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Reexamining Political Economy and Crime and Explaining the Crime Drop

NCJ Number
Journal of Crime and Justice Volume: 36 Issue: 2 Dated: July 2013 Pages: 248-262
Michael J. Lynch
Date Published
July 2013
15 pages
This article examines the political economic theory and its explanation of crime.
Critical criminologists have ignored the crime drop, and have failed to undertake efforts to explain this phenomenon. As a result, explanations of the crime drop are entirely explored from an orthodox criminological position, and have made rare reference to economic factors as explanatory variables related to the crime drop. The present article addresses that deficiency by exploring advances in political economic explanation of trends in the U.S. economy, and relating those trends to the long-term (1950-2007) crime trend, and the shorter-term crime drop era (1992-present). The decline of manufacturing, the rise of the service sector, and the transition from Fordist, liberal political economic conditions to Post-Fordist, neoliberal political economic conditions are employed to explore their potential impact on the rate of crime. Abstract published by arrangement with Taylor and Francis.