Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A Tale Of Two Capitalisms: Research Into Homicide Rates And The Link To Political Economies

Date:
September 4, 2009
Source:
Northumbria University
Summary:
Homicide rates are closely linked to the form of political economy that runs a nation, according to a new study. Researchers claim that homicide rates are significantly higher in nations in neo-liberal politics where free market forces are allowed free rein, such as the USA, but are significantly lower in nations governed by social-democratic policies which still characterize most Western European nations.

Homicide rates are closely linked to the form of political economy that runs a nation, according to research from Northumbria University.

Related Articles


Senior Lecturers, Dr Steve Hall and Dr Craig McLean, claim in the latest international journal Theoretical Criminology that homicide rates are significantly higher in nations in neo-liberal politics where free market forces are allowed free rein, such as the USA, but are significantly lower in nations governed by social-democratic policies which still characterise most Western European nations.

Historically, says Hall, homicide rates are at their lowest when social-democratic policies govern nations. The US homicide rate was halved in the decades following the Depression, when the social democratic policies of the New Deal replaced ailing free-market policies. The nation experienced an initial rise from the mid-60s, when the nation’s brief social democratic project began to wind down, followed by sharp increases during the ‘crime explosion’ of the mid-80s and early 90s which followed Reagan’s abrupt introduction of free-market policies. Rates were eventually brought down in the late 90s, but only by imprisoning large numbers of violent offenders.

Similarly, in Britain, the homicide rate has almost tripled since its historical low point in 1956. These figures are even worse in areas blighted by job losses in the 1980s which have stayed in permanent recession. Hall claims that some of these areas have become breeding grounds for alternative forms of criminal ‘employment’– prostitution, loan-sharking, drug-dealing and distributing stolen goods, most of which appears on neither the Police nor British Crime Survey statistics. In some of the former industrial areas and inner cities devastated under Mrs Thatcher’s reign, homicide rates are six times higher than the national average. This contrasts sharply with Western European cities where the homicide rate is much closer to their national averages.

In the current recession, property crime is already on the increase and he predicts there will be a rise in career criminality, particularly as the UK has the highest number of young people not in work, education or training in Europe.

Hall lays most of the responsibility for higher crime rates at the door of the neo-liberals who claim competitive individualism and greed can be stimulated and harnessed to create wealth. That might be true, he argues, but it also corrodes our ability to empathise with others.

Hall said: “Britain and the US have the worst violent crime rates of the industrialised west – far worse than Western continental Europe – because we have the most competitive, individualist culture and the least developed sense of solidarity and common fate. In addition, consumer culture instils in so many individuals from an early age that their identities are incomplete without the status symbols carried by consumer goods, which of course makes crimes an attractive option for those who simply cannot afford to buy these goods.’’

Hall and McLean have conducted their research as part of a long-term study of the criminal community in the North East of England.

Hall has published widely on the subjects of violence, masculinity, consumerism and criminology theory. His most recent book Criminal Identities and Consumer Culture, published in 2008, received international acclaim.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northumbria University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Northumbria University. "A Tale Of Two Capitalisms: Research Into Homicide Rates And The Link To Political Economies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090904103525.htm>.
Northumbria University. (2009, September 4). A Tale Of Two Capitalisms: Research Into Homicide Rates And The Link To Political Economies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090904103525.htm
Northumbria University. "A Tale Of Two Capitalisms: Research Into Homicide Rates And The Link To Political Economies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090904103525.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can Bitcoin Survive 2015?

Can Bitcoin Survive 2015?

Newsy (Dec. 22, 2014) Bitcoin's stock has tumbled significantly this year, but more companies now accept it, leading supporters and critics alike to weigh in on its future. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Americans Drink More in the Winter

Americans Drink More in the Winter

Buzz60 (Dec. 22, 2014) The BACtrack breathalyzer app analyzed Americans' blood alcohol content and found out a whole lot of interesting things about their drinking habits. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Cheap Oil Help Fix U.S. Roads?

Could Cheap Oil Help Fix U.S. Roads?

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) As falling oil prices boost Americans' spending power, the U.S. government is also gaining flexibility from savings on oil. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins