Reflections on the life of a British criminologist: Tony Bottoms in conversation

Richard Sparks, Caroline Lanskey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This conversation is a composite of two interviews with Tony Bottoms, conducted by Caroline Lanskey and Richard Sparks, in March and October 2018. The first was a public event, as part of the Institute of Criminology’s ‘In conversation with …’ series. The second, intended to pick up issues that were missed or left inadequately discussed first time round, took place at Tony’s home. The conversation addresses a wide range of topics in roughly chronological order. These include key intellectual and personal influences, especially in Tony’s early life; his views on relations between practice and academic inquiry in light of his experiences as a probation officer; the changing contours and characteristics of criminology as a field; and Tony’s principal contributions to research. With regard to the latter, the discussion touches upon Tony’s work in environmental criminology, sentencing and parole, prisons, problems of procedural justice and legitimacy, desistance from crime, and theories of compliance. Among the distinctive features of Bottoms’s work throughout have been his concerns with the normative dimensions of criminological questions, and the relations between empirical inquiry and policy problems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCrime, Justice, and Social Order
Subtitle of host publicationEssays in Honour of A. E. Bottoms
EditorsAlison Liebling, Joanna Shapland, Richard Sparks, Justice Tankebe
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780191949975
ISBN (Print)9780192859600
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2022

Publication series

NameClarendon Studies in Criminology
PublisherOxford University Press

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • interdisciplinarity
  • normativity
  • empirical research
  • policy


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