Left realism, community and state-building

John Lea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Left Realism, as it emerged in the mid 1980s in the UK was a policyoriented intervention focusing on the reality of crime for the working class victim and the need to elaborate a socialist alternative to conservative emphases on ‘law and order’. It saw the renewal of high crime,deprived communities as involving democratic police accountability to those communities. During the subsequent period developments have moved very much against the orientations of Left Realism. This paper compares two different contexts of renewal—the deprived urban community in the UK and the war-torn ‘failed state’ in Bosnia—and identifies certain common policy orientations which are then criticised from a Left Realist perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-158
Number of pages18
JournalCrime Law and Social Change
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010

Bibliographical note

(C) Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2010


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