Dr Stuart Waiton

Senior Lecturer

School School of Social and Health Sciences

Department Division of Sociology

Contact info

+44 (0)1382 30 8767


I’m a Sociology and Criminology lecturer. I also write for several newspapers on issues associated with the criminalisation and over-regulation of everyday life.

My research interests include the politics of antisocial behaviour, the changing nature of politics beyond left and right and the construction of ‘hate crime’. I’m also interested in early intervention and its role in crime-related social policy and the ‘policing’ of families. This and other work relates to ideas about ‘governing vulnerability’ within a ‘therapeutic culture’. Finally, I am interested in risk/fear and the ideas of moral and amoral panics.

I am the author of Scared of the Kids, and The Politics of Antisocial Behaviour: Amoral Panics. My most recent book is Snobs’ Law: Criminalising Football Fans in an Age of Intolerance.

Dr Waiton teaches largely on the Criminological Studies course exploring issues to do with modern forms of criminalisation. He also teaches postgraduate students carrying out the Masters by Research and is available for PhD supervision.

The specific modules are

CRM101 Crime and Punishment - how to understand how crime is constructed and how language/behaviour is criminalised.

CRM301 Contemporary Criminological Theory - Governing crime, gender and crime and risk/fear and crime.

CRM401 Contemporary Issues in Criminological Research explores the rise of the victim of crime within an understanding of the 'therapeutic culture' and looks at hate crime, restorative justice and the growing policing of antisocial behaviour.

Research interests include:

The political and therapeutic way in which crime and the issue of antisocial behaviour have developed in the UK. In particular the way in which 'vulnerability' and the construction of it have impacted upon crime and society.

Moral Panics - but more specifically amoral panics in society.

The changing nature of politics beyond left and right and the impact this has upon crime as a socially constructed problem: With particular interest in the construction of 'hate crime'.

The history of early intervention and its emerging centrality to crime related social policy.


2012: Snobs’ Law: Criminalising Football Fans in an Age of Intolerance. Dundee: Take a Liberty (Scotland).


Sugata Nandi, Soccer and Society, Vol 14 (6) 2013.

The book is an important contribution to the field of research on the ways in which working-class cultures are victimized and deemed criminal by political and cultural elites who enjoy privileged access to political decision-making and use the criminal justice systems to serve their own ends.

Joel Best, Theory in Action, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 2013:127-132

Both Füredi and Waiton make principled arguments. They warn that today’s proponents of diversity and respect worry that tolerance–a willingness both to articulate reasoned opposition to another’s views, and to acknowledge that other’s right to hold and express contrary views–can harm individuals and threaten the larger social order by fostering social conflict. Certainly both authors catch these proponents justifying intolerance. Both books are carefully reasoned, and I found their arguments compelling.

2008: The Politics of Antisocial Behaviour: Amoral Panics, London: Routledge.


  • Peter Ramsay, London School of Economics, Criminology and Criminal Justice

This is a book packed with sharp original insights that marks out a significant new line of enquiry for theories of criminal law and criminal justice.

  • Majid Yar, University of Hull, Crime, Media, Culture

Waiton has produced a thought-provoking and challenging book; that takes recent criminological debates (such as those around social control, actuarial justice, risk and fear of crime) and resituates them within a wider sociological thesis about the decline of a coherent political culture.

  • Harris Chaiklin, University of Maryland, The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

This work should be widely read. It is an acute analysis that effectively challenges common explanations for what are assumed to be social problems.

  • Jessica Crofts, Youth Research Centre, Youth Studies Australia

One of Waiton’s most important insights is that the contemporary notion of antisocial behaviour is a consequence of a particular political orientation that focuses on minimising harm and risk, and promoting safety.

2008: Scared of the Kids? Curfews crime and the regulation of young people. Study Edition. Dundee: Abertay University Press.

  • Professor John Macbeath, University of Cambridge, Times Education Supplement 22nd June 2001 Book of the Week

An absorbing and challenging book: a must-read because it presents so much with which instinctively to disagree, while addressing so many fundamental issues, confronting so much “common sense” and undermining so many shibboleths.

  • Alex Downie, Editor Journal of Community Work and Development

A review cannot do justice to what is a very thought provoking and insightful text. While the research undertaken forms the basis of the book it is set within a discourse of crime and the safety industry, children’s play, their freedom, the generation gap between adults and young people and perhaps the demise of ‘the freedom-loving rebelliousness associated with teenage life’.

  • Reece Walters, University of Stirling, Journal of Social Policy

The book integrates developments in criminal justice policies and practices with community and expert attitudes to provide a text enriched with facts and figures about contemporary youth justice.

  • Janet Jamieson, Lancaster University, Youth Justice

‘Scared of the Kids’ provides an insightful, challenging and critical perspective on curfews and as such should prove of value to all those with interests in current youth and youth justice policies.

Book chapters

2017 'The New Class and the Wellbeing State' in  Almqvist, K. and Thomas, I. (eds) The Future of the Welfare State, Axel and Margaret Ax:son Foundation, Stockholm.

2016 ‘Amoral panic: The fall ofStockholm. the autonomous family and the rise of ‘early intervention’’ in Cree, V.E., Clapton, G. and Smith, M. (eds) Gender and the Family: Revisiting Moral Panics, Policy Press, Bristol.

2014 ‘Antisocial Behaviour and the Vulnerable Public’, in Anti-social Behaviour in Britain: Victorian and Contemporary Perspectives, (ed) Sarah Pickard. London: Palgrave MacMillan.

2014: Waiton, S: ‘Criminalising Football Fans in an Age of Intolerance’, in Football Hooliganism, Crime and Crowd Management: Contemporary perspectives. Edited by Matt Hopkins and James Treadwell. Palgrave MacMillan.  

2013: Waiton, S. 'The New Sectarians' in Scotland Bigotry and Football: Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

2009: Waiton, S. ‘Asocial not antisocial: the ‘Respect Agenda’ and the therapeutic me’ in Peter Squires (Ed) ASBO Nation: The Criminalisation of Nuisance. Bristol: Policy Press.

2008: Waiton, S. ‘Youthful Misbehaviours or Adult Traumas?’, in Dave Clements (Ed) Future of Community. London: Pluto Press.

2002: Waiton, S. ‘Who’s Afraid of Friendship’ in Lee, E. (ed) Teenage Sex: What should       schools teach children? London: Hodder and Stoughton

Journal Papers

2016: Waiton, S. ‘The named person in Scotland, Third Way Parenting and the policing of family life’ in Sage Open. January 2016.

2016: Waiton, S. ‘Criminalising songs and symbols in Scottish Football: how sectarian legislation has created a new ‘sectarian’ divide in Scotland’. Soccer and Society January.

2013: Waiton, S. Review Essay: ‘ASBOs as assurance in the post-liberal era’, in the International Journal of Law in Context Vol. 9, Issue 3, pp. 429-436.

2011: Waiton, S. ‘“Wellfare” Culture the English Riots and the Collapse of Authority’, in Scottish Affairs No.77, Autumn, pp. 54-78.

2010: Waiton, S. ‘The Antisocialisation of Young People’, in Youth and Policy No.105, pp. 37-49.

2010: Waiton, S. ‘The Politics of Surveillance: Big Brother on Prozac’, in Surveillance and Society. Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 61-84.

2009: Waiton, S. ‘Policing After the Crisis: Crime, Safety and the Vulnerable Public’, in  Punishment and Society, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 359-376.

2007: Waiton, S. ‘Losing the Future: The Fear of Youth in the 21st Century’, in Concept The Journal of Contemporary Education and Practice Theory.

2007: ‘Freedoms Orphans and the Fear of Freedom’, in the Scottish Journal of Youth Work Studies.


2013 Battle of Ideas Debate on Role Models http://www.worldbytes.org/role-models-on-your-best-behaviour/


Meet the rest of the team

Dr Ashley Rogers

Dr Ashley Rogers

Division of Sociology | Lecturer

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Mrs Jan Law

Mrs Jan Law

Division of Sociology | Teaching Fellow

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