Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Anarchist criminology is founded in a fundamental critique of legal authority and the law—a critique itself embedded in a broader anarchist challenge to power and control. Emerging from the political upheavals of the 19th and 20th centuries, this anarchist perspective is distinctive for its comprehensive confrontation with any and all forms of domination. Put differently, anarchist theorists do not set out to critique either racial discrimination or gendered inequality or economic injustice, for example, but instead to critique these and any other manifestations of power and domination. For them, systems of external, top-down authority destroy the humanity of those they dominate, no matter what form those systems may take. In place of such authoritarian systems and arrangements, anarchists seek to create social conditions that are more egalitarian and inclusive, and more open and fluid in their dynamics. Focusing this perspective specifically on crime and legal authority, anarchist criminologists argue that ...