James Q. Wilson

James Q. Wilson


Born
The United States
Died
March 02, 2012

Genre


James Q. Wilson was one of the leading contemporary criminologists in the United States. Wilson, who has taught at several major universities during his academic career, has also written on economics and politics during his lengthy career. During the 1960s and 1970s, Wilson voiced concerns about trying to address the social causes of crime. He argued instead that public policy is most effective when it focuses on objective matters like the costs and benefits of crime. Wilson views criminals as rational human beings who will not commit crimes when the costs associated with crime become impractical.

James Q. Wilson most recently taught at Boston College and Pepperdine University. He was Professor Emeritus of Management and Public Administratio
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More books by James Q. Wilson…
“Many, if not most, of the difficulties we experience in dealing with government agencies arise from the agencies being part of a fragmented and open political system…The central feature of the American constitutional system—the separation of powers—exacerbates many of these problems. The governments of the US were not designed to be efficient or powerful, but to be tolerable and malleable. Those who designed these arrangements always assumed that the federal government would exercise few and limited powers.”
James Q. Wilson

“Broken Window Theory: Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it's unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside. Or consider a sidewalk. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of trash from take-out restaurants there or even break into cars.”
James Q. Wilson

“We live in a world shaped by the ambiguous legacy of the Enlightenment...[it] enlarged the scope of human freedom, prepared our minds for the scientific method, made man the measure of all things, and placed individual consent front and center on the political stage.”
James Q. Wilson