Crime, Punishment, and Social Structures of Accumulation: Toward a New and Much Needed Political-Economy of Justice

Raymond J Michalowski Jr, Susan M. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


The political-economic processes subsumed under the term globalization are remaking nearly every facet of social life, including patterns of crime and justice. Nevertheless, most criminological theory focuses on the etiology of individual crime causation or on failures in local-level institutions, giving little attention to the role of larger-scale sociological forces. The authors propose that there is a need to develop theoretical and methodological strategies that can capture the impact of structural change on patterns of crime and justice. The authors suggest that social structure of accumulation theory offers a useful model for incorporating current macro-social changes into theory and research in criminology. To substantiate this argument, the authors offer a detailed exploration of how changes in labor regimes and related shifts in the balance of placative versus repressive control strategies played key roles in shaping crime problems and patterns of justice in the 20th century.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-292
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Contemporary Criminal Justice
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law

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