Canada Research Chair in Social Theory, Culture and Law
Professor of Law and Sociology at the University of Alberta
George Pavlich received his BA and BA (Hons) degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa), an MA from Simon Fraser University, and a PhD from the University of British Columbia.
His research interests include the overlapping areas of social theory, socio-legal studies, sociology of law, critical criminology, and restorative justice. He is the author of numerous journal articles and books in these areas, including, Law and Society Redefined (Oxford University Press). A co-edited collection with Matt Unger Accusation: Creating Criminals is forthcoming with UBC Press, as is a third edition of a Questioning Sociology, edited with Myra Hird (Oxford University Press). He is working on a manuscript for McGill-Queens University Press, dealing with the late nineteenth century deployment of Dominion criminal law over the Canada's 'west' (focusing on BC and Alberta). A collection of his writing on criminal acccusation is currently being assembled in one volume (contract pending with Routledge).
Professor Pavlich's research program involves drawing on social theory and historical analysis to make sense of the gateways by which people are selected to be governed as 'criminals'. Through historical explorations, this research shows how accusatorial entryways were launched as mechanisms for selecting persons to face crime control. Understanding the dynamics of these gateways, and their increasing complexity, the research aims to limit the number of people who enter massive criminal justice arenas. At the same time it seeks socially inclusive, but effective, ways to govern many actions now defined as crime. It indicates how processes of criminal accusation and notions of the criminal person have historically shaped a broad reliance on punitive criminal justice. The work points to the value of increasing social attachments over exclusionary strategies that align with concepts of crime and punishment. The overall research program promises to have consequential social, ecomonic and policy benefits.