oa Phronimon - The phronesis of conservation criminology phraseology : a genealogical and dialectical narrative

Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1561-4018



During the last decade natural resource crime and criminality have received growing attention from criminological scholars. There remains, however, a spirited subterranean and unresolved debate regarding the most appropriate nomenclature/diction to portray this form of crime and its study. Varying views exist among criminological scholars regarding the most appropriate terminology to describe the study of crime in the natural resource arena which has, over the years, produced somewhat of a semantical farrago. It appears therefore that the time is ripe to interrogate this issue more methodically in an attempt to lobby criminological scholars and conservation protagonists alike to galvanise behind one cognate indicator that passes onomastical muster. An apposite truism attributed to Socrates, which can be related to the issue at hand, was in fact: "Η αρχή της σοφίας είναι ο καθορισμός των όρων", literally translated as "The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms", encapsulating the intrinsic thrust of this narrative. In order to probe this linguistic issue and ruminate on its constituents, it was deemed prudent to seek guidance from the wisdom of certain ancient Hellenic philosophers, the prominent Spinozian, Gilles Deleuze, the Cartesian and father of modern Western philosophy, René Descartes, as well as customary English language conventions. In the form of a four-pronged alliance these resources were marshalled to underscore and unravel the present-day diachronic dichotomies and, to a certain extent, resolve the ossifying impasse. An attempt is made to dispel the factoids and ersatz definitions/terminology permeating the criminological discourse in relation to the study of natural resource crime and criminality, to wit, green, environmental and ecological criminology. Moreover, a case is made for the recognition and entrenchment of an unambiguous sub-field of study, namely conservation criminology.

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