Reflections on green criminology and its boundaries

Comparing environmental and criminal victimization and considering crime from an eco-city perspective

Authored by: Michael J. Lynch

Routledge International Handbook of Green Criminology

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  August  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415678827
eBook ISBN: 9780203093658
Adobe ISBN: 9781317809005


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In this chapter, I reflect on the development of green criminology and its future, and applaud those who have contributed to moving this area of research toward broader acceptance within the field of criminology. Despite the important contributions made by green criminology and its relevance to addressing contemporary environmental problems, green criminology has met resistance within the broader field of criminology and is poorly understood by the majority of criminologists. As a result, one of the issues green criminology must continue to address is its criminological relevance. One way to do so is to illustrate how green criminology can contribute to traditional and emerging criminological examinations of crime. Doing so does not destroy the premise of green criminology, rather, it strengthens that view by increasing the probability that green criminology influences discussions of crime and justice within the orthodox criminological literature. Toward that end, I engage in developing two lines of inquiry in this chapter. First, I examine a simple method for comparing the extent of environmental crimes victimization incidents to criminal or street crime victimization incidents in the U.S. using the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) and pollution exposure data. Second, I review the eco-city perspective that emerged in the 1970s, and examine how that view creates a green criminological extension of social disorganization theory. After reviewing these issues, I address the vitality and importance of green criminology in my closing comments.

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