Criminological Research – Essay Example

There are many ways to think about criminology. Here, we examine three theories. We explain the benefits and limitations of each type. Non-voluntarism theories justify legal authority despite the opinion of the public. One of the major benefits of this type of theory is that it helps people to act as they should when they may not otherwise do so. A major problem with these theories is that it implies that the legal systems are somehow more morally capable than an individual actor. This is in contrast to the next type of theory.
Voluntarist theories derive legal authority from the direct participation of the people. The major benefit is that it requires people to govern their own actions as a group. The problem is that democratic systems have a tendency to quell dissenting opinion. It implies that somehow the group is more morally capable than any individual actor. The next theory type contrast both voluntarist and non-voluntarist theories.
Anarchist theories object to any justification of legal authority. Skeptical of any legal system, much like the founders of the American system, they see government as inherently evil, if not necessary. The problem is that although it may be true of governments, individuals and groups tend to seek self-interest in a way that is ultimately destructive to everyone.
There are many ways to think about criminology. Here, we have examined three theories. As such, we have explained the benefits and limitations of each type.
Conklin, John E. (2007). Criminology (10th Ed.). Boston: Pearson, Allyn and Bacon.