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Criminology's Third War: Special Issue on Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism

NCJ Number
Criminology and Public Policy Volume: 8 Issue: 3 Dated: August 2009 Pages: 431-444
Gary LaFree
Date Published
August 2009
14 pages
This article argues similarities and differences found within academic criminology across three major crime-related political wars of the past century: the war on crime, drugs, and terrorism.
The United States launched an attack on criminal behavior on at least three separate occasions since World War II: the wars on crime, drugs, and terrorism. The wars on crime and drugs have been around long enough to justify asking whether academic criminology has had any significant effect on policy in these two areas. Several important similarities can be found across the three political wars with at least one difference found; academic criminology was much more engaged in the wars on crime and drugs, than it has been in the war on terrorism. This is viewed as ironic because compared with crime and drug use, terrorism represents a type of criminal behavior for which effective policy is especially dependent on hard data and objective analysis. Past achievements of criminology are more easily recognizable on the wars on crime and drugs through the provision of objective data, evaluation, and assessment. This article briefly touches on criminology's role in these three campaigns. References


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