Radical criminology holds that crime is caused by the social and economic forces of society. It states that society "functions" in terms of the general interests of the ruling class rather than "society as a whole" and that while the potential for conflict is always present, it is continually neutralized by the power of a ruling class.
Given its nature, radical criminology is not well funded by governments and is generally not supported by government policies.
Radical criminology is based on a variant of Marxism called Instrumental Marxism.
Recently a group of anarchists and abolitionists associated with the Critical Criminology Working Group in the Criminology Department at Kwantlen Polytechnic University have advocated an activist, explicitly anti-capitalist and anti-statist radical criminology. In 2012 they launched the journal "Radical Criminology." An outline of a contemporary radical criminology and a call to action was issued in the journal's "Radical Criminology: A Manifesto."
- Tony Platt, "Prospects for a Radical Criminology in the United States." Crime and Social Justice 1 (Spring/Summer, 1974).
- Michael J. Lynch, ed. (January 1997). Radical Criminology. The International Library of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Penology Ser. Ashgate Publishing, Limited. ISBN 1-85521-858-5.
- Jeff Shantz, "Radical Criminology: A Manifesto." Radical Criminology. Issue 1: 7-17, 2012. 
- Critical criminology
- Conflict criminology
- Liberal criminology
- Left realism
- Conflict theory
- Mike Maguire; Rodney Morgan; Robert Reiner (2007). The Oxford handbook of criminology (4, Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-920543-1. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
- Johnson, E. H. (1978). "Radical Criminology and Marxism: A Fallible Relationship". Criminal Justice Review 3: 53. doi:10.1177/073401687800300107.
- "Radical Criminology: Theoretical Origins" (PDF). Retrieved 22 February 2010.
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