Indigenous Critique of Authoritarian Criminology
Biko Agozino (2010: i) has described the discipline of criminology as a 'control-freak'; one whose 'imperialist reasoning' is most evident when supporting 'the [contemporary states] exercise of internal colonialism and neo-colonialism' within settler societies. In recent times the development of supposed evidence-based crime control policy throughout Western jurisdictions appears to have reinvigorated administrative criminological formations to the extent that they once again dominate policy discourse relating to the issues of Indigenous over-representation and critique of the operations of criminal justice. This chapter seeks to explore this state of affairs by firstly, providing a critical examination of the role criminology plays in the continued neocolonial subjugation of First Nations and secondly, the role that myth construction and maintenance plays in the hegemonic activities of a particularly authoritarian form of the discipline. A critical analysis of two articles from a recent Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology special edition on Aboriginal violence (late 2010) highlights the core features and, arguably, the key failings of this authoritarian criminology in relation to its response to Indigenous justice issues: namely a preference for undertaking research on instead of with Indigenous peoples, the privileging of nonengaging research methodologies and the potent use of myth to promote practitioners' views of the world and silence the Indigenous voice.