Increasing criminalization of dissent and protest in Western liberal democ racies received relatively little attention in the past but is now becoming a significant field of research within criminology and the social sciences more generally. The specialist literature can usefully be linked to a wider literature that extends to work on protest policing and social movements and to sociolegal analyses of criminalization. There is a striking connection, still relatively unexplored, between criminalization of ordinary crime and urban marginality and criminalization of protest. Both are often treated by policy makers as serious threats to the use of public space in the neoliberal city and are increasingly being dealt with by means of similar criminal and noncriminal measures. The literature on the “punitive turn,” mostly related to street crime, for example, provides theoretical insights and concepts that illuminate efforts to understand punitive responses to activists in the context of profit-driven neoliberal societies. Recent experience and research, particularly in Spain, Italy, and England and Wales, demonstrate these processes of criminalization and the existence of strong similarities between punitive methods targeting ordinary crime, urban marginality and disorder, and political protest, including recent eco-activism.

The Criminalization of Dissent and Protest

Rossella Selmini
Primo
;
Anna Di Ronco
2023

Abstract

Increasing criminalization of dissent and protest in Western liberal democ racies received relatively little attention in the past but is now becoming a significant field of research within criminology and the social sciences more generally. The specialist literature can usefully be linked to a wider literature that extends to work on protest policing and social movements and to sociolegal analyses of criminalization. There is a striking connection, still relatively unexplored, between criminalization of ordinary crime and urban marginality and criminalization of protest. Both are often treated by policy makers as serious threats to the use of public space in the neoliberal city and are increasingly being dealt with by means of similar criminal and noncriminal measures. The literature on the “punitive turn,” mostly related to street crime, for example, provides theoretical insights and concepts that illuminate efforts to understand punitive responses to activists in the context of profit-driven neoliberal societies. Recent experience and research, particularly in Spain, Italy, and England and Wales, demonstrate these processes of criminalization and the existence of strong similarities between punitive methods targeting ordinary crime, urban marginality and disorder, and political protest, including recent eco-activism.
2023
Rossella Selmini; Anna Di Ronco
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/958859
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