Methods and epistemic fracture: reviving the information moral economy

The value of social research methods is that it produces independent evidence on the nature of society, social-economic problems and challenges, and potentially agreed ways of reaching effective solutions. There are two challenges to social research methods: one is the epistemic fracture of societies, where awkward evidence is mistrusted or …

Society gets the crime it designs

Crime is designed in. Organised crime is intertwined in society and its institutions, its character reflects them, it uses society’s technical affordances. Digital capitalism provides tools to increase the reach and impact of criminal activity Risks are distributed along with social vulnerabilities. Some crime is required and necessary. If the …

Is crime still seductive when it is rationalised? The return of the early modern gang to the crime labour process

Is crime in competition with being law abiding? For rational choice theorists the answer is mostly yes. The decision to commit crime is a calculated judgement based on self interest. There is nothing particularly special about criminals or crime. In contrast both deviance theory and bio-psychological criminology say there is …

Emotional structures of cybercrime markets

Illicit markets face problems with valuation, coordination and cooperation (Beckert and Wehinger, 2012) and cannot rely on institutions of of law and state to fix these problems for them. Therefore they turn to other mechanisms – interpersonal trust, reliance on corrupt state and policing actors for enforcement, and sometimes complex …

Developing the research imagination: Working together, co-design and sharing ideas

Research is a process of constantly theorizing from evidence. In order to give our findings life and meaning we can apply frames that allow us to do that and also help us work together and react to practical problems as they come up. One frame is normalization. As sociologists we …

Where’s the military industrial complex when you need it?

US president Dwight Eisenhower warned in 1961 ‘we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex’ (MIC). The idea that there is a grouping of lobbyists and industry desperate to suborn public money for their agenda is a persistent one in Western …

When was the last time research really shook your thinking up?

Drones have had a bit of a moment with Ukraine, where they are presented as evening up the fight, providing a cheap way of countering Ukraine’s disadvantages in remote strike capability. I was thinking of the shift in how drones are normally seen in liberal Western circles, as weapons that …

Diseases of affluence, without the affluence

One of the predictions made in global health was that as low/mid income countries became wealthier, their populations would adopt the illnesses characteristic of high income counties. Causes of death would shift away from neonatal conditions, violence and communicable disease to obesity, heart disease, stroke, cancer and other what are …