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Classic Writings in Anarchist Criminology: A Historical Dismantling of Punishment and Domination

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Edited by Anthony J. Nocella II, Mark Seis, and Jeff Shantz

AK Press

5/12/2020, paperback

SKU: 9781849353793

In recent years, social movements of all sorts have been redefining ideas of justice by exposing the social and economic causes of crime and calling for an end to punitive institutions such as prison, the death penalty, and migrant detention. Headline news about overcrowded prisons, for-profit prisons, prisoners exonerated after spending much of their lives behind bars, and the like have been feeding demands for prison reform and even abolition.

Anarchists were among the earliest modern thinkers to offer a systemic critique of criminal justice and among the first to directly criticize academic criminology while formulating a critical criminology. They identified the sources of social problems in social structures and relations of inequality and recognized that the institutions preferred by mainstream criminologists as would-be solutions to social problems were actually the causes or enablers of those harms in the first place.

Anyone interested in the history of Critical Criminology, Restorative Justice, or Transformative Justice will find inspiration from this collection.

This volume collects critical writings on criminology from radicals and thinkers like William Godwin, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Mikahil Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin, Lucy Parsons, Emma Goldman, and many others.


"A rich and provocative collection of writings that contribute to current abolitionist movements--examining past thinkers enables us to better examine our current problems and imagine alternative solutions!" --Dr. Jason Del Gandio, co-editor of Spontaneous Combustion: The Eros Effect and Global Revolution.

"Classic Writing in Anarchist Criminology is a must-read book for those who know the criminal justice system is broken, and want effective solutions. This collection lays out the theoretical foundation for scholars, politicians, practices, and activists to create sound solutions, sure to challenge the failing criminal justice system." --Dr. Amber E. George, editor of Journal for Critical Animal Studies

"This book is an outstanding collection of classic writings on anarchism. This is a perfect book for courses in peace and conflict studies and sociology. This provides researchers a great scholarly resource on the history of alternatives to punishment, prisons, and punitive justice." --Dr. Erik Juergensmeyer, editor of Green Theory and Praxis Journal

"Classic Writings in Anarchist Criminology brings together an outstanding collection of essays written by some of the most intelligent and influential anarchists that have ever walked the earth. Importantly, their arguments continue to burn with a ferocious intensity, bringing new understanding and insight as to why social justice alternatives to crime and punishment are needed. My hope is that this powerful book will spark--or reignite--a beautiful spirit of revolt, resistance, and commitment to freedom for all, within those fortunate enough to read it." --Dr. Richard J. White, Sheffield Hallam University, UK.

About the Editors:

Anthony J. Nocella II, Ph.D., a scholar-activist, is an Assistant Professor of criminology and criminal justice at Salt Lake Community College and has published over fifty scholarly articles or book chapters and forty books. He is the editor of Peace Studies Journal, co-founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Critical Animal Studies, Director of the Academy for Peace Education, Editor of the Radical Animal Studies and Total Liberation book series, and National Co-Coordinator of Save the Kids

Mark Seis is Associate Professor of sociology at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. He has published on a variety of topics ranging from the juvenile death penalty, to environmental topics including the Clean Air Act, global warming, ozone depletion, and acid rain, to various types of environmental crime, to globalization and the environment, to issues concerning radical environmentalism. His primary research interests include sustainable communities, all things environment, anarchist studies, and radical pedagogy.

Jeff Shantz is an engaged activist scholar who has taught anarchist theories and practices in a variety of university classes and community-based courses, and who has decades of community organizing experience within social movements. He currently teaches critical theory, elite deviance, community and human rights in the Department of Criminology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Metro Vancouver, Canada. Shantz is the author of numerous books, including Commonist Tendencies: Mutual Aid Beyond Communism, Green Syndicalism: An Alternative Red/Green Vision, and Constructive Anarchy. Shantz is the co-founder of the Critical Criminology Working Group and the founding editor of the journal Radical Criminology