REFLECTIONS ON SOME OF THE PROBLEMS OF CONTEMPORARY CRIMINOLOGY: INVITATION TO A DEBATE
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In the authoress' view there seems to be a pressing need for a discussion about contemporary criminology and the challenges confronting it in today's world. One might ask whether the findings of studies carried out to date are still applicable in analysis of contemporary crime which has become different in kind and degree and occurs in an immensely more complicated social reality. Another question (and source of concern) regards the criminologists' ability to analyze crime in circumstances of social change. Misgivings on this matter are aroused by a tendency to concentrate more on description of contemporary crime (e.g. in countries in the process of transition) than on investigation of its causes. There are, therefore, grounds for wondering about the utility of traditional criminological theories and the possibilities of accounting, at the theoretical level, of the factors underlying contemporary changes in crime. At a time of manipulation of the public's fears of crime can criminologists make any effective contribution to formulation of policies in this field? What should the research priorities to be in an age of so-called 'new threats' from crime? Is there still a place for investigation of the issue of norms and values (especially in the context of the differences between criminals and non-criminals)? How is the state of criminology affected by internationalization of crime, advances in communications and globalization? It seems obvious that it is time to embark on research projects of a cross-cultural nature - but is cooperation between criminologists hailing from decidedly differing cultural backgrounds feasible? Lastly, does criminology's accomplishments to date entitle us to draw conclusions about contemporary crime?
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