Evolutionary Criminology

Evolutionary Criminology : Towards a Comprehensive Explanation of Crime

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In our attempts to understand crime, researchers typically focus on proximate factors such as the psychology of offenders, their developmental history, and the social structure in which they are embedded. While these factors are important, they don't tell the whole story. Evolutionary Criminology: Towards a Comprehensive Explanation of Crime explores how evolutionary biology adds to our understanding of why crime is committed, by whom, and our response to norm violations. This understanding is important both for a better understanding of what precipitates crime and to guide approaches for effectively managing criminal behavior.

This book is divided into three parts. Part I reviews evolutionary biology concepts important for understanding human behavior, including crime. Part II focuses on theoretical approaches to explaining crime, including the evolution of cooperation, and the evolutionary history and function of violent crime, drug use, property offending, and white collar crime. The developmental origins of criminal behavior are described to account for the increase in offending during adolescence and early adulthood as well as to explain why some offenders are more likely to desist than others. Proximal causes of crime are examined, as well as cultural and structural processes influencing crime. Part III considers human motivation to punish norm violators and what this means for the development of a criminal justice system. This section also considers how an evolutionary approach contributes to our understanding of crime prevention and reduction. The section closes with an evolutionary approach to understanding offender rehabilitation and reintegration.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 348 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 20.32mm | 730g
  • Academic Press Inc
  • San Diego, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0123979374
  • 9780123979377
  • 1,268,309

Table of contents

1. Criminology and Evolutionary Theory

Part 1: The Evolutionary Framework

2. Evolutionary Theory and Human Evolution

3. Evolutionary Behavioral Science

4. Levels of Analysis and Explanations in Criminology

Part 2: Explaining Crime

5. The Evolution of Altruism, Cooperation, and Punishment

6. Distal Explanations: Adaptations and Phylogeny

7. Development

8. Proximate Explanations: Individuals, Situations, and Social Processes

9. Social Structural and Cultural Explanations

Part 3: Responding to Crime

10.Punishment, Public Policy, and Prevention

11.The Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Offenders

12.Looking Forward from the Perspective of the Past
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Review Text

"...a great job of summarizing the field of evolutionary psychology in a brief but detailed and accurate fashion, showing how it could be related to the study of crime." -- PsycCRITIQUES
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Review quote

"...a great job of summarizing the field of evolutionary psychology in a brief but detailed and accurate fashion, showing how it could be related to the study of crime." --PsycCRITIQUES
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About Tony Ward

Russil Durrant, PhD, is a senior lecturer at the Institute of Criminology at Victoria University of Wellington, where he teaches courses in criminal and forensic psychology, and criminological research methods. His research interests include violent offending, the psychology of punishment, and the role of evolutionary explanations in criminology. He is author of Substance Abuse: Cultural and Historical Perspectives (Sage, 2003), and An Introduction to Criminal Psychology (Routledge, 2013). Tony Ward, PhD, DipClinPsyc, is currently professor in clinical psychology and director of clinical training at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He has taught clinical and forensic psychology at the universities of Melbourne, Canterbury, and Deakin and is a professorial fellow at the Universities of Birmingham, Kent, Melbourne, and Portsmouth. He has coauthored more than 370 academic publications, and his major research interests include desistance and reintegration processes in offenders, conceptualizations of risk and its management, cognition and evolutionary approaches to crime, and ethical issues in forensic and correctional psychology. He was given the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) 2003 significant achievement award for his research into offence pathways. Professor Ward is the developer of the Good Lives Model and has published numerous books, book chapters, and academic articles on this model since 2002. His recent book, Desistance from sex offending: Alternatives to throwing away the keys (2011, Guilford Press- coauthored with Richard Laws), presents an integration of the GLM with desistance theory and research. He is currently working on a book length project on evolution, agency, and sexual offending.
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