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The University of Southampton
Institute of Criminal Justice Research

Exploring the long term effects of 'Thatcherite' social and economic policies for crime Event

29 April 2015
Building 4, Room 3057, Highfield Campus

For more information regarding this event, please email Dr Phil Palmer at .

Event details

In this talk we explore how the Thatcher governments of the 1980s altered key social and economic institutions and in so doing may have contributed to the dramatic rises in crime witnessed in England and Wales through the 1980s and 1990s. We develop a theoretical model that draws upon historical institutionalism, socio-economic models of offending, competition over issue ownership by political parties and mass opinion towards crime and criminal justice. We argue that the New Right policies of the 1980s contributed to social disturbance and socio-economic conditions commonly associated with rises in crime. In turn this led to increased pressure for social control, increasingly punitive mass opinion, and the politicisation of crime and criminal justice policy-making. Our story focuses on four policy domains (the economy, housing, social security and education policies) and associated trends in offending and public opinion towards crime and criminal justice, using longitudinal data on government policies, rhetoric of key actors, socio-economic data, official crime statistics and cross-sectional data from surveys (such as the British Crime Survey and British Social Attitudes Survey).

Exploring the long term effects of Thatcherite policies for crime
Farrall, Jennings and Gray

Speaker information

Professor Stephen Farrall ,Chair of Criminology at the University of Sheffield,Stephen is currently Chair of Criminology at the University of Sheffield. Prior to that he taught at the Universities of Oxford and Keele. His research has focused on the fear of crime (especially how best to measure it), why people stop offending, middle-class crimes, and crime histories. His other research interests include the long-term impact of Thatcherite social and economic policies on Crime, and cognitive interviewing to improve survey questions

Professor Will Jennings ,Will is Professor of Political Science and Public Policy and Director of the Centre for Citizenship, Globalisation and Governance at the University of Southampton. He is currently engaged in several on-going research projects and collaborations. These include a project on 'The Politics of Competence' (with Jane Green, University of Manchester), which is investigating how voters evaluate the competence of political parties and on 'Long-term Trajectories of Crime in the UK’.

Dr Emily Gray,Research Associate at the University of Sheffield,Emily has worked on worked on an ESRC study inspecting the methodological and theoretical particularities of research on the fear of crime.

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