Criminology in Doubt.

The Criminal Sociology of Risk Society. Book in Hungarian with english contents and summary.

New Book: Criminology in Doubt [E-BOOK]






A new global trend was formed in the last decade of the 20th century, the outcome of which is wholly unknown yet. One thing, however, is sure: a new world, which is completely different from the one we are used to, is being formed. Social scientists call this age the era of second modernization.


Examining the natural and the social trends together, we can clearly perceive that the powers that have the greatest influence in shaping societies, including the majority of politicians and business executives, make their decisions in most cases confidently relying on the well-established, routine answers when they face new challenges.

One who has spent more than forty years researching society certainly finds this tendency alarming. One perhaps can even afford to be doubtful since one has access to the rich storehouse of studies carried out in various parts of the world on risk society and the second modernization when looking for answers to questions that are often unanswered now. The author gives references to around 430 sources among these. The present volume is the result of the thematic review of this body of research and always focuses on the topic described in the subtitle.


The author of this book undertakes to carry out a comprehensive study of several dilemmas that result from the situation outlined above. Before addressing the questions themselves we clarify the concepts.

The questions include the following:

•          What are the chances for growth, sustainable growth, a concept so often talked about?

•          What natural changes can be expected in the development of human environment and what typical answers do decision makers give to these changes that will probably take place?

•          What is the future of nation states in the unstoppable process of globalization? What are the typical answers at present to the challenges and what are the consequences that can be expected to follow from these?

More specifically:

•          Who are the beneficiaries of environmental “overshoot” and who are the losers, what are the real causes and are there any really effective preventive methods?

•          Considering the aging of the population of Europe and the responsibility that the so-called civilized world has for the countries categorized as the “third world”, what consequences do the advocates of the so-called Europe-fortress have to take into account?

•          What are the real causes of corruption and the black economy and are there any real effective preventive methods?

•          What are the – specifically not religious – motives behind terrorism and are there any good answers to the challenge posed by them? If yes, what are they?

•          What is actually organized crime and who represent the driving force behind it?

•          What are and what will be the consequences of the present strategy on drug abuse considering the treatment of other agents with a drugging effect as well? Who are the beneficiaries and the losers of the present situation?

•          In view of the failure and the consequences of the Alcohol Prohibition in the USA and half a century later a similar anti-alcohol and drug law under Gorbachev’s rule in the Soviet Union, can we seriously think that the present strategy for drug prevention and fighting against drugs, which is used all over the world and is financed by huge sums, will result in success? Who makes a better living out of it: those who produce drugs, those who are involved in drug trafficking or those who fight against it (namely the paid servants of states)? Who are the losers, what are the causes behind drug abuse and are there really effective preventive?

•          What is its purpose of punishment and what use is it? In which areas and to what extent can punishment be regarded as effective and what are the areas of life where this system of punishment, which has thousands of years of history, has obviously failed?

•          Certain phenomena and acts deemed deviant are classified as crime and their punishments are made stricter without putting an end to the causes behind them. Whose interest does this serve, why and in a shorter or longer term?

•          If we punish petty crimes strictly, what should happen to crimes that are much more serious? Can the latter be punished at all and if not what shall we do with them?


The reader will find the solution to these questions in the introduction of a cosmopolitan approach to criminology.



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  • Hungarian - English

    Hungarian - Magyarul
       English - Angol

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Prof. Dr. Ferenc Irk