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Title: Even before spatialising the hotspot : theoretical approaches towards understanding environmental criminology
Authors: Formosa, Saviour
Keywords: Criminology -- Malta
Spatial analysis (Statistics)
Crime analysis
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: University of Malta
Citation: Formosa, S. (2013). Even before spatialising the hotspot : theoretical approaches towards understanding environmental criminology. In J. Azzopardi, S. Formosa, S. Scicluna and A. Willis (Eds.) (2013), Key issues in criminology : JANUS III. Msida: University of Malta. 183-217.
Abstract: Crime is not an easily-explainable concept. Definitions of crime differ according to the school-of-thought but the main tenets are universal. These include harm caused to victims, social consensus and official societal response (McLaughlin and Muncie, 2001, 59). The sociological impact of crime is put into context by Durkheim’s statement that: “It is impossible for offences against the most fundamental collective sentiments to be tolerated without the disintegration of society, and it is necessary to combat them with the aid of the particularly energetic reaction which attaches to moral rules” (Durkheim, 1933, p. 397). The theoretical debate developed from the harm-based theory of Jeremy Bentham to Sellin’s science of criminal behaviour that looked at “naturally existing conduct norms”, to rule-relativist theory and radical conflict theory. Critical conflict theorists view crime in connection with an independent notion of “human rights” as against laws, which argument was further developed by postmodernists as a dynamic evaluation of harm where each case “is a moment of expression of power” (Henry and Milovanovic, 1996, 104).
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