Special Edition: Left Realism Today - Guest Editor’s Introduction


Since its birth in the mid-1980s, as a major variant of critical criminology, Left Realism continues to ebb and flow. Furthermore, not all Left realist contributions are alike and some are subject to very heated debates. The fact remains, however, that Left Realism is ‘alive and well’. Of course, given that I devoted 26 years of my life (much of it with Martin D Schwartz) to the realist project, I could easily be accused of being biased. Nonetheless, some contemporary empirical support for my claim is the recent publication of Roger Matthews’ (2014) book Realist Criminology. The main objective of this volume is to use this offering as a ‘launching pad’ or ‘springboard’ for broader analyses of the relevance of Left Realism to critical criminology as we know it today.

 Matthews’ piece is the lead article. Following this are six others that, in part, address his monograph and that also point us to new directions in Left realist ways of knowing. In keeping with the spirit of the International Journal of Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, the authors constitute an international cadre of progressive scholars, including me, Joseph Donnermeyer, Steve Hall, Russell Hogg, John Lea, Claire Renzetti, and Simon Winlow. It cannot be emphasized enough, though, that this special issue is not a ‘love-in’ and there is no ‘party line’ here. All of the authors have strong positions on topics of major concern to academics and activists seeking new ways of thinking critically about crime, law and social control.

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Published: 2016-09-01
Pages:1 to 1
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How to Cite
DeKeseredy, W. (2016) “Special Edition: Left Realism Today - Guest Editor’s Introduction”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 5(3), p. 1. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v5i3.346.

Author Biography

Professor Walter S. DeKeseredy is the Professor, Anna Deane Carlson Endowed Chair of Social Sciences, Director, Research Center on Violence West Virginia University. He is the co-recipient of UOIT's first Research Excellence Award, which was granted in the fall of 2007. Professor DeKeseredy is also the co-recipient of the American Society of Criminology's Division on Women and Crime's 2004 Distinguished Scholar Award. In 1995, he was awarded the American Society of Criminology's Division on Critical Criminology's Critical Criminologist of the Year Award. He was awarded the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Criminology's Division on Critical Criminology.
Author or co-author of more than 70 scientific journal articles and more than 30 scholarly book chapters, Professor DeKeseredy has authored or co-authored 15 books on topics such as:
-Crime and poverty in public housing;
-Woman abuse; and
-Women in conflict with the law.