Prison – What’s The Point?

Can prisons ever be a place of rehabilitation, or should they be there to dish out just deserts?  In this post, Craig Harper looks at the various purposes of prison and argues that we should view them as places of incapacitation in their current form.  Over time,...

Understanding Extremism

How is it that some people become attracted to religious fundamentalism or political extremism? ¬†Is there a difference in the mindsets of those who engage in religion-derived suicide bombings and nationalist campaigns against ‘non-natives’? ¬†In this blog...

Debating The Death Penalty

Is the death penalty ever justified?  Does it act as an effective deterrent, or is it the essence of an overly-retributive criminal justice system?  Here, Craig Harper tries to unpack some of the issues surrounding the death penalty debate, and puts forward the...

Can Economics Help Us To Understand Mental Disorder?

What are the key drivers of mental illness?  Is mental distress a medical problem, treatable by medication by a prescribing doctor?  Is it a normal reaction to troubling economic times?  Should we try to treat people, or the society within which they live?  Craig...

Is Sexual Crime Really A Moral Panic?

The notion of moral panics, as described initially by Stanley Cohen (1972/2002), refers to how phenomena that threaten social norms are exaggerated and promoted as a problem that threatens the very nature of a society.  According to Goode and Ben-Yehuda (1994), there...