Moving Beyond the Echo-Chamber? The Case for Improving Responses to Hate Crime
Hate crime has become an increasingly pernicious problem in many parts of the world, with numbers of incidents rising to record levels and causing devastating emotional and physical damage to victims, their families and wider communities. Within the UK last June’s EU referendum result was the catalyst for a surge in reports of targeted violence, while similar spikes have been seen within the US since the election of President Trump after a prolonged campaign of heated rhetoric and a slow disavowal of white supremacy. Equally alarming levels of hate crime have been documented across Europe with populist political parties in countries such as France, Denmark, Germany, Hungary and the Netherlands exploiting anti-immigrant sentiment, fuelling the scapegoating of particular minority groups and feeding off widely-held anxieties. Within this context the need for fresh responses to hate crime has become all the more pressing. Despite progress within the domains of scholarship and policy, these escalating levels of hate crime – and the associated rise in tensions, demonisation and hostility towards ‘difference’ that accompanies such spikes – casts doubt over the effectiveness of existing measures and their capacity to protect victims of hate crime. As such, this session draws from extensive fieldwork conducted by the panel members to examine the nature, impact and implications of hate crime. In addition to identifying the different forms that hate crime can take and their associated harms, the panel consider ways in which existing faultlines within criminal justice responses compound the sense of distress and alienation felt by victims from a diverse range of communities. They also explore ways in which criminological debate can reach beyond its own echo chamber to connect with ‘real-world’ hate crime responses and experiences, and call for urgent action to plug the ever-widening chasm between state-level narratives and victims’ lived realities.
Citation : Chakraborti, N. and Sadique, K. (2017) Moving Beyond the Echo Chamber: Hate Crime in Focus, BSC Midlands Seminar Series, 15 November 2017, De Montfort University
Research Institute : Institute for Research in Criminology, Community, Education and Social Justice