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Crime and Risk

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Crime and Risk

Pat O'Malley

Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 31, 2012 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781446251362 | Print ISBN: 9781847873514 | Online ISBN: 9781446251362 | Publisher:SAGE Publications Ltd

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Chapter Three: Crime, Risk and Excitement

Crime, risk and excitement Most crime has always involved some degree of conscious or unconscious risk-taking. Criminal behaviour is thus, in important ways, set at 180 degrees to contemporary crime control along an axis of risk. Much crime control aims to increase the risks confronting offenders and thus to deter crime. This may sound obvious, but it's not. To begin with, the idea of criminals as conscious risk-takers, as opposed to simply evil-doers, owes its modern origins to the classical criminology of Bentham and Beccaria. The idea of generating a systematic and continuously operating crime control apparatus intended to increase the risk to offenders is quite modern, and in the common law world this owes its origins to the capitalist and liberal ‘revolutions’ of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Moreover, these revolutions were associated with a wide-ranging project to transform the bulk of the population into calculating risk-avoiders ...

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