Researcher takes international view of race and crime

April 20, 2009

English-speaking countries throughout the world are struggling with issues involving race and crime which mirror America’s, a Penn State Harrisburg researcher has found.

In his most recent book, Penn State Harrisburg faculty member Shaun Gabbidon has expanded his pioneering research in the field with a look at four other nations and finds their issues quite similar to those in America. And they all have their roots in colonialism.

His ninth published book, "Race, Ethnicity, Crime, and Justice: an International Dilemma," “examines criminal justice issues in Great Britain, Canada, Australia and South Africa that also resonate in the U.S.,” the professor of criminal justice says. “Problems with police-community relations and minorities, traffic stop issues, overrepresentation of minorities in the criminal justice system, and profiling are all issues that these nations are also grappling with along with the U.S.”

He chose English-speaking nations with colonial foundations for his study to compare and contrast their issues with those in America. What he has found is that the “social issues are similar and therefore so are the criminal justice issues.”

The issues of inequity in the criminal justice system still remain after centuries with minority populations disadvantaged and at the lower end of the economic scale. “At the core, the colonial system has contributed to the disadvantages endured by minority populations today and it will take even more time to see significant strides,” he adds.

Providing case studies from the English-speaking countries, the book focuses on the racial/ethnic justice-related challenges faced by all of them. Using colonial theory as its foundation, the text begins with chapters that introduce students to the history of each country, the nature of race/ethnicity issues, and then provides coverage of the race and crime issues of each country. In the concluding chapter, Gabbidon summarizes the findings from the various countries and discusses prospects for the eventual elimination of the international dilemma of race, ethnicity, crime, and justice.

A reviewer, Coretta Phillips of the London School of Economics and Political Science, writes, “Gabbidon’s book provides a sobering account of racism, inequality, and injustice, framed by processes of colonization, the effects of which are still widely felt in many postcolonial contexts. It will greatly assist teachers and students interested in comparative research and analysis in the area.”


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Last Updated July 28, 2017