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Decolonizing zemiology: outlining and remedying the blindness to (post)colonialism within the study of social harm

Wright, Edward J.

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Authors

EDWARD WRIGHT Edward.Wright4@nottingham.ac.uk
Assistant Professor in Criminology



Abstract

This paper hosts the first meaningful dialogue between two important epistemic movements for criminology: zemiology and decolonisation. I identify that zemiology has a disciplinary blindness to colonialism and explain this using Gurminder K. Bhambra’s scholarship—and cognate scholarship—as a frame. Three cases—Pemberton’s Harmful Societies, Grenfell, and Border Zemiology—are selected for their critical importance within zemiology. They are used to argue that zemiology works within astandard narrative of modernity characterised by capitalist nation-states, which does not recognise the colonial foundations of both of these. Capitalist modernity is, however, a colonial formation. Recognising this allows for a better understanding for awide range of harms. I then discuss future directions for decolonial zemiology, advocating not for expansion of repertoire, but canonical revision so that colonialism is afforded space as an explanatory frame and zemiology can better explain social harmon a global level.

Citation

Wright, E. J. (2023). Decolonizing zemiology: outlining and remedying the blindness to (post)colonialism within the study of social harm. Critical Criminology, 31, 127–144. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10612-022-09682-5

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 29, 2022
Online Publication Date Mar 20, 2023
Publication Date Mar 20, 2023
Deposit Date Feb 13, 2023
Publicly Available Date Mar 21, 2024
Journal Critical Criminology
Print ISSN 1205-8629
Electronic ISSN 1572-9877
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Pages 127–144
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10612-022-09682-5
Keywords Law; Sociology and Political Science
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/17362868
Publisher URL https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10612-022-09682-5

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