British-Irish Section of the European Group for the
Study of Deviance and Social Control

Capital, Culture, Power:
Criminalisation and Resistance

2-4 July, 2008, Liverpool

Call for Papers

The year 2008 marks Liverpool’s celebration of its status as European Capital of
Culture. In preparation, Liverpool has been undergoing a physical and cultural
regeneration. The centre of the City has been in many ways transformed as private capital
has poured in, overseen by a public-private coalition constituting a local growth machine
– one which has partly been constructed under the rubric of crime control and community
safety, and one which has also attempted, of course, to co-opt academics.

There are significant undersides to this regeneration and the culture it seeks to impose
– undersides which do not figure in the official celebration of 2008, but which need
exposing in 2008 more than any other year. Many parts of Liverpool remain, and will stay,
untouched by this ‘regeneration’. Much of the city and its surrounding areas remain
scarred by poverty, under-employment, and racism. On almost any official indicator of
‘deprivation’, areas in and around the City figure prominently in national
rankings. At the same time, whilst the marginalised are subjected to criminalisation, the
social and criminal justice supports for the victims of the crimes and harms of the
powerful either remain virtually non-existent or under threat. Much may have changed, but
how much has changed?

It is clear that the drive to commercialise the city in preparation for 2008 has produced
further, widespread victimisation – local residents moved on via compulsory purchase, the
homeless and socially marginalised intimidated out of the city centre (not least through
the strategy of criminalisation), small and ‘alternative’ businesses hounded out to
make way for the internationally recognised leisure and retail brands, and the
proliferation of social and physical harms to those who work and live in the City.

If the regeneration of the City has entrenched power differentials, so too will the form
of culture, and access to it, which will mark the year itself be a reflection of dominant
representations of the city. A key, unanswered question remains the ways in which, and the
extent to which, strident capital and its culture can and will be resisted.

This year, then, represents an opportune moment for social scientists and campaigners to
raise critical voices around the refashioning of this and other cities, whether under the
mantle of the Capital of Culture, as in Liverpool, or under some other hegemonic banner,
in ways which entrench and extend existing inequalities. To this end, the British-Irish
Section of the ‘European Group’ welcomes papers on a number of themes, including, but
not limited to, the following:

Ø The social impacts of ‘urban renewal’ and regeneration
Ø Capital-driven homogenisation and the commodification of ‘culture’
Ø Poverty and social marginalisation in the neo-liberal city
Ø Representations of, and official approaches to, urban crime
Ø ‘Community’ and crime control
Ø The criminalisation of political dissent and spectacles of ‘difference’ in the
Ø Local regulation of crimes of the powerful
Ø Migrant workers, casualisation and the urban labour market
Ø The control and colonisation of city spaces
Ø The legacies of slavery and imperialism upon urban crime control and social
Ø The conscription of social scientists into the local growth machine
Ø Governance and social regulation of ‘race’, ‘age’, ‘gender’, and ‘sexuality’
in urban contexts

Please submit abstracts of 100-200 words by Friday 4th April to any of the following, all
of whom can also be contacted for further details:

Roy Coleman roy.coleman@
Lynn Hancock
Joe Sim
Steve Tombs
Joe Yates j.yates1@ljDave Whyte