CRIMINOLOGY THEORIES.pdf

CRIMINOLOGY THEORIES.pdf - Terrorism Exploring Criminology...

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ABSTRACT The study of terrorism is relatively new in Criminology. Terrorism has been extensively researched and discussed in political science, policy studies, international relations and law. The dearth of literature on terrorism in Criminology has prompted Richard Rosenfeld, a renown professor in Criminology to write “Why Criminologists should study terrorism?” in The Criminologist, the official newsletter of the American Society of Criminology at the end of 2002. After September 11, 2001, there is more interest in studying terrorism as a criminal phenomenon. More research and publications in this topic are being carried out in the area of Criminology. This paper surveys existing literature on terrorism in Criminology as well as Sociology of Deviance. Discussions that have been brought up include studying terrorism as another form of criminal behaviour, defining it as a political and/or violent crime and using structural and rational choice theories to explain the criminogenic behaviour. This paper will conclude with showing the important relevance of Criminology in studying terrorism and introducing other possible criminology theories that could be used to explain the phenomenon. Keywords: terrorism, criminology, criminology theories, differential association theory, neutralization theory. INTRODUCTION Terrorism has been researched and discussed extensively in political science, policy studies, international relations and law. However, it is a relatively new research area in Criminology although it has traditionally been treated as a crime by the US government (Harvard Law Review, 2002; 1224). Many researchers have also considered terrorism as a type of political crime (Ross, 1993; 318). As such, theories of crime causation are relevant in the study of terrorism. However, there is still a dearth of literature on terrorism in Criminology. This prompted Richard Rosenfeld, a renowned professor in Criminology, to write in 2002 “Why Criminologists should study terrorism?” in The Criminologist, the official newsletter of the American Society of Criminology. To Rosenfeld, terrorism is a form of interpersonal violence which criminologists have been studying extensively. Terrorism and interpersonal violence share basic properties and is a subject for Criminology theory and research. Rosenfeld pointed out that terrorism is justice- oriented violence with a decidedly predatory character which could be studied within the theoretical framework criminologists study other forms of violence (p.3). Moreover, Criminology theories will be able to enrich the study of terrorism because they bring an understanding of the purposeful nature of all types of interpersonal violence to the study of political violence. Rosenfeld explained that perhaps criminologists did not study terrorism because they did not believe terrorism had much in common with street crime, youthful aggression, drug markets, domestic abuse or other subjects they felt comfortable addressing (p.2). Other reasons listed by Rosenfeld include (p.2-3): 1.
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