The Rediscovery of the Offender: Is there a Revitalization of Individualistic Theory?

The Rediscovery of the Offender: Is there a Revitalization of Individualistic Theory? 364 Günther Kaiser1 The Rediscovery of the Offender: Is there a Revitalization of Individualistic Theory? Individualistic criminology is looked upon as `conservative',2 if not traditional and outdated. Equally, those who openly focus on the offender risk being labelled as followers of Lom- broso, not to mention being object to further stigmata. This would be the case even more so if it were confirmed - as Sessar assumes in his critical draft 'Zu einer Kriminologie ohne Tater' ('On the subject of criminology without offenders') - that in Northern America in par- ticular new approaches have been tested for years which share the fact that they relativize the primary role of the offender in the process leading to a crime and assign him a context of situation-oriented patterns of action of which the victim is part.3 However, where there is a victim of crime, there is also an offender not too far away. Even the 'exchangeability of the offender's and victim's roles' discussed by Se.s.sar, which the offender cannot escape, is proof of this proximity. Relativization of the offender's role alone does not render 'a crimi- nology without offenders' tenable. Such a concept mainly operates within reach of situation- oriented http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Brill

The Rediscovery of the Offender: Is there a Revitalization of Individualistic Theory?

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 1997 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0928-9569
eISSN
1571-8174
D.O.I.
10.1163/157181797X00194
Publisher site
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Abstract

364 Günther Kaiser1 The Rediscovery of the Offender: Is there a Revitalization of Individualistic Theory? Individualistic criminology is looked upon as `conservative',2 if not traditional and outdated. Equally, those who openly focus on the offender risk being labelled as followers of Lom- broso, not to mention being object to further stigmata. This would be the case even more so if it were confirmed - as Sessar assumes in his critical draft 'Zu einer Kriminologie ohne Tater' ('On the subject of criminology without offenders') - that in Northern America in par- ticular new approaches have been tested for years which share the fact that they relativize the primary role of the offender in the process leading to a crime and assign him a context of situation-oriented patterns of action of which the victim is part.3 However, where there is a victim of crime, there is also an offender not too far away. Even the 'exchangeability of the offender's and victim's roles' discussed by Se.s.sar, which the offender cannot escape, is proof of this proximity. Relativization of the offender's role alone does not render 'a crimi- nology without offenders' tenable. Such a concept mainly operates within reach of situation- oriented

Journal

European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal JusticeBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1997

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