28. Women, Crime and Social Harm. Towards a Criminology for the Global Age
Editors: Maureen Cain, Adrian Howe
2008 , 234 p. , ISBN: 9781841138428 (Hb) ; 9781841138411 (Pb) ; 9781847314703 (pdf)
This book of eleven chapters and an Introduction is by and about women, the harms and crimes to which they are subjected as a result of global social processes and their efforts to take control of their own futures. The chapters explore the criminogenic and damaging consequences of the policies of the global financial institutions as well as the effects of growing economic polarisation both in pockets of the developed world and most markedly in the global south. Reflecting on this evidence, in the Introduction the editors necessarily challenge existing criminological theory by expanding and elaborating a conception of social harm that encompasses this range of problems, and exposes where new solutions derived from criminological theory are necessary. A second theme addresses human rights from the standpoint of indigenous women, minority women and those seeking refuge. Inadequate and individualised as the human rights instruments presently are, for most of these women a politics of human rights emerges as central to the achieving of legal and political equality and protection from individual violence. Women in the poorest countries, however, are sceptical as to the efficacy of rights claims in the face of the depredations of international and global capital, and the social dislocation produced thereby. Nonetheless this is a hopeful book, emphasising the contribution which academic work can make, provided the methodology is appropriately gendered and sufficiently sensitive in its guiding ideology and techniques to hear and learn from the all too often 'glocalised' other. But in the end there is no solution without politics, and in both the opening and the closing sections of this book there are chapters which address this. What continues to be special about women's political practice is the connection between the groundedness of small groups and the fluidity and flexibility of regional and international networks: the effective politics of the global age. This book, then, is a new criminology for and by women, a book which opens up a new criminological terrain for both women and men - and a book which cannot easily be read without an emotional response.