chapter  13
14 Pages

On Richard Quinney, Critique of Legal Order

ByRandall G. Sheldon

Placing Critique of Legal Order in the context of Richard Quinney's lifetime of work is not an easy task. In Critique of Legal Order, however, Quinney engages in a critique of all previous modes of criminological thought, including his own. Critique of Legal Order was perhaps a reflection of someone who had become disenchanted with American capitalism. Critique of Legal Order was frequently subjected to scathing criticism, much of which was overdone. Marx once stated that, the state was originally a system set up to support ruling class interests and was, in effect, an inevitable outgrowth of a division of labor based upon class exploitation. In fact, the "state" was only necessary when class divisions arose. This instrumentalist perspective has received a number of important criticisms, which can be applied to Critique of Legal Order. Critique of Legal Order was perhaps a reflection of someone who had become disenchanted with American capitalism.