On Researching Harm: An Ultra-Realist Perspective

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter, the author argues that an antidote to the partial paralysis pervading the study of harm might be found in developing a more integrated approach between criminology and zemiology. Towards this end, the chapter outlines the emergent paradigm of ultra-realism and introduces it as a mediating third. In doing so, a number of salient obstacles that have hitherto served to problematise research on harm are discussed. With a view towards the potential implications for a less harmful society, the chapter considers the politics of harm and argues for the abandonment of reformist critique in favour of a return to depth critique. Finally, the chapter concludes on the potential of researching harm from an ultra-realist perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Social Harm
EditorsPamela Davies, Paul Leighton, Tanya Wyatt
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)9783030724085
ISBN (Print)9783030724078
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Victims and Victimology
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISSN (Print)2947-9355
ISSN (Electronic)2947-9363


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