Source: (1996) Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology 29(2):121-141.

Braithwaite's republican theory of criminology (1989) claims to offer a new general theory of crime, an account of the good society and a set of policy prescriptions for effective crime control. This paper examines two central aspects of Braithwaite's work: his claim to why some individuals and societies exhibit more crime and the adequacy of his notion of good social science are severely wanting. The contemporary praise accorded Braithwaite's work is a sign both of intellectual desperation and of a pervasive nostalgia for a return to community exemplified in the work of communitarians like Macintyre (1981) and Bellah (1995).