Sub-Plenary Panel: Southern Criminology

Kerry Carrington (chair), Kate Fitzgibbon and Rob White

One of the outstanding contributions of ‘southern theory’ (Connell, 2007; Carrington, Hogg & Sozzo, 2015) is that it propels us to consider the importance of the periphery in assessing knowledge and experiences that too often are interpreted solely from a universalising ‘northern’ perspective. Acknowledgement is needed, therefore, that the geographical and metaphorical ‘south’ likewise has its contributions to a needed global dialogue about ‘what is’ and ‘what ought to be’, about what and who counts or should count, and about the state of the planet generally. This sub-panel showcases how southern criminology is transforming and de-colonising criminological knowledge, bridging global divides and challenging the hegemony of northern theory.

Theorising southern masculinities and violence

Professor Kerry Carrington, School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology

This paper re- theorises the connections between masculinities in the peripheral worlds of the global south.  That the criminal was a monster, an evolutionary degenerate from a primitive culture or species from the global south, was central to the origin stories of criminology. Criminological theory which attributes violence to the manifestation of dangerous masculinities is a product of metropolitan thinking – first articulated in the writings of Lombroso, but re-articulated and embedded more widely in twentieth century criminological thought. The paper argues that the ‘darker’, ‘hairier’ and ‘muscular’ masculinities of the global south translated into a prototype of male delinquency that has captivated the criminological imagination well into the present. The paper concludes that it is mistaken to conceive the violence unleashed by troubled masculinities this way. On the contrary their violence springs not from any innate individualised pathology, or genetic degeneracy,  but a social collectivity of threatened masculinities shaped by the coloniality of gender – that is how the social and historical making of masculinities in the south were shaped by legacies of colonialism (Connell, 2014).

Biography – Professor Kerry Carrington

Professor Kerry Carrington is the Head of the School of Justice in the Faculty of Law at Queensland University of Technology. She is the recipient of the 2014 American Society of Criminology Lifetime Achievement award and the 2013 American Society of Criminology, Distinguished Scholar Award, from the Division of Women and Crime.  Kerry is a sought-after speaker and passionate advocate for the democratisation of knowledge, establishing Australia’s first open access free on-line journal in the discipline – The International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy.  Kerry is an internationally leading scholar in criminology with expertise across a number of fields including: southern criminology, youth justice, masculinity and violence, and gender and global justice.

The four ways of eco-global criminology

Professor Rob White, School of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania, Australia

In charting out the ‘four ways’ of eco-global criminology, this paper discusses the importance of recognising and acting in regards to the differences evident in (1) ways of being (ontology), (2) ways of knowing (epistemology), (3) ways of doing (methodology) and (4) ways of valuing (axiology).  The paper assumes and asserts that global study of environmental crime is essential to the green criminology project, and particularly an eco-global criminology approach. Specific instances of criminal and harmful activity therefore need to be analysed in the context of broad international social, political, economic and ecological processes. The article outlines the key ideas of eco-global criminology, a perspective that argues that global study must always be inclusive of voices from the periphery and margins of the world’s metropolitan centres, and critical of the social relations that sustain the epistemological as well as material realities and legacies of colonialism and imperialism. Yet, in doing so there arise many paradoxes and conundrums that likewise warrant close attention.

The changing landscape of Australian responses to intimate partner violence: Examining the implications of policy transfer from the global north to the global south

Kate Fitz-Gibbon (presenting), Monash University and Sandra Walklate

The last decade has seen unprecedented policy attention focused on the prevalence of, and responses to intimate partner violence in the Australian community.  System reviews, held at the state and national level, have highlighted the inadequacy of system responses to intimate partner violence as well as the tendency for Australian jurisdictions to look beyond its own borders to interventions introduced in the north when determining new policy directions. This paper considers the implications of the criminological embrace of international policy in seeking to improve responses to intimate partner violence. We adopt this focus in recognition of the significant policy activity introduced in this area in recent years, both within and beyond the global south.

In order to examine the extent to which policies introduced in the north can offer meaningful interventions in the south, this paper falls into three parts. First we consider what counts as intimate partner violence and how this differs across regions and cultures spanning the global north and south. In the second part we shall consider the different ways in which understanding violence against women has led to variant strands of intervention and the ways in which interventions in the global south have learnt from but also diverged away from the learnings of the global north. In the third part, using policy interventions in the United Kingdom and Australia as our examples we consider the extent to which Northern theorised interventions have been successfully (or otherwise) deployed in each of these countries to address intimate partner violence.

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