environmental criminology

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criminology, environmental Traditionally, the study of ‘crime and place’; that is, the spatial patterning of crime and victimization (see VICTIMOLOGY). Environmental criminology is related therefore to the work of the Chicago School on urban ecology, and to such developments in crime prevention as the notions of ‘defensible space’, ‘target hardening’, and, most recently, zero tolerance (see BROKEN WINDOWS THESIS). However, with the emergence of theories of late-modernity and the risk society, ‘green’ (environmental) issues have become more prominent—a context in which the notions of environmental crime and criminology tend more often to refer to crimes against the natural environment, animal life, and human communities (for example the dumping of toxic waste). This emerging area of sociological research also raises questions of human rights and issues related to ecopopulism.

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environmental criminology See CRIMINOLOGY, ENVIRONMENTAL.