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Title: The emergence and development of Disability Hate Crime policy and practice in England and Wales : a case of an unsettled and unsettling policy agenda
Author: Taylor, Seamus
ISNI:       0000 0004 7960 5546
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2019
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This study aimed to analyse the emergence and development of Disability Hate Crime as a policy area in the criminal justice system in England and Wales. It did this through building an understanding of the contributory factors including the challenges within the criminal justice system, wider government and politics, the independent statutory sector and disabled peoples organisations that led to the emergence and development of Disability Hate Crime policy and practice. This study contributes the first comprehensive analysis of the emergence and development of Disability Hate Crime in England and Wales to hate crime studies. Using a case study approach the thesis triangulates evidence from interviews in activist, policy and political streams, from hate crime cases and analysis of policy documents to chart this policy journey. It analyses the journey from agenda invisibility through agenda triggering to significant institutionalised actions on Disability Hate Crime in the criminal justice system, showing the roles of activism, politics and policy making in shaping this policy process. It underscores the analysis of this policy journey with a key focus on problematisation in policy making on Disability Hate Crime. This study found that Disability Hate Crime has faced challenges in its emergence and development as a policy area in the criminal justice system. It has faced challenges at each stage of the policy journey from initial agenda triggering, through agenda setting and onto agenda institutionalisation. This study concludes that Disability Hate Crime is an unsettled and unsettling policy agenda with agenda institutionalisation, as an established predictable area of policy and practice, some way off, despite legislation in 2003. The study found that: - Disability Hate Crime remains an unsettled policy agenda in that it displays an unsettled discourse, varied ways of responding, a need for ongoing national strategic action, and limited transition into day-to-day routine business. - Disability Hate Crime is an unsettling policy agenda in that it challenges understandings of hostility and prejudice beyond direct manifestations of hostility. It is also unsettling in that it raises a dual problematisation of targeted crimes against disabled people as either hostility targeting or vulnerability targeting. This reflects a wider dual problematisation of disability as either an issue of welfare or as an issue of rights. - Current understandings of disability hostility reflect under recognition of disability discrimination and linked ideologies of ableism and disablism. This under recognition of disability hostility lead to justice failures in Disability Hate Crime cases. Constructions of the targeting of disabled people in crime as based on vulnerability lacks recognition of such targeting as biased, hostile targeting of disabled people. This study reconceptualises disability hostility as hostility including vulnerability targeting. Arising from these conclusions, on an optimistic note, this study recommends a change to hate crime law which recognises that disability hostility can be based on hostility demonstration, a hostility motivation or hostile targeting because of disability. This study concludes that rather than institutionalisation of Disability Hate Crime as day-to-day hate crime business, it still remains unusual business. This study contributes a reconceptualization of the concept of disability hostility to include targeting because of disability - 'disability vulnerability'. It makes the case for varied legal provisions to reflect the protection requirements of different hate crime strands. It adds to the body of case studies on public policy making. Finally, it illuminates the influence of equality law on Disability Hate Crime policy making.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral