Source: (2003) A paper given at the London School of Economics on Thursday, 12 June 2003. Oxford: Centre for Criminological Research and Probation Studies Unit, University of Oxford. Downloaded 17 September 2003.

This paper explores the ideas of citizenship, social capital and community, and of personal and social responsibility, which have become prominent in political debate in Great Britain, especially since the election of the Labour Government in 1997, and in a number of other, mostly English-speaking, countries, over the same period. It takes note of the changing nature of the debate, and applies those ideas to the country’s response to crime, to the current issues regarding the nature and purpose of criminal justice, and to the structure and accountability of the criminal justice services. It draws attention to the limitations of the criminal justice system, and of the state, in providing a solution to an increasing range of problems connected with crime and the various forms of unacceptable behaviour and the social disorder; and suggests that ideas of citizenship can help to illuminate existing policies and practices, and offer a sense of purpose and direction which will give vitality and legitimacy to developments in the future. It concludes with a number of questions, of the kind which Hermann Mannheim was beginning to ask in his lectures at the London School of Economics over sixty years ago and which may be equally relevant to-day. (author's abstract)

Read Full Article