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Australian Violence

Crime, Criminal Justice and Beyond





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AUD $59.95 gst included

Australia (1990) by Elwyn Lynn
Mixed media on canvas
150 x 150 cm
UNSW Art Collection (acquired from the CoFA Collection, 1990)
© The Estate of Elwyn Lynn, courtesy of Charles Nodrum Gallery

Almost three decades have passed since a series of gun massacres shocked the nation and led to a major inquiry into Australian violence. Its ground breaking report unveiled the centrality of violence in our history and society – violence that commonly occurs in the routines and practices of everyday life – and the failings of the criminal justice system to deal with much of it.

Australian Violence reflects shifts in our understanding of violence and debates issues surrounding it. It offers contemporary analyses of violence in the lives of women and girls, male drinking violence, prison violence, gun debates and gun-owning culture, and more recent concerns with hate crime, rural crime, harm directed at animals, risky and ‘dangerous’ offenders, and borders and detention, as well as new forms of community prevention and alternative criminal justice. It acknowledges state violence in Australia’s history and present, in the dispossession of Indigenous people and the denial of Indigenous knowledge, and the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. The book engages with international theory, research and practice but also offers a distinctive Australian approach that considers what it means to be a settler nation in the global south.

The authors include scholars and researchers who have led critical study and national debates about these topics and perspectives on violence.

Foreword by Professor Raewyn Connell
About the Contributors

Australian Violence: Then and Now
          Julie Stubbs and Stephen Tomsen

1. Shooting, Spanking, Punching and Other Matters: Recollections on the Work and Impact of the National Committee on Violence
          Duncan Chappell

2. Guns and Massacres: The Politics of Firearms Control in Australia
          Mark Finnane

3. Violence in Rural Australia
          Kerry Carrington and Russell Hogg

4. Women, Girls and Gendered Violence
          Julie Stubbs

5. Penal Violence
          David Brown

6. Re-considering the Relationship Between Indigenous People and Violence
          Chris Cunneen and Simon Rowe

7. Violence as Hate Crime: The Emergence of a Discourse
          Gail Mason

8. The Death of Reza Barati and the Violence of Australian Border Policing
          Michael Grewcock

9. Risk, Dangerousness and Violence
          Mark Brown

10. Inter-Species Violence: Humans and the Harming of Animals
          Rob White

11. Nightlife Ethnography, Violence, Policing and Security
          Stephen Tomsen and Phillip Wadds

12. Safety in the Suburbs: Social Disadvantage, Community Mobilisation, and the Prevention of Violence
          Rebecca Wickes, Ross Homel and Renee Zahnow

13. Restorative Justice as an Innovative Response to Violence
          Janet Chan, Jane Bolitho and Jenny Bargen


This work is a compilation of related contributions from criminologists and sociologists on the topic of violence in Australian society. Whilst it is noted that many in Australian society do not expect to encounter violence in their own personal lives, that is far from true for others. Moreover, as the authors note, violence in Australian society appears in many different forms and, particularly, in what is viewed via the media. That is especially so in the forms of football which are viewed by many in our society. Of greater significance is the existence of domestic violence, especially as against women in both the domestic situation and in the wider society. Of particular interest in this work is the consideration of State induced violence; being where the actions of the State in the purported protection of the body politic entrenches violent attitudes. The counter-intuitive notion of State sponsored violence generating greater societal violence is not new. It has been recognised in the United States for over half a century in various studies concerning the death penalty. However, this work seems to be the first where consideration of this topic is given to the Australian situation. The book also considers the responses to violence in Australia. … This work is confronting and important. The views expressed in it are, at times, controversial yet they ought to be considered in the important context in which they are provided. The book requires careful consideration by anyone involved in dealing with the consequences of violence in our society.

Queensland Law Reporter – 28 October 2016 – [2016] 42 QLR

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