Simon Cottee

Academic and Author

Folk devils and moral panics ’Left idealism’ reconsidered

This article is intended as an attack on Jock Young’s use of the term ‘left idealism’—that distillation of every 1960s hysteria and radicalchic inanity—to describe and to castigate the moral, political and intellectual assumptions of the emergent ‘paradigm’ of radical criminology in Britain of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Young’s synopsis, I shall argue, is not only premised on an inadequate approach to the history of ideas; it is also highly selective in its interpretation of the early history of radical criminology in Britain.