chapter  4
27 Pages

The politics of moral degeneration

The last chapter charted the rise of communitarianism in the 1990s and debated where it sat in relation to sociological, political and philosophical thought about community and morality. What this demonstrated is that communitarianism sits uncomfortably next to this wider canon of research. The communitarian commitment to rebuilding communities and their concomitant commitment to rebuilding shared values and responsibilities resonates with governmental strategies of control that treat community as a mechanism by which order and the good society are created. Consequently, community becomes the locus and generator of both morality and control. The two are then implicated with each other and this begins to explain the significance of community to crime control debates, providing an important clue about how morality has become a central theme in political and public explanations for criminality.