The purpose of this book is to add a new concern to the list of issues contending for position on the nation's urban policy agenda. By highlighting the relationship between disorder and neighborhood life, Disorder and Decline attempts to expand the scope of the traditionally popular "crime" agenda to encompass other pressing features of urban life. To do this, it was necessary to demonstrate that issus like vandalism and public drinking are somehow as "important" as burglary and drug abuse; thus the book's focus on the serious consequences of disorder for community stability. Because many disorder problems clearly are unresponsive to traditional criminal justice solutions, the book also called for thinking more expansively about what can be done to counter community decline, in particular by the police.
Wesley Skogan is Professor of Political Science and Urban Affairs at Northwestern University and directs the Program in Law and the Social Sciences.
"Crime, disorder, and decay symbolize the decline of America's inner cities. Skogan's book is theoretically acute, methodologically sophisticated, and politically astute. It should be required reading for every urban sociologist, policy planner, and public official."—Jerome H. Skolnick, University of California, Berkeley
"Panhandling, graffiti, prostitution, abandoned cars and buildings, and junk-filled lots are evidence of neighborhood disorder and decline. In this absorbing and valuable study, Skogan discusses the implications of disorder and skillfully analyzes experimental efforts undertaken to confront it in several American cities."—Gilbert Geis, University of California, Irvine
"This timely book not only documents the relationship between disorder and neighborhood decline, but provides a cogent analysis of the currently favored solutions to problems such as community policing and citizen self-help."—Dr. Thomas A. Reppetto, President, Citizens Crime Commission of New York City
American Sociological Association's Section on Crime, Law, and Deviance's 1991 Distinguished Scholar Award, American Sociological Association