This chapter considers overlapping legal and policy issues related to hate crimes, summarizing the problem with an emphasis on societal responses. The theoretical insight that law can be understood as an expression of societal values is combined with an emphasis on the empirical study of law in action. The approach taken is theoretical and conceptual in nature, but is also informed by relevant case law and various empirical studies and is concerned to suggest how hate crime research can address issues of both theoretical and policy significance by analyzing how hate crime law is practiced. Some of the findings are that hate crime law can be seen to express values in a wide variety of settings and to express values intentionally, neither of which has been properly acknowledged to date. It is important for public policy analysis and practice as well as for theory development to acknowledge the limitations of both rational choice/deterrence approaches and moral education theories in the hate crime policy domain. Instead of understanding criminal law as a type of threat or type of instruction, in the case of hate crimes the law may be practiced and evaluated most realistically without assuming that hate criminals will be attentive to potential legal sanctions or amenable to moral education. The discussion includes elements of literature review, policy debate, theoretical analysis, and methodological reflection suggesting how hate crime law can be analyzed as expressive law in action, providing material relevant for students, theorists, policy-makers and analysts, and researchers.
Berard, T. (2010), "Hate crimes and their criminalization", Peyrot, M. and Lee Burns, S. (Ed.) New Approaches to Social Problems Treatment (Research in Social Problems and Public Policy, Vol. 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 15-40. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0196-1152(2010)0000017004Download as .RIS
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