Reflexivity and participatory policy ethnography: Situating the self in a transnational criminology of harm production

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The concept of reflexivity is central to research that aspires to interpret and reconstruct global, comparative and transnational dimensions of crime and its control. It is crucial for understanding how and why criminal justice policies travel between contexts and for interrogating the motives and the interests of the agents and the institutions which facilitate these ‘policy transfers’ Qones and Newburn 2007). Reflexivity in the context of global criminology can be understood as the idea that ‘[t]here is no one-way street between the researcher and the object of study; rather, the two affect each other mutually and continually in the course of the research process’ (Alvesson and Sköldberg 2009, 79). The reflexive praxis described by Alvesson and Sköldberg (2009) holds important methodological implications for criminologists who are interested in studying globalisation ‘as an interactive rather than a hegemonic process’ (Cain 2000), in other words, a process that is continuously shaped by local and global forces. The concept is therefore crucial for understanding how globalisation facilitates the diffusion of ‘Western’ mentalities of crime and punishment throughout the Global South (see Chan 2005) and it provides a vehicle for working towards the actualisation of what Bowling (2011, 374 original emphasis) describes as ‘a criminology of harm production emphasizing the role of the discipline in documenting the harms produced by global crime control practices and the role of criminologists in speaking truth to power…’.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationReflexivity in Criminological Research: Experiences with the Powerful and the Powerless
    Editors Karen Lumsden and Aaron Winter
    Place of PublicationHampshire, UK
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    ISBN (Print)978-1-137-37940-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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