Order, Conflict Resolution and Crime - Centre for Criminal Justice Studies Annual Lecture 2018 - Professor Philip Stenning
The Centre of Criminal Justice Studies, University of Leeds was delighted to welcome Professor Philip Stenning, Honorary Professor, University KwaZulu-Natal, Durban & Adjunct Professor Griffith Criminology Institute. Prof. Stenning talk concerned "Order, conflict resolution and crime: re-thinking the role of the state in the 21st Century" and will be of interest to anyone with an interest in criminal justice studies, law, politics, social contract theory, citizen rights, human rights, governance, crime and disorder. Abstract In 1651, Thomas Hobbes, in his book Leviathan, argued in favour of all men [sic.] surrendering their exclusive, inherent right to govern themselves to a ruler or “Assembly of Men”, as the only way of avoiding a “war of all against all”, in which life is “poor, nasty, brutish and short”. Since then, the state has increasingly claimed a monopoly over the legitimate use of force, and the right to make laws against crimes against the state, persons and property, and to establish criminal justice institutions to enforce them. In this talk I briefly trace the history of this liberal democratic idea of the relationship between the citizen and the state in the governance of crime and disorder, through the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries, to the early years of the 21st century. I then consider, in light of the current state of crime and the criminal justice system in Britain, the arguments that have been raised during the last 50 years or so, suggesting that the time may have come to reconsider the ‘social contract’ that was advocated by thinkers such as Hobbes, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, particularly as it applies to the role of the state with respect to the governance of crime and disorder. I pose the question as to whether the role of the state in this respect has exceeded reasonable and rational limits, and if so, how it might best be ‘rolled back’ in favour of greater citizens’ responsibility and participation with respect to addressing threats against their safety and security.
Prof Philip Stenning, onorary Professor, University KwaZulu-Natal, Durban & Adjunct Professor Griffith Criminology Institute
7/12/2018 2:51:00 PM

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