Anarchist criminology

Luis A. Fernandez, Geert Dhondt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Anarchist criminology is founded on an uncompromising critique of law, power and the state as it relates to crime and harm. It has loose and expansive boundaries, and has close kinship to other theories, including postmodernism, feminism, abolitionism and radical criminology. In the 1990s, anarchist criminologists embraced a more cultural approach that was in part influenced by postmodern theory. Scholars like Jeff Ferrell, for instance, described crime not only as a social construction but also as a symbolic system that censures large portions of marginalized populations, resulting in the reproduction of unequal structural conditions. Anarchist criminology continued to grow in the 2000s, with other scholars picking up the approach to study other areas in criminology. In his book Lost in Space, Randall Amster examined how the legal system criminalized the homeless population through local regulatory measures to ‘clean’ and ‘sanitize’ urban spaces to facilitate middle-class comfort and consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Criminological Theory and Concepts
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781317593522
ISBN (Print)9781138818996
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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