Exploring Community Reactions to Sex Offender Notification in New Zealand: Establishing a Spectrum of Modernity

Ms Jordan Anderson1

1Victoria University Of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand

Throughout the main Anglo-American democracies, state power has been tested in recent decades by the presentation of the risks posed by sexual offenders. The release of a high-risk offender into a community is a microcosm of the modus operandi of the modern state, providing a context through which the operation of the modern risk society can be examined. This paper explores the reactions of New Zealand communities to instances of de facto community notification of sex offender release, and explains the differences in their reactions through the lens of Zygmunt Bauman’s (2000) Liquid Modernity. Through community case studies I examine the reactions of the community to instances of notification, the impact of these incidents for the community, and the implications of this for our understanding of risk society.


Jordan Anderson is currently completing her PhD in Criminology at the Institute of Criminology at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Her research focuses on risk and dangerousness in modern society, with particular attention to post-sentence regulation of sex offenders in New Zealand. Jordan’s research interests include risk, post-sentence regulation, sentencing, and youth justice.


Dec 09 2021