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Featured abstract from 2017 Crime & Justice in Asia & Global South Conference

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Next year, the Crime and Justice Research Centre will co-host the Crime and Justice in Asia and the Global South International Conference with the Asian Criminological Society. The conference will be held in Cairns from 10-13 July 2017 and will feature international speakers:

  • Professor Rosemary Barberet;
  • Professor Jiahong Liu;
  • Professor John Braithwaite; and
  • Professor Raewyn Connell.

To showcase the diversity of topics that will be presented during the conference, each week the CJRC blog will feature an accepted abstract from a presenter.

This week’s featured abstract is authored by Professor Sandra Walklate from the University of Liverpool (UK), who was recently successful in securing a CJRC Senior Fellow Scholarship in Southern Criminology.

In August, the CJRC awarded eleven successful applicants from around the world with Early-Career Researcher and Senior Fellow scholarships in Southern Criminology. The main purpose of the scholarships are to support the travel and attendance to the 2017 conference and to support collaborative research with CJRC scholars on topics related to developing the projects of Southern Criminology. A list of the successful applicants can be accessed here.

Featured abstract: 

“Criminology, Gender, and Risk: The dilemmas of Northern theorising for Southern responses to violence against women.”

by Professor Sandra Walklate

Criminology’s unitary and unifying embrace of risk (O’Malley 2004) is also a gendered one (Walklate 1997; Chan and Rigakos 2002). This gendered understanding of risk constructs women as risk avoiders rather than risk seekers with the resultant effect that risk itself is assumed to be gender neutral. This assumption is deeply embedded in the ‘art’ of the criminal victimisation survey and constitutes one feature of the criminological and victimological ‘black-box’(Latour 1987). This component of the black box reflects a range of different assumptions that silence women’s everyday experiences of violence (Kelly 2011; Shalhoub-Kevorkian 2016), silence culture (Machado, Dias, and Coehlo 2010) and contribute to the construction of all women as fearing and vulnerable subjects. All of these are rooted in Northern presumptions on the relationship between fear, risk, vulnerability and gender, all of which inform policy. In particular the policies and practices of risk and risk assessment as responses to violence against women continue to travel across the globe with scant regard for the shaky foundations on which these policies are based and, by implication, their relevance for other settings. The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature of these shaky foundations and to reflect on the problems and possibilities for more locally nuanced and culturally sensitive responses to violence against women demanded by the Southern agenda.

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