Professor Bill Dixon has published two new papers, the first is in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology on the 'Aetiological crisis in South African criminology'. Here, Bill argues that South African criminology has struggled to come to terms with with persistently high levels of violent crime since the end of apartheid. He contends that this represents what Jock Young once described as an 'aetiological crisis' in the discipline and suggests that a solution should be sought in work that connects history and biography (as described by C Wright Mills in his famous book on the 'sociological imagination'), to reveal the causes, meanings and uses of violence, and point the way to a more relevant post-colonial South African criminology.
The second is a piece in the South African Crime Quarterly on the background to the shooting of 34 striking miners at Marikana in South Africa's North West Province on 16th August 2012. With the official Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the incident still to report, the paper argues that the relative autonomy of the police - a feature noted over 30 years ago in an article by Otwin Marenin - means that we should hesitate before assuming that the shootings tell us very much about about either the relationship between the South African Police Service (SAPS) and a ruling political and industrial elite, or about everyday policing on the streets of contemporary South Africa.