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Bar Wars: Contesting the Night in Contemporary British Cities - Clarendon Studies in Criminology (Paperback)
  • Bar Wars: Contesting the Night in Contemporary British Cities - Clarendon Studies in Criminology (Paperback)

Bar Wars: Contesting the Night in Contemporary British Cities - Clarendon Studies in Criminology (Paperback)

Paperback 344 Pages / Published: 25/05/2006
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In Britain today, if you are in the business of fighting crime, then you have to be in the business of dealing with alcohol. 'Binge-drinking' culture is intrinsic to urban leisure and has come to pose a key threat to public order. Unsurprisingly, a struggle is occurring. Pub and club companies, local authorities, central government, the police, the judiciary, local residents, and revellers, all hold variously competing notions of night-time social order and the uses and meanings of public and private space. Bar Wars explores the issue of contestation within and between these groups. Located within a long tradition of urban ethnography, the book offers unique and hard-hitting analyses of social control in bars and clubs, courtroom battles between local communities and the drinks industry, and street-level policing, These issues go the heart of contemporary debates on anti-social behaviour and were hotly debated during the development of the Licensing Act 2003 and its contentious passage through parliament. The book presents a controversial critique of recent shifts in national alcohol policy. It uses historical, documentary, interview, and observational methods to chart the emergence of the 'night-time high street,' a social environment set aside for the exclusive purposes of mass hedonistic consumption, and describes the political and regulatory struggles that help shape important aspects of urban life. The book identifies the adversarial licensing trial as a key arena of contestation and describes how leisure corporations and their legal champions circumvent regulatory control in courtroom duels with subordinate opponents. The author's experiences as an expert witness to the licensing courts provide a unique perspective, setting his work apart from other academic commentators. Bar Wars takes the study of the night-time economy to a new level of sophistication, making it essential reading for all those wishing to understand the governance of crime and social order in contemporary cities.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199297863
Number of pages: 344
Weight: 432 g
Dimensions: 215 x 139 x 20 mm

Hadfield's analysis of licensing procedure was both original and remarkably insightful, and points the way for further ethnographic work on licensing trials, given their huge potential to shape strategy at the local and national levels
Hadfield provides a powerful critique of the existing licensing system and its inability to reflect on, and respond to, evidence relating to criminality in licensed spaces. His conclusion that an inquisitorial mode of licensing hearing would lead to fairer and more representative licensing decisions is unquestionable * British Journal of Criminology *
Phil Hadfield is a prolific and highly engaging writer on Britain's night-time economy...Bar Wars is a highly recommended tour-de-force
Hadfield systematically unpicks the minutiae of the historical, social, cultural, economic and legal forces which have shaped our contemporary urban spaces at night, and opens up intellectual space for further critical engagement with the consequences of, and possible alternatives to, the commercialisation of British high streets.
As public health and public order concerns around British alcohol consumption continue, carefully researched, theoretically innovative, considered accounts of Britain's night-time economy such as Bar Wars are much needed by those seeking to understand how we find ourselves in this drink-sodden, vomit-splattered mess, and how we may, if not get out of it, at least minimise its harmful effects. * British Journal of Sociology *
An insider's view of the exploitative and occasionally ruthless underbelly of the licensed venues that populate the British 'high-street'The power plays, the striking of deals, competition for prized locations and the stockpiling of transferable licenses, summon up images of a giant game of monopoly played out on real streets with real hotels and really big dollars(the author) leaves us in no doubt of his authenticity and personal credentials for writing this bookTimely, intelligently written, supported by insight from personal experience - but tempered with academic rigour -Bar Wars is recommended reading for anyone interested in the inexorable and complex relations between the late-night drinking environment, crime, regulation, governance and policy. * Drug and Alcohol Review *
A useful contribution to the relatively scant canon of literature on the role and importance of licensing and the Night-time Economy. It is not a legal text and is fairly critical of lawyers. As a result it forces the legal reader to reconsider some of his or her own views and prejudices when one sees the legal profession and process under scrutiny by a non-legal academic observerI would recommend this book to anyone interested in licensing law. * Entertainment and Sports Law Journal *
With all-night drinking two years old last November, you might like to invest your beer money in a copy of Bar Wars, OUP's excellent new study of the night-tme economy in British cities * Davis Bowes, Thames View, January 2008 *

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