Source: (2003) In, Kieran McEvoy and Tim Newburn,eds., Criminology, Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice. Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK and New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan. Pp. 21-44.

At a conference on justice, crime, and state control in South Africa in 1989, Dirk van Zyl Smit identified three intellectual currents in South African criminology: Afrikaner nationalist criminology; legal reformist criminology; and “a criminology for a democratic South Africa.â€? Those corresponded closely to conservative, liberal, and radical streams in criminological thought as seen in South Africa and other countries. Building on this typology as made concrete in the South African context, van Zyl Smit in this essay explores the impact of criminological ideas in recent South African history. More specifically, he traces the development of intellectual criminological trends in the period leading up to the first democratic elections. Then he examines the role they have played in the subsequent reformation of the South African criminal justice system.