The Future of the Peacemaking Perspective

John T. Whitehead, East Tennessee State University
Michael Braswell, Anderson Publishing Co.
Wayne Gillespie, East Tennessee State University

Peacemaking represents one recent development in criminology. This paper is an effort to assess the current status of peacemaking and make some judgments about the directions it will take in the next decade. One area of concern is the relationship of peacemaking to radical criminology. Specifically, the paper will look at the writings of Richard Quinney and Erich Fromm in an effort to understand the relationship between peacemaking and radical criminology and capitalism. Also attention will be given to the peacemaking critique of consumerism (ala Bo Lozoff) to determine how far that critique extends to capitalism as an economic system. This will be compared with other theorists who appear to extol capitalism or some its facets. (For example, Pope Leo XIII condemned socialism and Messner and Rosenfeld point out a number of positive features of the American Dream.) Additional topics covered will be concerns about the religious tradition roots of peacemaking such as possible contradictions in those traditions, the possibility of finding nonreligious roots (e.g., Rawls), how the breakdown or fragility of community affects peacemaking theory which appears to assume vibrant communities, and whether peacemaking theorists need to offer specific guidelines for criminal justice in particular and for ethics and social justice in general.

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Updated 05/20/2006