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Researching cross-national policy mobilities in crime control

Jones, Trevor, Blaustein, Jarrett and Newburn, Tim (2019) Researching cross-national policy mobilities in crime control. Criminology and Criminal Justice. ISSN 1748-8958 (In Press)

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Abstract

The empirical study of ‘policy transfer’ and related topics remains a relatively rare enterprise in criminology. Comparative studies of crime control policy have tended to focus on broader structural explanations on the one hand, or more focused socio-cultural analyses on the other. By contrast, scholars from other disciplinary traditions – including political science, public administration, comparative social policy, and human geography – have developed a vibrant body of empirical research into the dynamics and wider impacts of cross-jurisdictional flows of policy ideas, programmes and practices. This body of work provides helpful methodological pointers to criminologists interested in carrying out such work within the field of crime control. The paper argues that the relative lack of empirical research on cross-national crime policy movement arises from two main factors: first, a generalised sense that the topic is of rather minor importance and second, a lack of methodological clarity about how such research might proceed. Such methodological barriers have arguably been further strengthened by major critiques of the political science frameworks of ‘policy transfer’ that have been influential in the field. Our starting point is that cross-national policy movement is a worthwhile and important subject for Abstract: The empirical study of ‘policy transfer’ and related topics remains a relatively rare enterprise in criminology. Comparative studies of crime control policy have tended to focus on broader structural explanations on the one hand, or more focused socio-cultural analyses on the other. By contrast, scholars from other disciplinary traditions – including political science, public administration, comparative social policy, and human geography – have developed a vibrant body of empirical research into the dynamics and wider impacts of cross-jurisdictional flows of policy ideas, programmes and practices. This body of work provides helpful methodological pointers to criminologists interested in carrying out such work within the field of crime control. The paper argues that the relative lack of empirical research on cross-national crime policy movement arises from two main factors: first, a generalised sense that the topic is of rather minor importance and second, a lack of methodological clarity about how such research might proceed. Such methodological barriers have arguably been further strengthened by major critiques of the political science frameworks of ‘policy transfer’ that have been influential in the field. Our starting point is that cross-national policy movement is a worthwhile and important subject for criminologists to explore, and the paper considers extant methodological approaches and potential future directions, drawing in particular on wider work within political science and human geography. We argue that there is significant potential for criminologists to both learn from, and contribute to, the methodological approaches that have been deployed by researchers working in other disciplines and thus enhance substantive knowledge about the concept of policy mobilities.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 The Authors
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2019 14:21
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2019 23:16
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/101014

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