New Foundations: Pseudo-pacification and special liberty as potential cornerstones of a multi-level theory of homicide and serial murder

Stephen Hall, David Wilson

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    Abstract

    Over the past thirty years the industrialised West has witnessed a move towards space, heterogeneity and subjectivity in the criminological study of violence and homicide. Whilst large-scale quantitative studies of the temporal and spatial distribution of homicide continue to provide a broad empirical context, aetiological explanations tend to be based on analyses of the heterogeneous psychological interactions and experiences of individual subjects at the micro-level. However, mid-range studies of the temporal and spatial distribution of perpetrators and victims of homicide between unrelated adults have provided a useful link between the micro and macro-levels. Focusing primarily on British homicide and serial murder, this article attempts to strengthen this link by combining contemporary micro-analyses of the subjective motives of perpetrators with mid-range analyses of space, which can therefore be seen as part of the structural tradition of theorising about homicide and serial murder. Placing these analyses in a broad underlying context constituted by major historical shifts in political economy and the cultural forms of ‘pseudo-pacification’ and ‘special liberty’ will lay the initial cornerstones for an integrated multi-level theory.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)635-655
    JournalEuropean Journal of Criminology
    Volume11
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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