prevent can be incorporated into day-to-day neighbourhood policing tasks and patrols. With case studies offering a range of common scenarios, clear explanations of national policy, and detailed coverage of anti-terror powers and procedures, Preventing Terrorism and Violent Extremism will support you and your colleagues through the complexities and challenges of delivering successful community policing. Definitions of the concepts and classifications of terrorism, as well as summaries of extremist motivations supply background and context to the current status of UK national security, while detailed translations of the law and official guidance surrounding counter-terrorism provides both the practical and theoretical underpinning required for clear interpretation and application of such powers.” From Publisher’s website.

Online Gambling and Crime: Causes, Controls and Controversies, by James Banks. Farnham, Surrey, UK; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014. 194p.

“Offering the first empirically driven assessment of the development, marketisation, regulation and use of online gambling organisations and their products, this book explores the relationship between online gambling and crime. It draws upon quantitative and qualitative data, including textual and visual analyses of e-gambling advertising and the records of player-protection and standards organisations, together with a virtual ethnography of online gambling subcultures, to examine the ways in which gambling and crime have been approached in practice by gamers, regulatory agencies and online gambling organisations. Building upon contemporary criminological theory, it develops an understanding of online gambling as an arena in which risks and rewards are carefully constructed and through which players navigate, employing their own agency to engage with the very real possibility of victimisation.

With attention to the manner in which online gambling can be a source of criminal activity, not only on the part of players, but also criminal entrepreneurs and legitimate gambling businesses, Online Gambling and Crime discusses developments in criminal law and regulatory frameworks, evaluating past and present policy on online gambling. A rich examination of the prevalence, incidence and experience of a range of criminal activities linked to gambling on the Internet, this book will appeal to scholars and policy makers in the fields of sociology and criminology, law, the study of culture and subculture, risk, health studies and social policy.” From Publisher’s website.

The Origins of Modern Financial Crime: Historical Foundations and Current Problems in Britain, by Sarah Wilson. Abingdon, UK; New York: Routledge, 2013. 260p.

“The recent global financial crisis has been characterised as a turning point in the way we respond to financial crime. Focusing on this change and ‘crime in the commercial sphere’, this text considers the legal and economic dimensions of financial crime and its significance in societal consciousness in twenty-first century Britain. Considering how strongly criminal enforcement specifically features in identifying the post-crisis years as a ‘turning point’, it argues that nineteenth-century encounters with financial crime were transformative for contemporary British societal perceptions of ‘crime’ and its perpetrators, and have lasting resonance for legal responses and societal reactions today.

The analysis in this text focuses primarily on how Victorian society perceived and responded to crime and its perpetrators, with its reactions to financial crime specifically couched within this. It is proposed that examining how financial misconduct became recognised as crime during Victorian times makes this an important contribution to nineteenth-century history. Beyond this, the analysis underlines that a historical perspective is essential for comprehending current issues raised by the ‘fight’ against financial crime, represented and analysed in law and criminology as matters of enormous intellectual and practical significance, even helping to illuminate the benefits and potential pitfalls which can be encountered in current moves for extending the reach of criminal liability for financial misconduct.” From Publisher’s website.

Quantum Holographic Criminology: Paradigm Shift in Criminology, Law, and Transformative Justice, by Dragan Milovanovic. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2014. 260p.

“This book develops an alternative perspective by which we can better theorize in criminology, law, and social justice, and emphasizes a paradigm shift away from the failures of a Newtonian ontology embedded in the workings of our disciplines. It first explains the key concepts of quantum and holography theories, and then shows the relevancy for criminology. Numerous applications are provided to suggest a new direction of thought. No claim, however, of developing a definitive theory is suggested. Cultural criminology is especially useful for re-thinking by integrating emerging concepts of the new sciences. The book argues that scholars should suspend their commitments to Newtonian physics in its linearity, determinacy, and objectification of ‘reality.’ An alternative construction of ‘social reality’ can be developed that recognizes the interconnected, dynamic, and information-driven nature inherent in the cosmos. Much of criminology lacks a subject, particularly in empirically driven or positivistic approaches. The book offers an alternative model that argues for a quantized, inter- and intra-subjectively constituted subject. The emerging quantum cognition perspective concerned with the human lexicon is incorporated in this model. The book provides two full chapters on applications to criminology, law, and transformative justice. The final chapter advocates a dynamic, interconnected, processual, information-driven, holistic approach as an alternative to contemporary static structures within which we are embedded.” From Publisher’s website.

Rape, Victims, and Investigations: Experiences and Perceptions of Law Enforcement Officers Responding to Reported Rapes, by Shana L. Maier. Abingdon, UK; New York: Routledge, 2013. 206p.

“Despite changes to laws and attitudes, rape continues at epidemic levels worldwide. As gatekeepers to the criminal justice system, law enforcement officers are important to the processing of rape cases and their interactions with victims can potentially affect the victim’s reaction to and recovery from rape.

In order to better understand rape and the processing of cases through the criminal justice and legal systems, Rape, Victims and Investigations explores the unique perceptions and experiences of detectives who respond to rape victims and investigate rape cases. The detective’s investigation is the foundation of the prosecution’s case; the book considers factors that contribute to the challenging nature of rape investigations, such as lack of evidence or a clear, credible victim statement. Detectives’ perceptions of victims’ revictimization by the criminal justice and legal systems are also explored. The book also looks at specific causes of police stress and burnout related to working rape cases, financial struggles faced by departments, and ways to meet these challenges.

By integrating previous research within the context of rich interview data, Rape, Victims and Investigations provides deep insight for readers and will contribute to the continued improvement of treatment of victims by the criminal justice system. The book will be essential reading for academics, students, law enforcement officers, those who provide services to sexual assault victims and victims themselves.” From Publisher’s website.

Reintegrative Justice in Practice: The Informal Management of Crime in an Island Community, by Helen Miles and Peter Raynor. Farnham, Surrey, UK; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014. 244p.

“Recent years have seen the development of a growing international literature on restorative justice, community justice and reintegrative alternatives to formal criminal justice processes. This literature is stronger on theory and advocacy than on detailed evaluative studies. It often relies for its practical examples on the presumed historical practices of the indigenous peoples of colonised territories, or on attempts to revive or promote modified versions of these in a modern context, which has led to debates about how far modern communities can provide a viable setting for such initiatives.

This book provides a unique study of the practice of traditional reintegrative community justice in a European society: the Parish Hall Enquiry (PHE) in the Channel Island of Jersey. This is an ancient institution, based on an informal hearing and discussion of a reported offence with the alleged offender and other interested parties, carried out by centeniers (honorary police officers elected to one of Jersey's twelve parishes). It is still in regular use as an integral part of a modern criminal justice system, and it usually aims to resolve offences without recourse to formal prosecution in court.

Helen Miles and Peter Raynor's research, arising from direct observation, contributes to the literature on 'what works' in resolving conflicts and influencing offenders, and their detailed case studies of how problems are addressed gives a 'hands on' flavour of the process. The authors also document the aspects of community life in Jersey that facilitate or hinder the continuation of the PHEs, drawing out the implications of these findings for wider debates about the necessary and sufficient social conditions for reintegrative justice to succeed.” From Publisher’s website.

Sexting and Youth: A Multidisciplinary Examination of Research, Theory, and Law, edited by Todd C. Hiestand and W. Jesse Weins. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2014. 334p.

“Sexting among youth, the use of mobile technology to create and share sexual content and sexually explicit images of themselves and peers, has become a notable issue in recent years in the fields of social science, law, and public policy. This text synthesizes research findings and presents a comprehensive review of the topic in a multidisciplinary format. It is a timely and readable book fit for use in undergraduate and graduate classrooms, as well as college and public libraries. 

Sexting and Youth offers students and scholars a tool for understanding recent developments in this previously uncharted area, making contributions in the relevant fields and subfields of the topic. Chapters review introductory matters like the concepts and context surrounding youth sexting and the results of prevalence studies and the research methodologies used in determining the number of youths engaging in sexting. Chapters then consider social science matters like personal and behavioral motivations, adolescent sexual development and risky behavior associations, as well as cultural and sociological facets such as sex and technology and media activity and impact. The text concludes with chapters that analyze possible formal and informal social control techniques, including justice system issues, alternative responses or approaches, constitutional and privacy concerns, civil liability and tort questions, and education system liability. Bringing together many perspectives and reviewing theory and research from a variety of disciplines, this text presents youth sexting with new clarity, while exposing all of its complexity. It is the first of its kind, a comprehensive and multidisciplinary review of the topic. 

Contributing authors include, among others, researchers and faculty from the University of Texas Medical Branch and UT Prevention Research Center, The Ohio State University, University of Louisville (Brandeis) School of Law, and the Australian Institute of Criminology.” From Publisher’s website.

The Skin of Murder Victims: Fingerprints and Other Evidence, by Brian Dalrymple. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2014. 208p.

“This full-color book focuses on the detection and recovery of the most powerful kind of physical evidence: the traces left behind by a killer on the body of his victim, most notably fingerprints, but also other important transfers, including shoeprints, blood impressions and writing — evidence that has been found concurrent with the search for fingerprints. Very little other evidence offers such a high inculpatory or exculpatory potential.

The search for fingerprints on the skin of murder victims began in the 1930s, with the inception of a relatively minor technique for difficult surfaces. Decades later, it would be the center of the first comprehensive research into detecting fingerprints on human skin, using actual cadavers. The highly successful results would lead a Canadian police force to be the first to formally offer this service to homicide investigators.  Other periodic case successes would be reported over the following years, featuring a range of methods.

Body examinations are time and planning dependent, must be conducted prior to or concurrent with the autopsy process, and require the cooperation and approval of the medical examiners, pathologists and other partners in the investigation of homicide, all of whom will find this information valuable. Homicide is the most serious offense investigated by police. Hidden evidence of many kinds lies on the skin of murder victims, to remain concealed unless it is sought by those with the knowledge and intention to find it. The precise procedures, formulas and equipment of proven successful techniques are outlined, providing critical information for all professionals in homicide investigation who desire not only to apply the methods correctly, but also to add this technology to their program delivery.” From Publisher’s webpage.

Social Networking as a Criminal Enterprise, edited by Catherine D. Marcum and George E. Higgins. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 2014. 253p.

“As social networking continues to evolve and expand, the opportunities for deviant and criminal behavior have multiplied. Social Networking as a Criminal Enterprise explores how new avenues for social networking criminality have affected our criminal justice system.

With insight from field experts, this book examines:

  • The history of social networking and the process of developing an online identity
  • Schools of criminological theory and how they relate to criminality on social networking websites
  • Forms of criminal behavior that can be performed utilizing social networking websites
  • Criminality via texting, identity theft, and hacking
  • Adolescents as offenders and victims in cyberbullying and digital piracy
  • Online sexual victimization, including child pornography and sexual solicitation of youth

The book concludes by discussing law enforcement’s response, including new techniques and training, type of evidence, and use of experts. It also discusses how the corrections system has been affected by these types of offenders.

Discussion questions at the end of each chapter encourage critical thinking and case studies help place the material in context. Ideal for students and scholars, the book offers a comprehensive examination of how the emergence of social networking has affected criminality online, and how it has impacted the criminal justice system.” From Publisher’s website.

The Structure and Limits of Criminal Law, edited by Paul H. Robinson. The International Library of Essays on Criminal Law Series. Farnham, Surrey, UK; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014. 636p.

“This volume brings together a collection of essays, many of them scholarly classics, which form part of the debates on three questions central to criminal law theory. The first of these questions is: what conduct should be necessary for criminal liability, and what sufficient? The answer to this question has wider implications for the debate about morality enforcement given the concern that the ‘harm principle’ may have collapsed under its own weight. Secondly, essays address the question of what culpability should be necessary for criminal liability, and what sufficient? Here, the battles continue over whether the formulation of doctrines - such as the insanity defense, criminal negligence, strict liability, and others - should ignore or minimize the extent of an offender's blameworthiness in the name of effective crime-control. Or, are methods of accommodating the tension now in sight? Finally, essays consider the question of how criminal law rules should be best organized into a coherent and clarifying doctrinal structure. The structure grown by the common law process competes not only with that of modern comprehensive codifications, such as the America Law Institute's Model Penal Code, but also with alternative structures imagined but not yet tried.” From Publisher’s website.

Toxic Couples: The Psychology of Domestic Violence, by Anna Motz. Abingdon, UK; New York: Routledge, 2014. 228p.

“Domestic violence is a major public health concern, affecting millions worldwide. It is underreported, often devastating and sometimes ends in murder. In Toxic Couples: The Psychology of Domestic Violence, Anna Motz integrates psychological and criminological data with clinical illustrations and discussion of current high-profile cases. She examines the complex manifestations and multiple causes of intimate partner violence.
Motz disentangles the roles played by those involved and examines the addictive nature of these damaging partnerships. The book describes various forms of abuse, including physical, sexual and emotional, and analyses how intimate partner violence can escalate to murder. She explores important factors including:

  • the role of addiction;
  • homelessness and vulnerability;
  • the intergenerational transmission of abuse;
  • sadomasochistic relationships;
  • honour-based violence.

The book emphasizes the significance of female- as well as male-perpetrated violence and outlines the powerful impact on the children of abusive parents, extending the clinical awareness of professionals working with those affected.

Toxic Couples: The Psychology of Domestic Violence is ideal for clinicians working with the victims and perpetrators of intimate partner violence, for students of psychology, gender studies and social care courses and for anyone interested in the psychological forces behind violence in relationships.” From Publisher’s website.

Transitional Justice Theories, edited by Susanne Buckley-Zistel, Teresa Koloma Beck, Christian Braun and Freiderike Mieth. Abingdon, UK; New York: Routledge, 2014. 228p.

Transitional Justice Theories is the first volume to approach the politically sensitive subject of post-conflict or post-authoritarian justice from a theoretical perspective. It combines contributions from distinguished scholars and practitioners as well as from emerging academics from different disciplines and provides an overview of conceptual approaches to the field. The volume seeks to refine our understanding of transitional justice by exploring often unarticulated assumptions that guide discourse and practice. To this end, it offers a wide selection of approaches from various theoretical traditions ranging from normative theory to critical theory. In their individual chapters, the authors explore the concept of transitional justice itself and its foundations, such as reconciliation, memory, and truth, as well as intersections, such as reparations, peace building, and norm compliance.

This book will be of particular interest for scholars and students of law, peace and conflict studies, and human rights studies. Even though highly theoretical, the chapters provide an easy read for a wide audience including readers not familiar with theoretical investigations.” From Publisher’s website.

Uncivil Youth: Race, Activism, and Affirmative Governmentality, by Soo Ah Kwon. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014. 184p.

“In Uncivil Youth, Soo Ah Kwon explores youth of color activism as linked to the making of democratic citizen-subjects. Focusing attention on the relations of power that inform the social and political practices of youth of color, Kwon examines how after-school and community-based programs are often mobilized to prevent potentially "at-risk" youth from turning to "juvenile delinquency" and crime. These sorts of strategic interventions seek to mold young people to become self-empowered and responsible citizens. Theorizing this mode of youth governance as "affirmative governmentality," Kwon investigates the political conditions that both enable youth of color to achieve meaningful change and limit their ability to do so given the entrenchment of nonprofits in the logic of a neoliberal state. She draws on several years of ethnographic research with an Oakland-based, panethnic youth organization that promotes grassroots activism among its second-generation Asian and Pacific Islander members (ages fourteen to eighteen). While analyzing the contradictions of the youth organizing movement, Kwon documents the genuine contributions to social change made by the young people with whom she worked in an era of increased youth criminalization and anti-immigrant legislation.” From Publisher’s website.

The Violence of Care: Rape Victims, Forensic Nurses, and Sexual Assault Intervention, by Sameena Mulla. New York: New York University Press, 2014. 288p.

“Every year in the U.S., thousands of women and hundreds of men participate in sexual assault forensic examinations. Drawing on four years of participatory research in a Baltimore emergency room, Sameena Mulla reveals the realities of sexual assault response in the forensic age. Taking an approach developed at the intersection of medical and legal anthropology, she analyzes the ways in which nurses work to collect and preserve evidence while addressing the needs of sexual assault victims as patients.

Mulla argues that blending the work of care and forensic investigation into a single intervention shapes how victims of violence understand their own suffering, recovery, and access to justice—in short, what it means to be a “victim”. As nurses race the clock to preserve biological evidence, institutional practices, technologies, and even state requirements for documentation undermine the way in which they are able to offer psychological and physical care. Yet most of the evidence they collect never reaches the courtroom and does little to increase the number of guilty verdicts. Mulla illustrates the violence of care with painstaking detail, illuminating why victims continue to experience what many call “secondary rape” during forensic intervention, even as forensic nursing is increasingly professionalized. Revictimization can occur even at the hands of conscientious nurses, simply because they are governed by institutional requirements that shape their practices.

The Violence of Care challenges the uncritical adoption of forensic practice in sexual assault intervention and post-rape care, showing how forensic intervention profoundly impacts the experiences of violence, justice, healing and recovery for victims of rape and sexual assault.” From Publisher’s website.

Voices from American Prisons: Faith, Education, and Healing, by Kaia Stern. Abingdon, UK; New York: Routledge, 2014. 216p.

Voices From American Prisons: Faith, Education and Healing is a comprehensive and unique contribution to understanding the dynamics and nature of penal confinement. In this book, author Kaia Stern describes the history of punishment and prison education in the United States and proposes that specific religious and racial ideologies - notions of sin, evil and otherness - continue to shape our relationship to crime and punishment through contemporary penal policy. Inspired by people who have lived, worked, and studied in U.S. prisons, Stern invites us to rethink the current ‘punishment crisis’ in the United States.

Based on in-depth interviews with people who were incarcerated, as well as extensive conversations with students, teachers, corrections staff, and prison administrators, the book introduces the voices of those who have participated in the few remaining post-secondary education programs that exist behind bars. Drawing on individual narrative and various modern day case examples, Stern focuses on dehumanization, resistance, and community transformation. She demonstrates how prison education is essential, can provide healing, and yet is still not enough to interrupt mass incarceration. In short, this book explores the possibility of transformation from a retributive punishment system to a system of justice.

The book’s engaging, human accounts and multidisciplinary perspective will appeal to criminologists, sociologists, historians, theologians and scholars of education alike. Voices from American Prisons will also capture general readers who are interested in learning about a timely and often silenced reality of contemporary modern society.” From Publisher’s website.

We Sell Drugs: The Alchemy of US Empire, by Suzanna Reiss. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2014. 328p.

“This history of US-led international drug control provides new perspectives on the economic, ideological, and political foundations of a Cold War American empire. US officials assumed the helm of international drug control after World War II at a moment of unprecedented geopolitical influence embodied in the growing economic clout of its pharmaceutical industry.

We Sell Drugs is a study grounded in the transnational geography and political economy of the coca-leaf and coca-derived commodities market stretching from Peru and Bolivia into the United States. More than a narrow biography of one famous plant and its equally famous derivative products—Coca-Cola and cocaine—this book situates these commodities within the larger landscape of drug production and consumption. Examining efforts to control the circuits through which coca traveled, Suzanna Reiss provides a geographic and legal basis for considering the historical construction of designations of legality and illegality.

The book also argues that the legal status of any given drug is largely premised on who grew, manufactured, distributed, and consumed it and not on the qualities of the drug itself. Drug control is a powerful tool for ordering international trade, national economies, and society’s habits and daily lives.

In a historical landscape animated by struggles over political economy, national autonomy, hegemony, and racial equality, We Sell Drugs insists on the socio-historical underpinnings of designations of legality to explore how drug control became a major weapon in asserting control of domestic and international affairs.” From Publisher’s website.

What About Mozart? What About Murder? Reasoning from Cases, by Howard S. Becker. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2013. 224p.

“In 1963, Howard S. Becker gave a lecture about deviance, challenging the then-conventional definition that deviance was inherently criminal and abnormal and arguing that instead, deviance was better understood as a function of labeling. At the end of his lecture, a distinguished colleague standing at the back of the room, puffing a cigar, looked at Becker quizzically and asked, ‘What about murder? Isn’t that really deviant?’ It sounded like Becker had been backed into a corner. Becker, however, wasn’t defeated! Reasonable people, he countered, differ over whether certain killings are murder or justified homicide, and these differences vary depending on what kinds of people did the killing. In What About Mozart? What About Murder?, Becker uses this example, along with many others, to demonstrate the different ways to study society, one that uses carefully investigated, specific cases and another that relies on speculation and on what he calls ‘killer questions,’ aimed at taking down an opponent by citing invented cases.

Becker draws on a lifetime of sociological research and wisdom to show, in helpful detail, how to use a variety of kinds of cases to build sociological knowledge. With his trademark conversational flair and informal, personal perspective Becker provides a guide that researchers can use to produce general sociological knowledge through case studies. He champions research that has enough data to go beyond guesswork and urges researchers to avoid what he calls ‘skeleton cases,’ which use fictional stories that pose as scientific evidence. Using his long career as a backdrop, Becker delivers a winning book that will surely change the way scholars in many fields approach their research.” From Publisher’s website.

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