Matthew B. Robinson, PhD


Matthew Robinson at presidential inauguration, January 2009

Contact Info / Department of Government and Justice Studies

Professor of Government & Justice Studies

Joined Appalachian State University Fall 1997

Ph.D. (1997), M.S. (1994), and B.S. (1992) from:

The Florida State University School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Areas of Specialization:
  • Theories of Crime / Integrated Theory -- Why do people commit crimes, especially harmful acts against others? I regularly teach "Theories of Crime and Justice," and "Crime, Theory and Policy" and published a book featuring my own theory of crime -- the "Integrated Systems Theory of Antisocial Behavior."  The book is: Robinson, Matthew (2004) Why Crime? An Integrated Systems Theory of Antisocial Behavior, Prentice-Hall.  A second edition, completely reorganized and updated with hundreds of new studies and with a new subtitle, is now available from Carolina Academic Press (2009). The second edition is co-authored with Kevin Beaver. I also co-authored a book with Derek Paulsen on spatial aspects of crime and crime mapping.  The book is: Paulsen, Derek, and Matthew Robinson (2004, 2009) Crime Mapping and Spatial Aspects of Crime: Theory and Practice, Allyn & Bacon. Finally, I have co-authored a book with Daniel Murphy about another new theory of crime aimed at explaining corporate crime.  The theory is called "contextual anomie/strain theory" and the book is: Robinson, Matthew, and Daniel Murphy (2008) Greed is Good: Maximization and Elite Deviance in America, Rowman and Littlefield.
  • War on Drugs -- Is the war on drugs an effective policy?  I regularly team teach "The War on Drugs" and co-authored a book that assesses the effectiveness of the war on drugs since the founding of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in 1989.  The book is: Robinson, Matthew, and Renee Scherlen (2007) Lies, Damned Lies, and Drug War Statistics, State University of New York Press.
  • Injustices of the Criminal Justice System -- What is wrong with American criminal justice?  I occasionally teach "Injustice in America" and have authored a book on how and why American criminal justice agencies fail to achieve their ideal goals of doing justice and reducing crime, as well as how to fix the problems. The book is: Robinson, Matthew (2002, 2005, 2009) Justice Blind?  Ideals and Realities of American Criminal Justice, Prentice-Hall.
  • Criminal Justice Policy and Social Justice -- Does criminal justice work?  I occasionally teach "Crime Analysis and Criminal Justice Planning," and have analyzed specific criminal justice policies using empirical evidence, including the war on drugs and the death penalty.  Further, I teach a course called "The American Justice System and Social Justice" that assesses the ability of criminal justice policies and programs to bring about social justice. I am currently working on projects that assess relationships between criminal justice practice and social justice theory (including the drug war and capital punishment), as well as a book on how the media cover crime and criminal justice. The book will be The Media: Crime and Criminal Justice in News and Entertainment.

Other Areas of Interest:

  • Crime prevention / Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)
  • Spatial aspects of crime
  • 9/11 and the aftermath
  • Big tobacco
  • Mass media, crime, and criminal justice

Office: 2034 Anne Belk Hall

Phone: (828) 262-6560
Fax: (828) 262-2947