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Palgrave Macmillan

A Criminology of the Human Species

Setting an Unsettling Tone

  • Book
  • © 2023


  • Uses a critical (green) criminology approach to ask challenging questions about possible human extinction
  • Examines humans' past, present and future causes of destruction and extinction
  • Explores human survival in space

Part of the book series: Palgrave Studies in Green Criminology (PSGC)

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About this book

The book sketches out how the criminological lens could be used in the climate change debate around possible human extinction. It explores the extent to which the human species can be considered deviant in relation to other species of the contemporary biosphere, as humans seem to be the only species on Earth that does not live in natural balance with their environment (anymore). It discusses several unsettling topics in the public debate on climate change, specifically the taboo of how humans may not survive the ongoing climate change. It includes chapters on the Earth’s history of mass-extinctions, the global state of denial including toward the possibility that the human species could go extinct, and it considers humans' future as a deviant, fatal species outside of Earth, in outer-space, possibly on other planets. It puts forward and enriches the critical criminological tradition by conceptualizing and setting an unsettling tone within criminology and criminological research on the human species and our extinction, by daring criminologists (and victimologists) to ponder and seek empirical answers to controversial imaginations and questions about our possible extinction.


Table of contents (7 chapters)


“For those getting a bit bored with the endless stream of micro-criminological studies with little ideological bearing, this well-researched book is an unexpected treat. Pushing the limits of criminology’s interdisciplinarity tradition, it outlines how Homo sapiens as an intrinsically criminal species is bound to extinct itself and life on Earth as we know it. The stakes are nothing less than the prevention of the Apocalypse.” (Jan van Dijk, winner of the Stockholm Prize in Criminology 2012)

Authors and Affiliations

  • VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Yarin Eski

About the author

Yarin Eski is Assistant Professor in Public Administration and Co-Director of the Resilience, Security & Civil Unrest (ReSCU) R&I Lab at the Vrije Universiteit (VU), Amsterdam. He obtained his PhD from the University of Glasgow in 2015 and previously lectured at Liverpool John Moores University, UK. Yarin is Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the United Kingdom.

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