This book series explores how crime history can offer new ways of understanding Irish society. It maps and critically engages with the actions and beliefs of those who often held a marginal position in Irish society, their relationship to the broader population and, crucially, their interactions with those in positions of authority. The history of the murderer, the prostitute, the thief, the bank robber, the vagrant, the white-collar criminal, among others, and their relationship to the police officer, the lawyer, the jury, the judge and the hangman will be explored to arrive at a deeper sense of the conflicts and contradictions that underpinned Irish life and continue to shape it into the present.
The series also aims to explore the construction and meaning of key concepts such as ‘crime’ and ‘evil’ and the impact of such concepts on the individual, society and the state. In doing so, the series will embrace but also cut across key aspects of political, legal, economic, social and cultural history and raise questions about the nature of Irish society over time in fruitful and novel ways.