Professor of Criminology

Head of School


View my full research profile

  • Tel: +44 (0)131 650 2009
  • Email: hos.law@ed.ac.uk
  • Office hours for current students:
    Tuesday, 2 - 3.30 pm (except 22 and 29 October)

Biography

Richard Sparks is Professor of Criminology and Co-Director of the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research http://www.sccjr.ac.uk/

Richard's main research interests lie in the sociology of punishment (especially imprisonment); penal politics; public responses to crime and punishment; and the uses, abuses and non-uses of criminological knowledge in shaping public policy on crime and punishment.

Richard's current work, in collaboration with Ian Loader (University of Oxford), concerns the competing claims of autonomy and advocacy in crime and justice research, and the place of criminology in debates on the public roles of the social sciences. Loader and Sparks have recently published the first major outcomes of this work in their book Public Criminology? (Routledge, 2010) see further:http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415445504/ Loader and Sparks are currently working on a new phase of this broad project, under the working title Crime Control and Democratic Politics

During 2013 Richard is convening an ESRC seminar series on comparative aspects of crime control in the devolved polities of the contemporary UK.

Earlier research projects have included studies (with Marion Smith and Evi Girling) of nine-year old children's conversations about justice and punishment and (with Elaine Crawley) of older men in English prisons. Richard is the author of Television and the Drama of Crime (1992) and co-author (with Tony Bottoms and Will Hay) ofPrisons and the Problem of Order (1996) and (with Evi Girling and Ian Loader) of Crime and Social Change in Middle England (2000). 

Richard has also edited a number of books. The most recent of these is: The Sage Handbook of Punishment and Society, co-edited with Jonathan Simon (Sage, 2012)

He is a member of the editorial boards of several journals. These inclue: Punishment & Society, of which he was editor-in-chief 2000-2004; Crime, Media, CultureTheoretical CriminologySociological ReviewAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology.

Click here to listen to Richard's lecture 'The trilemma of penal reform', originally delivered to the Howard League for Penal Reform Scotland in April 2006.

Click on the link to listen to a discussion, recorded in 2011, on the roles of criminological theory and research in public life. The participants include Richard Sparks and Ian Loader (Oxford), Jonathan Simon (Berkeley) and Sarah Armstrong and Fergus McNeill (Glasgow): http://www.iriss.org.uk/resources/public-criminology-academics-engaging-public-life

Richard welcomes enquiries from prospective doctoral applicants in his fields of interest, and also welcomes enquiries from prospective postdoctoral candidates.

Courses Taught

Criminological Research Methods (MSc)

Introduction to Criminal Justice (Ordinary)

Media and Crime (MSc) (Course Organiser)

Penal Politics (MSc)

Theoretical Criminology (MSc)

PhD Supervisees

Cristina Ayala  'Comparison of reintegration and resettlement interventions for female members of Colombian paramilitary groups and women offenders in Scotland, including the role of communities in these initiatives'

Jessica Bird  'Segregation arrangements in Scottish prisons: a socio-spatial history'

Louise Brangan  'A comparative study of penal politics in Ireland and Scotland'

Jamie Buchan  'Restructuring Community Justice in Scotland, 2012-2017: Policy and Power Dynamics in the Penal Field'

Stephen Cairns  'The Legacy of Community Justice Authorities and Local Democracy'

James Gacek  'Fear(ed) Agents and the Prison/Urban Core: Reimagining Relationships between Space, Criminality, and the Carceral Continuum'

Shane Horgan  ''Cyber'-fears and Virtual Anxieties: Exploring public sensibilities towards the digital dimensions of crime and disorder'

Briege Nugent  'A qualitative longitudinal study of Includem's Transitional Support'

Griff Williams  'Tripartite Communication under the Community Payback Order'

Books

Richard Sparks, Ian Loader Public Criminology? (Routledge, 2010)
Abstract: What is the role and value of criminology in a democratic society? How do, and how should, its practitioners engage with politics and public policy? How can criminology find a voice in an agitated, insecure and intensely mediated world in which crime and punishment loom large in government agendas and public discourse? What collective good do we want criminological enquiry to promote? In addressing these questions, Ian Loader and Richard Sparks offer a sociological account of how criminologists understand their craft and position themselves in relation to social and political controversies about crime, whether as scientific experts, policy advisors, governmental players, social movement theorists, or lonely prophets. They examine the conditions under which these diverse commitments and affiliations arose, and gained or lost credibility and influence. This forms the basis for a timely articulation of the idea that criminology's overarching public purpose is to contribute to a better politics of crime and its regulation.

Richard Sparks, Evi Girling and Ian Loader Crime and Social Change in Middle England: Questions of Order in an English Town (Routledge, 1999)
Abstract: This text offers a new way of looking at contemporary debates on the fear of crime. Using observation, interviews and documentary analysis it traces the reactions of citizens of one very ordinary town to events, conflicts and controversies around such topical subjects of criminological investigation as youth, public order, drugs, policing and home security in their community. In doing so it moves in place from comfortable suburbs to hard pressed inner city estates, from the affluent to the impoverished, from old people watching the town where they grew up change around them to young in-comers who are part of that change.

Richard Sparks, Anthony Bottoms and Will Hay Prisons and the Problem of Order (Clarendon Press, 1996)
Abstract: This book presents a substantial new statement on the character of social life in confinement. Drawing upon extensive fieldwork in two contrasting English maximum security prisons, the authors systematically compare their institutional order, including the differing control strategies deployed in each, as seen by both custodians and captives, controllers and controlled. The authors discuss the implications of their research for the tradition of sociological concern within the'prison community'. They re-examine the resources of that rich but latterly somewhat dormant field in the light of some of the main currents in contemporary social theory, and thereby provide a new perspective on the 'problem of order' in maximum custody.

Richard Sparks Television and the Drama of Crime (Open University Press, 1992)
Abstract: "Crime series" are prime time viewing. They are significant in understanding the rhetorics of crime and law enforcement in our society. Richard Sparkes explores the relations between watching "cop shows" (like "Hill St Blues", "Miami Vice", "Bulman" and "The Sweeney") and the extent and intensity of public fear and alarm about crime. He examines the arguments about the effects of television violence; analyses the prevalence of certain predominant images and kinds of story, and their appeal to the audience; and relates them to the wider social and political agenda. He draws upon and successfully interweaves social theory, social psychology, cultural and media studies, narrative theory and criminology in providing an important account of the meanings of crime and law enforcement in contemporary culture.

Edited Books

Richard Jones, Richard Sparks Punishment (Routledge, 2015)
Abstract: A thorny question faced by all civilized societies is what to do when people commit crime, and, in particular, how criminals are to be punished. Yet the nature of punishment, its justifications, aims, and effects has varied markedly throughout history and across and within cultures. These matters continue to be vigorously debated and frequently give rise to sharp divisions along lines of morality, politics, faith, and effectiveness. This new Routledge collection now brings together the major works on punishment, a central, important, and fascinating area of study, not just for the modern field of criminology but also for those in related disciplines. This four-volume collection enables users to consult influential texts, both old and new, and to trace the development of this important area of research and study.

Richard Sparks, Jonathan Simon The Sage Handbook of Punishment and Society (Sage Publications, 2012)

Richard Sparks, Stephen Farrall, Mike Hough, Shadd Maruna Escape Routes: Contemporary Perspectives on Life After Punishment (Routledge, 2011)
Abstract: Escape Routes: Contemporary Perspectives on Life After Punishment addresses the reasons why people stop offending, and the processes by which they are rehabilitated or resettled back into the community. Examining new theoretical work in the study of desistance and exploring the experiences of a number of groups whose experiences of life after punishment do not usually attract much attention, Escape Routes provides new insights about the processes associated with reform, resettlement and forgiveness.

Richard Sparks, Dario Melossi, Maximo Sozzo Travels of the Criminal Question (Hart Publishing, 2011)

Richard Sparks, Tim Newburn Criminal Justice and Political Cultures (Willan Publishing, 2004)
Abstract: The development of ideas and policy on the control of crime has become an increasingly international affair, necessarily so as crime increasingly crosses national boundaries and as international cooperation in the form of police cooperation, international treaties, protocols and conventions takes firmer shape. Much less well understood, however, is the process whereby ideas about crime control developed in one context are transferred into different countries or regions, and in doing so are then shaped, naturalised and changed in their new context. This book is concerned to address this range of issues, examining this process of policy transfer and reception. How are particular slogans ("zero tolerance policing"), gadgets, technical vocabularies ("electronic monitoring") and rhetoric ("war against crime") spread from place to another, and what new meanings do they take on when this takes place? How are these ideas changed when they meet resistance and counter discourses, and encounter strong local traditions and sensibilities? How differently then are ostensibly similar vocabularies taken up and applied in the distinct settings they encounter. This book brings together an influential international team of contributors to explore these issues. Their book makes a significant contribution not only to an understanding of crime control policy but of the nature of the process of globalization itself.

Richard Sparks, David Garland Criminology and Social Theory (Oxford University Press, 2000)
Abstract: Contemporary criminology inhabits a rapidly changing world. The speed and profundity of these changes are echoed in the rapidly developing character of criminology's subject-matter, whether it is crime rates, crime policy, or the practices of policing, prevention and punishment. The questions that animate this book concern the challenges that are posed for criminology by the economic, cultural, and political transformations that have marked late twentieth-century social life. In this unique collection of essays, a diverse group of distinguished social theorists reflect upon the intellectual challenges and opportunities presented to criminology by recent transformations in the social and intellectual landscapes of contemporary societies. As each essay in its different way reveals, crime and punishment have ceased to be topics that can be contained within the bounds of any specialized discipline. Crime and punishment now play such integral roles in the politics of contemporary societies, are so densely entangled with our daily routines, so deeply lodged in our emotional lives, so vividly represented in our cultural imagination, that they easily escape any analytical box, however capacious, that criminology may develop for their containment. Several of the most persuasive sociological accounts of the present give a prominent place in their analysis to crime, fear of crime, and the calculations of risk and measures of repression to which these give rise. This collection offers a series of powerful and provocative accounts of how crime and its control mesh with the underlying social and political dynamics shaping contemporary society. It raises a series of profound questions about the political and ethical frames through which these problems ought best to be governed.

Richard Sparks, Tim Hope Crime, Risk and Insecurity (Routledge, 2000)
Abstract: Just what is the 'fear of crime' and how does it impact upon the lives of the citizens of late modern societies? These are topical questions in an era when politicians compete to diagnose and respond to our worries, when newspapers are sold on the hook of our anxieties and when fortunes are made promoting the latest security technology for the home and the high street. How can the social sciences contribute to this part of the self-understanding of our times? This book presents new empirical and conceptual work on the questions of fear, anxiety, risk and trust - both as problems of everyday living and as key themes in the culture and politics of contemporary western societies. The volume includes contributions from distinguished social researchers from Britain, the United States, Germany and Italy.

Richard Sparks, John Muncie Imprisonment: European Perspectives (Prentice Hall, 1991)
Abstract: This volume of contributions to the study of European prisons and penal systems appears at a time when, perhaps more than ever before, problems of imprisonment are at the forefront of public consciousness and debate. In the United Kingdom, the penal system has broken out of its traditional invisibility, through a succession of prison disturbances, industrial disputes and increasingly spectacular riots and roof-top protests and subsequent judicial enquiries. In attempts to understand and come to terms with a penal system that is commonly regarded as being "in crisis", academic commentators and newspaper editors have begun to look elsewhere - notably other European countries - in what can only be described as a desperate search for instances of good practice which could help politicians and penal administrators find a solution to current ills. A desire and energy to reform the penal system is arguably greater now than at any time since the rehabilitative vision of the Gladstone report of 1895. This volume is intended as a contribution towards enhancing the quality of such debates. It underlines the importance of comparative study at a time when the economic, legal and political integration of all European nations is high on the political agenda. It does so by firstly reminding us that a willingness and desire to learn from the practices and policies of other countries has strong historical precedents dating back at least to the 16th century, and reaching its apogee in the work of John Howard at the end of the 18th century. Secondly, this volume explores contemporary penal policies in a number of European countries - notably England, Wales, Scotland, Germany, Holland and France - with a view to highlighting the diversity of practice that can (and does) exist within roughly comparable industrial societies. Thirdly, the final section of this volume considers the possibilities for the future convergence of policy and practice under the auspices of the 1987 European Prison Rules as well as the influence of the European convention on Human Rights, especially via its judicial arm - the Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg.

Richard Sparks, Phillip Brown Beyond Thatcherism: Social Policy, Politics and Society (Open University Press, 1989)

Journal Articles

Richard Sparks, Lyn Tett, Kirstin Anderson, Fergus McNeill, Katie Overy 'Learning, rehabilitation and the arts in prison: a Scottish case study' (2012) Studies in the Education of Adults 44 2 171-84 [Download]
Abstract: This article investigates the role of the arts in enabling prisoners to engage with learning and improve their literacy, and the impact this has on their rehabilitation and desistance from crime. It draws on data collected from prisoners who participated in arts interventions in three different Scottish prisons. It argues that participating in the arts projects built an active learning culture and encouraged the improvement of verbal and written literacy skills through the use of positive pedagogical approaches. In addition participants learned to work together more effectively, developed self-confidence and were more trusting and supportive because they were working together on intensive projects that they had co-devised. For many prisoners participation in the arts projects constructively challenged and disrupted the negative identities that they had internalised. Their public successes in performances before audiences of significant others opened up new personal and social identities (as artists or performers) that helped them to begin to envision an alternative self that in turn motivated them towards future desistance from crime.

Richard Sparks, Fergus McNeill, Kirsten Anderson, Sarah Colvin, Katie Overy, Lyn Tett ''Kunstprojecten en What Works; een stimulans voor desistance? (Trans. 'Inspiring Desistance? Arts projects and 'what works?')' (2011) Justitiele verkenningen 37(5) 80-101 [Download]

Richard Sparks, Ian Loader 'Wacquant and Civic Sociology: "Formative Intentions" and Formative Experiences' (2010) Criminology and Criminal Justice 10 (4) 403-13 [Download]

Richard Sparks, Ian Loader 'What is to be done with Public Criminology?' (2010) Criminology and Public Policy 9 (4) 771-781 [Download]

Richard Sparks, Elaine Crawley 'Is there life after imprisonment? How elderly men talk about imprisonment and release' (2006) Criminology and Criminal Justice Vol 6(1) 61-80 [Download]

Richard Sparks, Stephen Farrall 'Introduction to Special Issue: What Lies Beyond? Problems, Prospects and Possibilities for Life after Punishment' (2006) Criminology and Criminal Justice Vol 6(1) 7-16

Richard Sparks, Elaine Crawley 'Hidden Injuries? Researching the Experiences of Older Men in English Prisons' (2005) Howard Journal of Criminal Justice Vol 44(4) 345-356 [Download]

Richard Sparks, Ian Loader 'For an Historical Sociology of Crime Policy in England and Wales since 1968' (2004) Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy Vol 7(2) 5-32 [Download]

Richard Sparks ''Out of the digger: the warrior's honour and the guilty observer'' (2002) Ethnography Vol 3 (4) 556-581 [Download]

Richard Sparks, Evi Girling and Marion Smith 'Lessons from history: Pasts, presents and futures of punishment in children's talk' (2002) Children and Society Vol 16(2) 116-130

Richard Sparks, Evi Girling and Ian Loader 'Fear and everyday urban lives' (2001) Urban Studies 38 (5-6) 885-98

Richard Sparks, Marion Smith and Evi Girling 'Children talking about justice and punishment' (2001) The International Journal of Children's Rights Vol 8 191 208 [Download]

Richard Sparks 'Degrees of estrangement: The cultural theory of risk and comparative penology' (2001) Theoretical Criminology Vol 5(2) 159-176 [Download]

Richard Sparks 'The media and penal politics, Review Essay' (2000) Punishment & Society Vol2 (1) 98-105

Richard Sparks, David Garland 'Criminology, social theory and the challenge of our times' (2000) British Journal of Criminology Vol 40 (2) 189-204 [Download]

Richard Sparks, Marion Smith and Evi Girling 'Educating sensibilities: The image of 'the lesson' in children's talk about punishment' (2000) Punishment & Society Vol 2(4) 395-415 [Download]

Richard Sparks, I. Loader and E. Girling 'Narratives of decline: Youth, (dis)order and community in an English Middletown' (1998) British Journal of Criminology Vol 38 (3) 388-403 [Download]
Abstract: The paper is concerned with how adult residents of one medium-sized, moderately affluent English town which is generally regarded as having a relatively low crime rate interpret and respond to teenage 'incivilities'. We begin by locating the conflicts over teenage mis/behaviour that occur across many of the town's diverse areas and assessing how the intensity of adult response varies according to people's relationship to place. We then examine the kinds of discourse that such mis/behaviour prompts, discourse that frequently slips away from the locality as such and speaks to the condition (and decline) of the 'national community'. Finally, we consider some of the responses people make to teenage mis/behaviour in their own immediate neighbourhoods. By connecting people's 'crime-talk' to their sense of place, we tease out a contradiction between the obligations that people acknowledge to troublesome 'local' youth and their more punitive, exdusionaiy utterances about 'youth in general'.

Richard Sparks, Evi Girland and Ian Loader 'A telling tale: A case of vigilantism and its aftermaths in an English town' (1998) British Journal of Sociology Vol 49(3) 474-490 [Download]

Richard Sparks 'Masculinity and heroism in the Hollywood ''Blockbuster'': the culture industry and contemporary images of crime and law enforcement' (1996) British Journal of Criminology Vol 36 (3) 348-360 [Download]
Abstract: This article considers the connections between masculinity and heroic agency in certain versions of popular film. It proposes that how films dignify and celebrate the suffering and striving of their leading men may be quite centrally indicative of durable sensibilities regarding the qualities and virtues seen as defining manliness; and, moreover, that some of the more drastic reaffirmations of rugged masculinity in recent films starring Schwarzennegger, Stallone, and others are in reaction against instabilities in current notions of masculine gender identities. It is in such aspects of representation, and in what they suggest about the appeal of such films to their audiences, that we should now locate discussions of the social influences of screen 'violence'.

Richard Sparks, A.E. Bottoms 'Legitimacy and Order in Prisons' (1995) British Journal of Sociology Vol 46 (1) 45-62 [Download]
Abstract: This paper attempts to theorise some aspects of problems of order in prisons in the light of recent contributions in the theory of legitimacy by Beetham (1991) and Tyler (1990). Previous work in the sociology of punishment has generall raised the problem of legitimation only implicitly, and often merely to deny its possibility. Drawing on fieldwork in two English maximum security prisons, we argue that while prisons present chronic problems of legitimacy, it may nevertheless be possible to specify circumstances under which prisoners are more or less likely to confer or withhold degrees of recognition of legitimate authority of prison staff and regimes. Such conditions include not only the regularity and efficiency of service delivery, but also perceived distributive and procedural fairness of treatment, as well as human qualities in the nature of routines. We deploy these considerations in analysing aspects of current British penal politics.

Richard Sparks 'Can Prisons be Legitimate?: Penal Politics, Privatization and the Timeliness of an Old Idea' (1994) British Journal of Criminology 34 (5 Special Issue) 14-28 [Download]

Richard Sparks, A.E. Bottoms and W. Hay 'Situational and social approaches to the prevention of disorder in long-term prisons' (1990) The Prison Journal Vol LXX (1) 83-95

Richard Sparks, J. Pratt 'New voices from the ship of fools: a critical commentary on the renaissance of permissiveness as a political issue' (1987) Contemporary Crises Vol 11 3-23

Chapters

Richard Jones, Richard Sparks 'Introduction' in Richard Jones, Richard Sparks Punishment (Routledge, 2015) Vol. I, pp. 1-17

Richard Sparks, Ian Loader 'Unfinished business: legitimacy, crime control and democratic politics' in Alison Liebling and Justice Tankebe (eds) Legitimacy and Criminal Justice (Oxford University Press, 2013)

Richard Sparks, Ian Loader 'Penal politics and knowledge politics in Europe' in Tom Daems, Sonja Snacken and Dirk van Zyl Smit (eds) European Penology? (Hart, 2013) pp53-76

Richard Sparks, Ian Loader ''Beyond Lamentation: towards a democratic egalitarian politics of crime and justice' in J Peay and T. Newburn (eds) Policing: Politics, Culture and Control. Essays in Honour of Robert Reiner (Hart Publishing, 2012) 11-41

Richard Sparks, Ian Loader 'Situating Criminology (http://fds.oup.com/www.oup.com/pdf/13/9780199590278.pdf)' in Mike Maguire, Rod Morgan and Robert Reiner (eds) Oxford Handbook of Criminology, 5th Edition (Oxford University Press, 2012) pp3-38

Richard Sparks, Fergus McNeill 'Punishment, incarceration and human rights policy' in ICHRP (eds) Modes and Patterns of Social Control: Implications for Human Rights Policy (International Council on Human Rights Policy, 2010) http://www.ichrp.org/en/projects/126

Richard Sparks 'The politics of imprisonment' in Yvonne Jewkes (eds) Handbook on Prisons (Willan Publishing, 2007) 73-94

Richard Sparks, A.E. Bottoms 'Legitimacy and imprisonment revisited: notes on the problem of order ten years after' in James Byrne et al. (eds) The Culture of Prison Violence (Allyn and Bacon, 2007) 91-104

Richard Sparks 'Ordinary Anxieties and States of Emergency: Statecraft and Spectatorship in the New Politics of Insecurity' in Lesley McAra, Sarah Armstrong (eds) Perspectives on Punishment: The Contours of Control (Oxford University Press, 2006) pp. 31-47

Richard Sparks, Evi Girling and Marion Smith 'The trial and its alternatives as speech situations' in Victor Tadros, Antony Duff, Lindsay Farmer and Sandra Marshall (eds) The Trial on Trial (Volume Two): Judgment and Calling to Account (Hart Publishing, 2006)

Richard Sparks, Elaine Crawley 'Older Men in Prison: Survival, Coping and Identity' in A. Liebling and S. Maruna (eds) The Effects of Imprisonment (Willan Publishing, 2005)

Richard Sparks, Tim Newburn 'Criminal justice and political cultures' in Richard Sparks, Tim Newburn (eds) Criminal Justice and Political Cultures (Willan Publishing, 2004)

Richard Sparks 'State punishment in advanced capitalist countries' in S. Cohen and T. Blomberg (eds) Punishment and Social Control (second edition) (Aldine de Gruyter, 2003)

Richard Sparks 'Punishment, populism and political culture in late modernity' in S. McConville (eds) The Use of Punishment (Willan Publishing, 2003)

Richard Sparks, Ian Loader 'States of insecurity: contemporary landscapes of crime, order and control' in Maguire, M, Morgan, R., Reiner, R. (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, 3rd edition (Oxford University Press, 2002)

Richard Sparks, Vivan Leacock 'Riskiness and at-risk-ness: some ambiguous features of the current penal landscape' in N. Gray, J. Laing and L. Noaks (eds) Criminal Justice, Mental Health and the Politics of Risk (Cavendish Publishing, 2001)

Richard Sparks 'Risk and blame in criminal justice controversies' in M. Brown and J. Pratt (eds) Dangerous Offenders (Routledge, 2000) 17

Richard Sparks 'Perspectives on risk and penal politics' in Richard Sparks, Tim Hope (eds) Crime, Risk and Insecurity (Routledge, 2000)

Richard Sparks, Ian Loader and Evi Girling 'After Success?: the anxieties of affluence in an English ''village''' in Richard Sparks, Tim Hope (eds) Crime, Risk and Insecurity (Routledge, 2000)

Richard Sparks '''Bringin' it all back home'': populism, media coverage and the dynamics of locality and globality in the politics of crime control' in K. Stenson and R. Sullivan (eds) Crime, Risk and Justice (Willan Publishing, 2000) 194-213

Richard Sparks, Tim Hope 'For a sociological theory of situations (or how useful is pragmatic criminology?)' in Andrew von Hirsch, David Garland and Alison Wakefield (eds) Ethical and Social Perspectives on Situational Crime Prevention (Hart Publishing, 2000)

Richard Sparks, Joanna Shapland 'Les politiques penales et la politique: le cas de al Grande-Bretagne (1990-1997)' in P. Robert and L. van Outrive (eds) Crime et Justice en Europe Depuis 1990 (L'Harmattan, 1999) 44
Abstract: also published in Spanish as 'Las politicas penales y la politica: el caso del Reino Unido' in A. Recasens i Brunet (ed) 'La investigacion sobre la delinquencia y el sistema de justicia criminal en Europa' (1990-1998), Revista Catalana de Seguretat Publica 5: 263-306 (1999)

Richard Sparks, Ian Loader and Evi Girling 'Landscapes of protection: the past, present and futures of policing in an English town' in P. Carlen and R. Morgan (eds) Crime Unlimited: Questions for the Twenty-First Century (Macmillan, 1998)

Richard Sparks, Evi Girling and Ian Loader 'Crime and the sense of one's place: globalization, restructuring and insecurity in an English town' in V. Ruggiero, N. South and I. Taylor (eds) The New European Criminology: Crime and Social Order in Europe (Routledge, 1998) 19

Richard Sparks 'Recent social theory and the study of crime and punishment' in Mike Maguire, Rod Morgan, Robert Reiner (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, 2nd edition (Oxford University Press , 1997) 27

Richard Sparks 'Entertaining the crisis? Television and moral enterprise' in D. Kidd-Hewitt and R. Osborne (eds) Crime and the Media: The Post-modern Spectacle (Pluto Press, 1996)

Richard Sparks 'Penal austerity: the doctrine of less eligibility reborn?' in R. Matthews and P. Francis (eds) Prisons 2000 (Macmillan, 1996) 20

Richard Sparks 'Prisons, Punishment and penality' in E. McLaughlin and J. Muncie (eds) Controlling Crime (Sage, 1996) 52

Richard Sparks 'Television and the well-being of children and young people' in V.P. Varma (eds) Violence in Children and Adolescents (Jessica Kingsley, 1996) 11

Richard Sparks 'Are Prisons part of the public sphere?' in S. Edgell, S. Walklate and G. Williams (eds) Debating The Future of the Public Sphere (Avebury, 1995) 20

Richard Sparks 'Situational and social approaches to the prevention of disorder in long-term prisons' in T. Flanagan (eds) Long Term Imprisonment: Policy, Science and Correctional Practice (Sage, 1995)
Abstract: (reprinted from A. E. Bottoms and W. T. Hay 1990)

Richard Sparks 'Television, dramatization and the fear of crime' in R.V. Ericson (eds) Crime and the Media (Dartmouth, 1995) 23

Richard Sparks 'Can prisons be legitimate?' in M. Maguire and R. King (eds) Prisons in Context (Oxford University Press, 1994) 14
Abstract: Reprinted form British Journal of Criminology Vol 34 (1)

Richard Sparks 'Inspector Morse' in G. Brandt (eds) British Television Drama in the 1980s (Cambridge University Press, 1993) 16

Richard Sparks 'Expansion and contraction in European penal systems' in Richard Sparks, John Muncie (eds) Imprisonment: European Perspectives (Prentice Hall, 1991) 18

Richard Sparks 'Reason and unreason in left realism: some problems in the constitution of the fear of crime' in R. Matthews and J. Young (eds) Issues in Realist Criminology (Sage, 1991) 17

Richard Sparks 'Dramatic power: television images of crime and law enforcement' in C. Summer (eds) Censure, Politics and Criminal Justice (Open University Press, 1990) 19

Richard Sparks, Ian Taylor 'Mass communications' in Richard Sparks, Phillip Brown (eds) Beyond Thatcherism: Social Policy, Politics and Society (Open University Press, 1989) p.14

Reports

Richard Sparks, Evi Girling and Ian Loader Responses to Crime in Macclesfield and Prestbury (Department of Criminology, Keele University, 1998)

Richard Sparks, Will Hay and Anthony Bottoms Control Problems and the Long-Term Prisoner (Report submitted to the Home Office Research and Planning Unit) (Home Office Research and Planning Unit, 1990)

Working Papers

Richard SparksA.K. Bottomley and A. Liebling, 'An Evaluation of Barlinnie and Shotts Units', Scottish Prison Service Occasional Papers, 7/1994 (Scottish Prison Service, 1994)

Papers and Presentations

Richard Sparks 'Ordinary anxieties and states of emergency' presented at Law and Visual Culture, Barcelona, 2006