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date: 20 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

One of the earliest statements of a theoretical perspective on the impact of the market economy on crime can be found in Sir Thomas More's Utopia, his sixteenth-century critique of socioeconomic conditions in England. This article argues that the “holistic” and multi-layered character of the market society perspective makes it a very powerful framework for elucidating differences in crime, especially serious criminal violence, among contemporary societies; that there is strong and diverse empirical support for the relationship between “market society” and elevated rates of violence; that the market society perspective can shed light on the pronounced differences in violence between the United States and other advanced industrial societies; and that the global spread of neoliberal economic policies, along with the corollary elimination of long-established restraints on the unfettered operation of markets, have major implications for the future of crime and criminal justice.

Keywords: Thomas More, Utopia, market economy, crime, market society, violence, United States, criminal justice

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