National Knowledge and Research Center for Emergency Readiness - O'Malley (1992). Risk, power and crime prevention

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O'Malley (1992). Risk, power and crime prevention

Bibliographic details:

O'Malley, P. (1992). Risk, power and crime prevention. Economy and society, 21(3), 252-275.‏


This paper addresses the development of post-disciplinary ‘actuarial’ or risk-based technologies of power. Arguing against models which focus on increased efficiency as an evolutionary criterion for emerging technologies of power, it suggests that such technologies' place and form are largely determined by the nature and fortunes of political programs with which they are aligned. Thus the rise of neo-conservatism and related programs have extensively modified and curtailed programs based on risk models, and expanded those based on punishment and discipline. The paper examines the nature of situational crime prevention in the light of these ideas, and moves on to consider certain broader theoretical implications.