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The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs – A Summary of Chapters 1-4

 

NB –  You might also like this summary of Chapter 8 – Which focuses on AIDs and malaria in Africa and ‘Jeffrey Sach’s case for International Development Aid, a summary of chapters 12-16

It would be useful for students of Global Development to develop a critical understanding of this book because Sachs has been one the most influential economic advisers  to both Nation States and global financial institutions such as the IMF over the last three decades. Jeffrey Sachs is well known popularly because of his links with Bono and his championing of the role of Western Aid and Philanthropy in helping to solve development problems.  

Sachs is critical of ‘grand theories of development’- such as ’70s Dependency Theory and the Neoliberal approach of the World Bank/ IMF in the 80s and 90s – but  he is still optimistic that if we can engage in what he calls ‘clinical economics’ and uncover the country specific barriers there are to development in individual countries, we can develop effective strategies to end poverty- both the extreme poverty faced by the world’s billion poorest, and also the moderate poverty faced by another 1.6 billion.

While development strategies need to be specific to each country, Sachs sees international co-operation crucial to ending extreme poverty and so Western Official Development Aid, good governance on the part of developing nation states, Transnational Corporations, and The United Nations all have a crucial role to play in bringing about development. Technological innovation, and Trade (including changing the rules of trade so they don’t unfairly benefit developed nations) are seen as key universal strategies to be adopted to bring about development.

Sachs is also a champion of the United Nation’s 8 Millennium Development Goals – not as ends in themselves but because lack of development in each of the 8 areas other than economic well being can be a barrier to economic development, which in Sach’s mind is correlated with all other development goals, and economic growth, measured by rising GDP per capita, to be achieved through the integration of countries into the global economy through trade remains the ultimate goal of development according to Sachs.

Students can use Sachs to all the popular theories of development from the preceding six decades – Modernisation Theory, Dependency Theory and Neo-liberalism. Below is a summary of selected chapters of Sach’s The End of Poverty, with some criticisms.

 

Chapter 1: A Global Family Portrait

Sachs outlines elements of life in four countries – Malawi, Bangladesh, India and China which broadly correspond to four ‘stages’ of development –

  • Malawi – caught in ‘the perfect storm’ is portrayed as a Malaria and AIDS infested rural backwater, largely cut off from international trade – represents the four billion people trapped in extreme  poverty – living on less than $1 a day
  • Bangladesh – ‘on the ladder of development is ‘ integrated into the international economy but at the bottom end of it, and characterized by ‘sweatshop’ labour but also increasing amounts of micro-financed businesses which offer hope for more independent economic development – represents the poor – or the 1.5 billion people living on between $1-$2/ day
  • India – at the centre of an export services revolution – is provided as an example of a country that is increasingly populated with people on ‘middle incomes’ – with increasing numbers of city dwellers working for Transnational Companies and related home-grown business earning $250 -$400 a month – although India is a country of extremes – with many in rural areas living on $1-2 a day
  • China – is characterized by rising affluence – again like India there are millions who live in poverty, but parts of China are increasingly coming to resemble the West. Sachs in fact tells of how he first saw cell phones with cameras in Beijing, not America.

Who are the poor?

Poverty is not uniformly distributed across the globe – i.e. there are rich and poor people in every country, although most of the poor live in three regions – South and East Asia and Sub Saharan Africa. Where extreme poverty was concerned Sachs notes that the figures were as follows – (NB these are 2001 figures!) – (Updates to follow)

  • South Asia – 400 million (30% of the population)
  • East Asia – 250 million (15% of the population)
  • Sub Saharan Africa – 300 million (40% of the population )

Sachs also notes that there is hope – because the numbers of those in extreme poverty in East and South Asia have fallen by 2/5ths and 1/3rd respectively since 1981, although numbers grew slightly in Africa.He then goes on to state what should be the four development goals of our age

  • To meet the MDGs by 2015
  • To end extreme poverty by 2025
  • To ensure that by 2025 all the worlds poor have an opportunity to climb the ladder of economic development
  • To accomplish this with modest financial help from the rich countries.

 

Chapter 2 – The Spread of Economic Prosperity

According to the economic historian Angus Maddison, 1820 was the year when ‘The Great Transformation’ began. 1820 was the year when the Modern World Economy ‘took off’. The previous 800 years had seen no significant increase in world population growth or income, but from 1820, population and economic growth began to grow rapidly. Referring to this rapid period of post 1820s growth, Sachs notes that –

  • All regions on earth experience economic growth
  • Some regions grew much more rapidly than others.

To illustrate this, in 1820, the income of the average European was only 90% that of the average African and the average life expectancy was very similar, around 40 years of age. Focusing on GDP/capita, the UK was only four times richer than Africa, by 1998 this had rise to 20 times greater (factoring in PPP). We can roughly break down this inequality as follows –

  • 1/6th of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty
  • 2/3rds experience middle income lifestyles
  • 1/6th experience high income

Why did some countries grow so rapidly from the 1820s?

Sachs now looks at the United Kingdom as the country that, from 1820, developed more rapidly than any other and asks – why? – He points to the following features –

  1. British Society was relatively open- there was scope for social mobility and hierarchies were less rigid than in most of the rest of Europe
  2. Britain guaranteed certain individual freedoms (individualism) – it had a tradition of free speech and protection of private property
  3. 3.    (and critically) It was one of the leading centres of scientific revolution. In particular, Newton laid the groundings for the industrial revolution. NB Sach’s argues that technological innovation is the critical element in bringing about development
  4. Geographical advantages – It was an Island close to Europe with inland navigable waterways
  5. Britain faced less risk of invasion compared with its neighbours in Europe
  6. Britain had coal – the energy source that fueled the great industrial revolution.

The Combination of new industrial technologies, coal power and market forces created the industrial revolution – and this meant that economies could grow beyond long-accustomed bounds without hitting the biological constraints of food and timber production. The industrial revolution in turn lead to economic growth and these two things changed the way people lived in Britain in every fundamental sense. They lead to what Sachs calls the Great Transformation – in which British society and culture were transformed, laying the foundations for yet more growth and prosperity[1]

Sachs also mentions that Colonialism was key to Britain, and Europe’s development – which involved the use of military force to press-gang Asia and Africa to the service of Western Development – Although Sach’s argues that its not as simple as the West’s development coming at the expense of India and Africa, in the long run, the West’s expansion into these regions helped bring about some, albeit extremely limited, economic growth. Colonialism and exploitation of the developing world did occur, but these are not sufficient reasons to explain why certain countries, and indeed most of Sub Saharan Africa failed to develop – which is the topic Sachs turns to in chapter 3.

Chapter 3 – Why some countries fail to achieve economic growth

In this chapter Sachs suggests eight things that can prevent a country developing

  1. The Poverty Trap – Poverty itself as a cause of economic stagnation – The key problem for the poorest countries is that poverty itself can be a trap. When poverty is very extreme, the poor do not have the ability – by themselves – to get out of the mess. This is because, when people are utterly destitute, all energy goes into survival and there is no capacity to save anything for the future.
  2. Physical geography – Being landlocked or ‘hemmed in’ by mountainous terrain can prevent access to trade networks that bring about development – this is the case with Bolivia (mountains) and Ethiopia (landlocked and poor transport networks). Also Sub-Saharan Africa has an ideal climate that allows malarial mosquitoes to breed, which has decimated much of the population in recent decades.
  3. Fiscal trap – the government may lack the resources to pay for the infrastructure, on which economic growth depends – such as health care, roads, ports, education. There are three reasons for this – firstly, the population may be too poor to tax, secondly it may be inept or corrupt and finally it may be debt burdened.
  4. Governance failures – governments have a crucial role to play in development – not only through developing infrastructure but also through resolving conflicts and ensuring peace and stability. At the extremes, poor governance can result in failed states which can often lead to economic deterioration.
  5. Cultural Barriers – The two main ones are patriarchal countries which deny women equal rights with men – not only does this bar half the population from the opportunity of being economically active, keeping women in a child-rearing role is linked to higher fertility rates, and greater poverty, and also religious and ethnic differences can lead to tensions and even genocide.
  6. Trade Barriers – Some countries economies are crippled by unfair trade rules, for example The Four West African countries whose primary export is cotton are held back economically because of the USA’s subsidies to its own domestic cotton farmers.
  7. Lack of Innovation – The ‘innovation cycle’ (aka endogenous growth) is one of the main factors responsible for the West’s and now Asia’s rapid economic growth – New products being produced and consumed lead to more innovations as people develop more products related to them – (E.G. Now we have Smart Phones – people innovate and develop new applications) – Where people are so poor they have nothing, there is no scope for innovation!
  8. The demographic trap – Poverty leads to higher fertility rates (families choosing to have more children) Economic growth leads to fewer children. Women in the poorest countries have on average 4-6 children – simply put it is harder to feed so many children, and impossible to send all of them to school – resulting in a cycle of poor health, low education and yet more poverty.

Why some poor countries grew and others declined

To cut a medium length section short – the most important factor Sachs points to not covered above is food productivity – quite simply, the reason why Asia has grown more rapidly than Sub Saharan Africa in the last 30 years is that they have experience a ‘green revolution’ – they are capable of producing twice as much food per hectare because of better irrigation and selection of more modern species of crop. He also mentions the fact that ‘natural shocks’ have prevented some countries from developing. He then gives a few examples of different countries that have experienced a selection of the problems above in the years since WW2.

 

The greatest challenge: overcoming the poverty trap

The end of chapter 3 (P73) is where Sachs outlines his classic statement of development – to quote

“The main object of economic development is for the poorest countries is to help these countries gain a foothold on the ladder: The rich countries do not have to invest enough in the poorest countries to make them rich: they need to invest enough so that these countries can get their foot on the ladder. After that, the tremendous dynamism of self-sustaining economic growth can take hold.”

 

Chapter 4 – Clinical Economics

Sachs has developed a new sub-discipline called clinical economics. Each failed conomy is unique and its ailments must be carefully diagnosed before a prescription suited to the condition can be written. Sachs includes helpful checklists to diagnose the causes of economic decline and formulate a cure for the malady. We need to look at the following aspects of a country, and its relationship to the wider world in order to assess what assistance is needed to enable it to progress further up the ladder of development:

  1. The Nature and distribution of poverty and its ultimate causes/ potential risk factors – including commodity price fluctuations and ‘climate shocks’
  2. Government policies and capacity to invest in infrastructure
  3. Physical Geography – including transport conditions, agronomy, population density and the disease landscape
  4. Governance Patterns and failures – civil rights, corruption
  5. Cultural Barriers – Gender and ethnic divisions
  6. Geopolitics – Cross boarder threats (wars/ refugees) and also trade relations.

So, at the end of the day, by 2005, this was the bottom line of development theory – it maybe flippant to say this about one man’s life work – but it don’t sound like rocket science to me! Of course I am aware of the fact that doing the analysis and implantation is an extremely time consuming task.  

If I get time I may post the rest of the summary laters! (No promises)

 

Criticisms of the End of Poverty

Firstly a few of my own –

  1. He puts too much emphasis on economic growth as a goal in itself – It is quite clear that economic growth does not yield uniform increases in quality of life across all countries – take Saudia Arabia, and possibly Nigeria as examples of countries you probably don’t want to live – but they have either a high GDP or a rapidly growing economy.
  2. I have a problem with idea of economic growth being ‘self sustaining’ – although you might say I’m saying this with the hindsight of the 2008 financial crash, this is actually coming from basic Marxist economics – a system cannot keep on growing at the rate of 2-3%, let alone at 7-8% for ever – because the bigger you get, the harder the harder it is to maintain economic growth rates. (8% of $500 billion output is much more than 8% of $50 billion!)
  3. He hardly mentions sustainable development, or the idea of “limits to growth’’
  4. ‘Clinical Economics’ maybe just sounds like an excuse to employ thousands of more ‘development experts’ to diagnose developing countries specific problems.

And criticisms from others

This is a brilliantly scathing critique! – among the criticisms

  • He is not critical enough of Corporations and their role in pulling the strings of Western Governments – who create trade policies that benefit Western Corporations rather than developing countries
  • Even though he is critical of the IMF and neoliberalisation – he still argues that ‘Trade’ is ultimately the solution to developing world problems
  • Related to the above point – this is still a Eurocentric theory – it is up to us to help them
  • Sachs also fails to acknowledge the work of developing world economists who came up with many of the ideas he seems to present as his own in The End of Poverty.

This post by John Vidal is also pretty scathing – among his point he argues that ‘Sachs seems to be suffering a dose of advanced consultivitis – symptoms include a swollen ego and a fervent belief that you can change the world. In a work littered with tales of meetings with presidents and global dignitaries, he plays the moral economist who goes from country to country handing out pills and mopping the fevered brows of administrations in economic crisis’.

This blog offers up some nice criticisms of Sach’s work – among them

  • He puts too much faith in the power of economic growth to solve all social problems – citing the example Saudi Arabia as a country that has a high GDP per capita but still a massive birth rate (and thus an eventual tendency to overpopulation
  • Another problem of econmic growth is that labour is mobile – so if you invest in education as part of a growth strategy, once people are educated – they tend to leave for more developed countries where they are better paid (known as the ‘brain drain’)
  • Even though he suggests (eventually) that aid can be an effective means of lifting a country out of poverty – he fails to give any examples of where aid has actually been effective at helping a poor country ‘take off’ successfully.
You might also like….

My summary of ‘Why Nations Fail’


[1] – The list of changes that Industrialisation and economic growth lead to is eerily evocative of Modernisation Theory from the 1940s… Sachs notes 5 aspects of the ‘Great Transformation’

  1. First and foremost Urbanisation
  2. A revolution in social mobility
  3. Changing gender roles
  4. New family structures (lower birth rates)
  5. An increasingly complex Division of labour with people getting more skilled
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Public Space Protection Orders and Criminal Behaviour Orders

ASBOs are one of the best known crime control methods in the UK – the problem is they don’t exist anymore, they’ve been replaced by Public Space Protection Orders and Criminal Behaviour Orders.

Public Space Protection Orders

Public Space Protection Orders – are a geographically defined version of ASBOs that could severely restrict people’s freedoms in urban space

Examples of how they are being used include:

Criminal Behaviour Orders 

The criminal behaviour order (among other things) replaced ASBOs in 2014 – these still require a person to abstain from antisocial behaviour but also stipulate that the person receiving the order undergo some kind course of corrective treatment (such as an anger management course). The order will also specify who is responsible for making the person undergo the correct treatment, and this effectively means that this strategy of crime control overlaps with the more left-realist focus on intervention and community empowerment.

Example (taken from the above web site)

An example given by the Home Office (in “Putting Victims First”) seeks to illustrate how the Criminal Behaviour Order will enable agencies to deal more effectively with anti-social behaviour:

A young person convicted of criminal damage after having broken the window of an elderly person’s house following an ongoing campaign of harassment. Under the current system, they could be prevented from going near their victim’s house, but under the new system, the same order could also require them to make good the damage to the victim’s window and engage with a mentoring programme to address the reasons why they were harassing the victim.

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Evaluating Broken Windows Theory

Broken Windows Theory suggests that high levels of physical disorder such as litter, graffiti, vandalism, or people engaged in Anti-Social Behaviour will result in higher crime rates. Broken Windows Theory is one aspect of the Right Realist approach to criminology

The evidence supporting Broken Windows Theory is somewhat mixed

This 2008 ‘£5 Note Theft and Social Disorder Experiment’ offers broad support for the theory…

In this (slightly bizarre sounding) experiment an envelope containing a £5 note was left poking out a letterbox, in such a way that the £5 note was easily visible. The researchers did this first of all with a tidy garden, and later on (similar time of day) with litter in the garden – on the first occasion 13% of people took the envelope, on the second, the percentage doubled to 25% – suggesting that signs of physical disorder such as littering encourage deviant behaviour.

broken windows theory

The experiment was actually a bit more complex – for the full details see the Keizer et al source below – this was also actually one of six experiments designed to test out Wilson and Kelling’s 1996 ‘broken windows theory’.

A second experiment, however, does not support broken windows theory…

Empirical results of the “Moving to Opportunity” program (reviewed in 2006) – a social experiment in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Baltimore and Boston did not support Broken Windows Theory. As part of the program, some 4,600 low-income families living in high-crime public housing communities—characterized by high rates of social disorder—were randomly assigned housing vouchers to move to less disadvantaged and less disorderly communities. Using official arrests and self-report surveys, the crime rates among those who moved and those who did not remained the same.

The problems with evaluating Broken Windows Theory

Wesley Skogan (see source below) identifies several reasons why Broken Windows theory is hard to evaluate – mainly focusing on how hard the theory is to operationalise:

  • Firstly, there are several different ways of defining ‘social disorder’ (litter, vandalism, antisocial behaviour) – so which do you choose?
  • Secondly it is difficult to measure levels of social disorder accurately – how do you actually measure how much disorder what type of littler represents – is one sofa in a garden worth 14 toffee wrappers, or what? And if you’re talking about anti-social behaviour, you can’t necessarily rely on public reports of it because sensitivity levels vary, and it’s just not practical to measure it using observational techniques.

For these reasons, the validity of broken windows theory is always likely to remain contested, and so it’s worth considering the possibility that it’s popularity could be more to do with ideological bias rather than being based any significant body of supporting evidence.

Further Reading

Keizer et al – The Spreading of Disorder – Science Express Report

More details on the Moving to Opportunity study

This chapter by Wesley Skogan identifies a number of reasons why Broken Windows Theory is difficult to evaluate

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ASBOs – Arguments For and Against

ASBOs are a form of Zero Tolerance crime control and have been in use in the UK since 1999 – below are a few examples of how they’re used. Read them through and consider the arguments for and against using them in each case…

An ASBO for shop lifting

In 2013 jobless single mother Jade Underwood received a CRASBO banning her from 80 stores because of her serial shoplifting. She also made neighbours’ lives a misery and verbally abused mothers taking children to a nearby school.

CRASBO.jpg

Shopkeepers and neighbours told how the 5ft menace treated shoplifting like a job and blighted their lives. One said she was such a problem that the local branch of Boots in Edgeley, Stockport, stopped putting make-up out on display.

Former neighbour John Duggan, 55, said Underwood had ‘absolutely no shame whatsover’.

‘She used to wear tracksuits and looked just like Vicky Pollard from the TV show [Little Britain],’ he said. ‘She is a little toad, she’s just horrible.

But Underwood posted a defiant message on Facebook, saying: ‘Heyy yah dont bring me down, least am famouse!! Yah all whata leve meh alone.’

An ASBO for Public drunkeness and Abusive Behaviour 

A Rhondda man who was banned from hospitals for two years in a landmark ASBO case in 2012 was placed on a second order, months after the first expired.

In 2012, Geoffrey Russell Thomas, 59, became the first person in Rhondda to be given a banning order from hospitals to curb his unacceptable drunken anti-social behaviour which included continued foul, abusive, threatening and drunken abuse of residents and hospital staff.

thomas

The new ASBO means he will have spent an almost-unbroken four years subject to an order which bans him from attending any hospital anywhere, unless it is in the case of a genuine emergency or pre-arranged appointment.

He is also banned from being drunk in a public place, using abusive or threatening language or behaviour towards any other person.

Paul Mee, head of public health and protection at RCT Council, oversees the Anti Social Behaviour Unit and its work.

He said: “The disproportionate nature of this man’s offending on the wider community, including the men and women who are employed to provide care for others, means we have no choice but to continue dealing with him robustly and effectively.

“Despite a two-year order banning him from doing so, he has continued to drunkenly abuse and threaten many people, including those who were trying to help him.

“He has clearly not learned his lesson and continues to act in an anti-social, drunken, threatening and abusive manner, so we will continue to protect the public and the frontline workers who have to deal with him from this unacceptable behaviour.”

An ASBO for playing loud country music 

From 2010 – A country and western music fan has vowed to keep listening to his favourite songs, despite admitting breaching anti-social behaviour laws.

Partially-deaf Michael O’Rourke, 51, of Peterhead, admitted breaching an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) after complaints from neighbour. Dolly Parton is among Michael O’Rourke’s favourite artists

O’Rourke commented….

“My neighbours were just being vindictive… If you’re joined onto another house you’ve got to expect a bit of noise.”

He explained: “I play my music every day. Who doesn’t like music? I like country and western, 60s music, Scottish music. I also like some of the up-to-date stuff. Why should I stop listening to my favourite music just because of a few vindictive folk? I’ll never stop playing my vinyl.”

One former neighbour said: “I wasn’t sorry to see him go. He wasn’t the best of neighbours.”

 

An ASBO for Riding your Scooter on the Pavement?

In 2009 a woman criticised police after she was sent a letter about her 12-year-old son riding his push scooter on the pavement.

scooter
The letter told Vicki Richardson that if officers were called because her son, Thomas Read, was riding his scooter again he could be given an asbo.

She wrote to Hucknall Police Station in Nottingham about the letter as her son thought he would get into trouble for going out to play.

A police spokesman said the action was part of their policy to control anti-social behaviour.

For more examples of ‘dubious’ ASBOs check out ‘Statewatch‘.

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Why is Crime Falling?

 

According to both Police Recorded Crime and the Crime Survey of England and Wales, there has been a steady decrease in crime in England and Wales since 1995 – that’s over 20 years of crime reduction. 

There are several possible reasons behind this decrease in crime (IF you believe the statistics, of course!)

The Relative Decrease in Property Crime since 1995

Trends in Property Crime - Crime Survey of England and Wales
Trends in Property Crime – Crime Survey of England and Wales

The Office For National Statistics identifies seven existing theories/ pieces of evidence for why property crime has fallen. Read them through and consider how many of them support Rational Choice Theory. 

ONE – The rise in the use of the internet has roughly coincided with falls in crime 

In 1995, use of the internet was not widespread. As it became more popular, it may have helped to occupy young people’s time when they may otherwise have turned to crime. Farrell et al., 2011 suggests the internet also provides more opportunity for online crime – which possibly explains the increase in Fraud in recent years, although this may be down to improvements in detection and recording of this offence.

TWO – Reduced consumption of drugs and alcohol is likely to have resulted in a drop in offending

A 2014 Home Office research paper ‘The heroin epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s and its effect on crime trends – then and now’ supports the notion that the changing levels of opiate and crack-cocaine use have affected acquisitive crime trends in England and Wales, potentially explaining over half of the rise in crime in the 1980s to mid-1990s and between a quarter and a third of the fall in crime since the mid-1990s. (Bunge et al., 2005).

THREE – Significant improvements in forensic and other crime scene investigation techniques and record keeping

Advancements in areas such as fingerprinting and DNA testing may have led to a reduction in crime.perceived risk to offenders may have increased, inducing a deterrent effect (Explaining and sustaining the crime drop: Clarifying the role of opportunity-related theories, Farrell et al., 2010).

FOUR – The increase in abortions

The ONS also site this classic study by Levitt et al – which suggested that the introduction of legalised abortion on a wide number of grounds in the US meant that more children who might have been born into families in poverty or troubled environments and be more prone to get drawn into criminality, would not be born and therefore be unable to commit these crimes (The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime, Donohue and Levitt, 2001).

FIVE – Changes (real or perceived) in technology and infrastructure.

This includes an increase in the use of situational crime prevention technieques such as CCTV, which may act as deterrents to committing crime (CCTV has modest impact on crime, Welsh and Farrington, 2008). 

SIX – Longer Prison Sentences

The impacts of longer prison sentences and police activity on reducing crime, particularly property crimes, are likely to act as deterrents (Acquisitive Crime: Imprisonment, Detection and Social Factors, Bandyopadhyay et al., 2012).

SEVEN – Target Hardening

Increased quality of building and vehicle security is also likely to have been a factor in the reduction in property crime. This concept of ‘target-hardening’ which makes targets (that is, anything that an offender would want to steal or damage) more resistant to attack is likely to deter offenders from committing crime (Opportunities, Precipitators and Criminal Decisions: A reply to Wortley’s critique of situational crime prevention, Cornish and Clarke, 2003).

Findings from the CSEW add some evidence which may support this, indicating that alongside the falls in property crime, there were also improvements in household and vehicle security. Since 1995, there have been statistically significant increases in the proportion of households in the 2014/15 CSEW with:

  • Window locks (up 21 percentage points from 68% to 89% of households)
  • Light timers/sensors (up 16 percentage points from 39% to 55% of households)
  • Burglar alarms (up 11 percentage points from 20% to 31% of households)

The ONS also notes that it does not endorse any one of the theories over the others and that many of these theories are contested and subject to continuing discussion and debate.

NB – Just because most of the above theories seem to offer broad support for RTC and RAT theories, doesn’t mean there aren’t other factors that need to be considered when explaining the decrease in property crime.

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Crime and Deviance Exam Practice Questions (10 markers)

The ten mark question on crime and deviance in the A Level Sociology Crime and Deviance/ Theory and Methods paper will ask you to analyse two reasons/ ways/. Below are a few exemplars (well, one for now, more to follow!) I knocked up, which should get you 10 marks in the exam… 

My suggested strategy for answering these 10 mark questions is to make two points which are as different from each other as possible and then try to develop each point two to three times. You don’t have to evaluate each point, but it’s good practice to put a brief evaluation at the end, but don’t spend too long on this, focus more on the development (which is basically analysis).

NB – Usually there is an item attached to these questions, but more of those later!

Question: analyse two reasons for the formation of subcultures (10)

Point 1 – Consensus theorist Albert Cohen suggested status frustration was the root cause of subculture formation.

According to Cohen deviant subcultures are a working class problem – working class boys try hard in school, and fail, meaning they fail to gain status (recognition/ respect) – these boys find each other and form a deviant group, whereby they gain status within the group by being deviant – by doing things which are against the rules – for example bunking lessons – and the further you go, the more status you get. 

Another Consensus theory which we could apply here is underclass theory – Charles Murray would argue that lower class boys fail at school because their parents don’t work and fail to socialise them into a good work-ethic, hence offering a deeper ‘structural cause’ of why subcultures are more likely to form among the lower social classes.

Hence applying these two consensus theories together, the process goes something like this – and individual is born into the underclass – they are not socialised into a work ethic – they fail at school – they get frustrated – they find similar working/ underclass boys – they gain status by being deviant.

A Problem with this theory is that it blames the working class for their own failure, Marxism criticises consensus theory because the ‘root cause’ of subcultures is the marginalisation of working class youth due to Capitalism.

Point 2 – Interactionists would point to negative labelling as the root cause of subculture formation

According to Howard Becker, teachers have an image of an ‘ideal pupil’ who is middle class – working class pupils don’t fit this image – they dress differently and have different accents, and so teachers have lower expectations of them – they thus don’t push them as hard as middle class students – over the years this results in a self fulfilling prophecy where working class students are more likely to decide they are failures and thus think that school is not for them – It is this disaffection which results in subculture formation.

David Gilborn further applied this idea to the formation of subcultures among African-Caribbean students – according to Gilborn teachers believed black students to be more disruptive and thus were more likely to pick them up for deviant behaviour in class, while White and Asian students were ignored – this marginalised black students who when on to develop anti-school subcultures as a form of resistance against perceived racism.

In contrast to subcultural theory, in labelling theory it is the authorities who are to blame for the emergence of subcultures, rather than the deviant youths themselves.

A criticism of labelling theory is that it is deterministic – not everyone accepts their labels, so not every negative label leads to a subculture.

This should be sufficient to get you 10/ 10. 

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Grammar Schools – Arguments For and Against

Grammar schools have been in the news this week – Theresa May’s plans to reintroduce grammar schools is actually one of the most unpopular policies in her party  but despite this opposition, and more opposition from nearly everyone who knows anything about education, she seems hell-bent on bringing the grammar school back into the state system, so it looks like we’re going back to selective state education.

Hands up – I went to a state grammar school in Kent – so I’m a living, breathing example of someone from a working class background who benefited from a state-grammar education.

And get  this for a ‘school motto’ – ‘Knowledge is a steep which few may climb, while duty is path which all must tread’ (talk about hegemonic!) 

Despite appreciating the leg-up, I’m not so sure it’s a good idea to expand grammar schools nation wide, despite widespread parental support for the policy.

What are grammar schools?

In short, they are schools which focus on providing an academic education based on selection by ability, typically through an entrance test at the age of 11.

The term ‘scholas grammaticales’ was first use in the 1500s when monarchs, nobles and merchants founded schools for ‘poor scholars’. In Tudor times, pupils were taught to read and speak Latin by learning classical texts from heart. School days spanned from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. and boys caught speaking in English were punished.

The big expansion of grammar schools came with the 1944 Butler Education Act, which launched the tripartite system – every pupil sat an IQ test at the age of 11 which determined which of three types of school they went to for the next 4-5 years –

  • Grammar schools were established for those ‘interested in learning for its own sake’
  • Technical schools for those ‘whose abilities lie markedly in the field of applied science or art’
  • Secondary modern schools for those who ‘deal more easily with concrete things and ideas’.

There was supposed to be ‘parity of esteem’ between these three types of school – which means difference but equal in principle.

How successful was the system?

Basically it was great if you were one of the 20% pupils who made it into a grammar school,  which tended to have a public school type ethos and prepared students for ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels, there is also  a commonly held view that these schools offered a ‘ladder of opportunity’ to bright, working class students, although this may be a comforting myth, rather than the reality (see below).

On balance, there seem to be more failings of the tripartite system:

  1. There was no parity of esteem because the secondary moderns were poorly resourced and pupils were taught a watered down curriculum.
  2. The system branded anyone who attended a secondary modern as a failure from the age of 11.
  3. The 11+ didn’t measure intelligence – it was easy to coach children to get higher scores, which benefited the middle classes.
  4. There was no equality of opportunity – In the 1940s and 50s few secondary modern pupils took public exams and when they started to take them, they were typically limited to CSE exams rather than O levels.

Why was the Tripartite System Abolished?

The county of Leicestershire was the first to experiment with a new comprehensive system in 1957, to placate the parents of children who had failed the 11+, and by the late 1950s, there was mounting evidence that the 11+ was a flawed measure of intelligence and that secondary moderns provided a sub-standard of education.

In 1965 the then Labour government issued a circular requesting that all Local Education Authorities abolish  the 11+ and move to a non-selective, comprehensive system – effectively meaning they had to abolish grammar and secondary moderns and establish comprehensives.

However, it was only in 1976 that Labour brought in an education act that formally required all counties to go fully Comprehensive.

How did some grammar schools survive? 

Some local authorities dragged their feet and clung on until the Tory election victory of 1979, when Thatcher repealed the 1976 act. England today has 164 state grammar schools – Kent is one of the few which is wholly selective.

Arguments for reintroducing grammar schools 

  1. Proponents say they will provided a ladder of opportunity for poor, bright kids.
  2. Possibly the best argument – we’d see the withering away of private schools – whose going to pay £10K a year when you can get a similar quality of education for free?
  3. Comprehensives are not good enough – we need more, quality education to prepare our brightest kids to compete in a global job market.
  4. We already have selection by mortgage, grammar schools may help remedy this.
  5. There is strong parental support for more grammars.

Arguments against grammar schools

  1. Number 1 is a myth – the reason so many bright working class kids seemed to benefit from a grammar school education in the 1960s was because of a change in the class structure at that time – basically the decline of working class jobs and the increase in middle class jobs meant there was more opportunity to go up the class ladder. This no longer applied.
  2. It’s unfair on those who don’t get into them.
  3. The 11+ favours those who can afford private tuition – so all we’re going to see is the reproduction of class inequality, then again, if we have quotas, this may not be the case (fat chance of that actually happening fairly though?)
  4. Standards are currently improving, so do we need to disrupt schools AGAIN with ANOTHER policy upheaval?

 

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Joel Spring – Education Networks: Power, Wealth, Cyberspace and The Digital Mind

A summary of one thread within this excellent book….

The DFES (2013) has an overwhelmingly positive view of the future role of ICT in schools and colleges, noting that it has transformed other sectors, that parents and pupils expect it, and that pupils need ICT to equip them with future-work skills. In DFES literature, digital media seems to be presented as a neutral technology through which individual students can be empowered, with emphasis on the benefits such technology can bring to schools, such as more personalised learning, better feedback, a richer resource base and the possibility of extending the learning day. This discourse further constructs not only technologically reticent staff and lack of access to ICT resources as a potential problem, but also centralised government itself, with the forthcoming renewal of the ICT curriculum being fully endorsed and authored by Google, Microsoft, and IBM, with the vision being that 16 year olds will be able to write their own apps by the age of 161.

There are, however, those who are skeptical about the neutrality ICT, the claimed inevitability of its expansion and the supposed benefits of the increasing digitisation of education. One such skeptic is Sociologist Joel Spring who, in a recent book, Education Networks: Power, Wealth, Cyberspace and The Digital Mind, draws our attention to the increasing control of education systems around the world by global corporations, a process which he refers to as Educational Corporatism.

The Nature and Extent of Global Educational Corporatism

According to Spring, a global shadow elite network is responsible for encouraging the growth of Information Communications Technology in state education programs in the USA and increasingly in other countries, something which is unsurprising given that the global education market is a $7 trillion industry, greater than the value of every other information industry combined (WEF 2014).

This network consists of a relatively small number of IT and communications company executives who have close links with senior policy makers in governments, who together have overseen an increase in the use of ICT for the surveillance and education of students. Spring characterises this network as a ‘Flexnet’ because the key actors, or ‘Flexians’, move between government departments and education, media and ICT companies, spending a few years working respectively for one government department before moving to an ICT corporation, and then back to the public sector to spearhead technological initiatives drawing on their corporate contacts to do so, and finally moving back to a more senior Corporate role, supposedly to take advantage of the profits generated from said initiatives.

The Corporate takeover of New York City’s Schools

The means whereby Flexians within the global shadow elite operate is illustrated by the Corporate takeover of New York City Schools.

In 2001 billionaire and superlcass ICT mogul Michael Bloomberg was elected mayor of New York City. After lobbying for and gaining control of New York schools, Bloomberg appointed as school chancellor Joel Klein, a lawyer from another ICT conglomerate, Bertelsmann. Technically Klein lacked the legal requirements to head NYC schools, but this requirement was waived by the state commissioner for education.

Klein initiated changes that centred on student testing and data collection (echoed in education ministries around the world). To aid in this, he contracted with the company Wireless Generation to use their ‘ARIS’ system of data collection and management. Klein then left his position as chancellor to become executive vice president at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, which bought 90% of Wireless Generation for $360 million.

In addition to the above, while Klein was chancellor, Murdoch’s New York Post also supported Klein’s efforts to establish more charter schools and undermine protection for teachers.

The Global Neoliberal Agenda for Education

At a global level, the shadow elite influence governments through The World Economic Forum and The United Nations, which both voice considerable optimism about the future role of ICT in meeting the world’s educational needs in the future. As an example of this optimism, Spring points to The World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2010-11, authored by prominent members of the Shadow Elite.

Where education is concerned, the report anticipates ‘Transformation 2.0′, a process in which educational institutions will make increasing use of analytic software tools which convert data into actionable insights. This not only means the now well established use of data on students’ past test results to predict the probability of their passing or failing certain subjects and then directing resources more efficiently to those in need, but the report also predicts the increasing use of ‘data exhaust’, or more qualitative information collected on students throughout their school careers, for the same purposes which in the future might mean increasing surveillance of the number of and length of virtual interactions students make each term in in order to inform educational interventions.

Individual schools and universities do not possess the resources to develop and maintain the kind of software required to collect and collate such ‘Big Data’, so ‘transformation 2.0 might see educational institutions becoming locked into long-term data-analytics contracts with global ICT companies: The future of education might be one where schools do the teaching at a national level but informed by data analysis carried out by global corporations using global data sets.

The WEF report makes several other recommendations:

  • To use ICT to make education more engaging and better suited to the needs of each student through making greater use of data analytics and what Spring calls ‘edutainment’ software, which special emphasis being given to promoting STEM subjects.
  • To better link technology to assessment.
  • To support access to online instruction in and out of school.
  • To increase ‘productivity’ in the education sector: ICT is seen as a relatively const-efficient means whereby schools can accelerate student progress, rather than employing more teachers.

According to Spring’s analysis this vision is ideological and it represents a global Neoliberal agenda for the progressive privatisation of education through governments spending more public money on data analytics, online instruction and assessment delivered by global ICT corporations. It is already the norm in the US for IT and communications companies to develop educational software which are provided to schools for a profit, a practice which the ICT elite wishes to see replicated in other parts of the world.

The ICT Shadow Elite’s ambitions are not limited to developed countries, they are also targeting the education sectors of developing countries, and as an an example of this Spring cites the Microsoft-UNESCO agreement established in 2009 regarding ICT and Higher Education. As part of this agreement, Microsoft offered £50 million of ‘seed money’ to introduce a range of educational technologies to a number of countries – such as DreamSpark, MicrosoftLive@edu, Digital Literacy Curriculum, and The Microsoft IT Academy Program. Spring’s theory is that such an initial seeding will reap dividends in the future as public education sectors expand they will spend increasing sums of money on upgrading software and buying related ICT educational products from Microsoft in future years.

Potential Problems with Increasing Educational Corporatism

Spring points to several possible negative consequences of global companies effectively having more control over national education systems.

Firstly, this is likely to further reduce educational management to the employment of data mining and analysis to predict how student test scores and graduation rates relate to social characteristic information and identifying which limited interventions can be made to improve examination results, with the effectiveness of teachers further reduced to how efficiently they can enhance these measurable results.

Secondly, it is likely that there will be an increasing level of control of knowledge by ICT corporations. The concern here is that this will lead to the further standardisation of knowledge into a form which can be easily assessed through technology, which potentially means preferencing quantifiable knowledge over more qualitative and critical knowledge which require more human intervention to asses. In addition to this, schools are increasingly likely to be seen as institutions whose job it is to provide a 21st century workforce for ICT firms, meaning the preferencing of STEM, ICT and business related courses.

Thirdly, the corollary of greater control being handed to global ICT corporations is declining autonomy of individual schools and teachers. This actually seems to be an explicit goal of the global shadow elite: the WEF (2011) states that the main barrier to extending technology in is ‘human’, with ICT, rather than more teacher-time being (quite literally) sold as the most effective means to personalise learning in order to meet the needs of each learner.

Another idea which potentially undermines teachers which is widely publicised by prominent Flexian Bill Gates is that we should have least one good course online for all subjects rather than lots of mediocre ones. This idea seems both sensible and inevitable but its manifestation might come in the form of a core of highly skilled experts constructing corporate-approved online content for a global education market, with for-profit companies responsible for managing testing and tutoring replacing much of the work teachers currently do.

A final possible consequence is an increasing inequality of educational provision. As governments struggle with finances in the age of ideological driven Neoliberal austerity, it might be that cash strapped schools move towards providing online only tuition for some courses while students at better managed and funded schools retain more formal ICT-supported lessons. This is precisely what happened in Florida in 2010-11 when 7000 students in Miami-Dade county were placed in virtual classrooms in order to beat the state’s class size mandate, which specified a maximum of 25 students per class, but did not apply to virtual classrooms.

Conclusion:

While the increasing use of ICT in education appears to offer many benefits, such as enhanced personalisation of learning and increased teacher productivity, the importance of Spring’s analysis lies in reminding us that while technology itself is neutral, the way in which it is deployed is not given the corporate networks and which are currently lobbying for the further digitisation of state education, and the neoliberal agenda of which this is a part.

At present it is difficult to see how anything can halt the spread of Educational Corporatism: there is a clear demand from today’s students and their parents for digitised education and global ICT corporations are clearly well positioned to play an increasing role in the delivery and management of virtual learning environments; and with further government cuts likely, the viritualising of learning seems an obvious way to save money in the education sector by reducing the number teachers.

Whether or not the future of education will be one of reduced teacher autonomy with for-profit Corporations having greater control over national curriculums and thus even more access to students, and what the effects of this will be remain to be seen.

Bibliography 

C. Paucek et al (2014) Chapter 8: Online Education: From Novely to Necessity, in World Economic Foundation: Education and Skills 2.0: New Targets and Innovative Approaches. Geneva: Switzerland.

DFES (2013): Digital Technology in Schools. http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/curriculum/a00201823/digital-technology-in-schools accessed 16/01/2104, updated 18 October 2013. Archived at http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130123124929/http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/curriculum/a00201823/digital-technology-in-schools

Spring, J (2012) Education Networks: Power, Wealth, Cyberspace and The Digital Mind. New York: Routldege. Kindle Edition.

WEF (2011) The Global Information Technology Report 2010-11: Transformations 2.0

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White Working Class Underachievement

A recent parliamentary report has found that poor white boys and girls do worse in schools than children in other ethnic groups.

How much worse do poor white children do?

The report uses students who received free school meals (FSM children) as an indicator of poverty:

  • 32% of FSM white British children get five good GSCEs, compared to…
  • 42% of FSM Black Caribbean children
  • 62% of FSM Indian children
  • 77% of FSM Chinese children

The achievement gap between poor white children and rich white children is much larger than the corresponding gap between poor and rich children from other minority groups, and the gap widens as white children get older.

How has educational performance changed over time?

The achievement rates of poor white kids has actually improved signficantly in the last decade – in 2008 only 15% of white pupils on Free School Meals got 5 good GCSEs, which has now doubled – the problem is that pupils from more affluent backgrounds have also improved, meaning the ‘achievement gap’ has stayed the same for white kids – today 65% of better off white children get 5 good GCSEs compared to only 32% of FSM white children, meaning a and achievement gap of 33%.

This trend is different for ethnic minorities – poor minority children have closed the gap on their wealthier counterparts. For Indian and black students the gap between rich and poor is only 15%, and for Chinese students it is 1.4%.

This has led some to conclude that there must be cultural differences influencing the way poor white British children approach their education.

Do Cultural Differences Explain why White Working Class Underachievement?

The cliche is that the children of immigrant parents are put under greater pressure to study, and the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England suggests some supporting evidence for this view:

White working class boys and girls are more likely to have anti-school attitudes than other minority groups, they play truant less, and they spend less time doing homework – an average of 2.54 evenings a week compared to 3.13 for black African and 3.29 for Indian children.

There is less support for the idea that white working class parents and their children lack aspiration – For a start, 57% of British people identify themselves as working class, while it is only the 12.5% on Free School Meals who are doing very badly at school – so it is more a case of there being pockets of underachievement rather than the whole of the working class underachieving.

There is also evidence that working class children, especially young children, have high ambitions.

Schools (and leadership) Can Make a Difference

There are plenty examples of academies which have been set up in deprived areas which have helped local working class kids get good GCSE results.

In 2003 New Labour launched ‘The London Challenge’ to drive up standards, and invested £80 million in leadership, targeting failing schools – about 80% of schools in London now have ‘outstanding leadership’ according to OFSTED and 50% of children in London on Free School Meals get 5 good GCSEs, irrespective of ethnicity.

The problem is that this initiative might not work outside of London – London has a prosperous economy which makes it easier to attract the best leaders and teachers, and also benefits from the positive impact of immigrant families.

The Geographical Aspect to Underachievement 

In 2013 the chief inspector of schools, Michael Wilshaw, identified a geographical shift in educational underachievement – away from big cities and crowded, densely packed neighbourhoods, to deprived coastal towns and rural, less populous parts of the country.

Such towns suffer from fragile, seasonal economies, an inability to attract good staff, a lack of jobs for young people, and scant opportunities for higher education – all of which contributes to a vicious cycle of underachievement, perpetuated further by the ‘brain drain’ – anyone that does get qualifications leaves because there are no opportunities to use them in the local area.

In such areas, simply building swish new academies don’t seem to be enough to improve results – In 2005, the so-called worst performing school in the country, Ramsgate School, was transformed into the new, £30 million Marlowe Academy. SIx years later, it fell into special measures.

Summarised from ‘The Week’, 2nd August 2014. 

 

 

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Foucault – Surveillance and Crime Control

Michel Foucault is one of the most influential sociological thinkers of the last half century. One of his key contributions to criminology is his focus on how the nature of crime control has shifted from using the threat of violence and the fear of being physically punished to control through surveillance – fear of being seen to be doing something wrong.

Punishment has changed from being a violent public spectacle (such as hanging) to being hidden away, behind closed doors. It has also changed from being swift and physical, done on the body, to being more drawn out and psychological – punishment today is typically about changing the mind and the soul.

This reflects a change in how power is exercised in society – we have moved away from what Foucault called ‘sovereign power’ – which is control through the threat of force, to ‘disciplinary power’ – which is control through the monitoring and surveillance of populations.

Sovereign power was typical of the period before the 18th century when the monarch had power over people and their bodies, and thus inflicting punishment directly on the body was the means of asserting control.

Foucault illustrates the use of sovereign power by describing a particularly gruesome execution which took place in 1757, which forms the introduction to his classic book ‘discipline and punish’ (see appendix below).

Foucault points out that by the end of the 18th century this type of extreme public punishment no longer took place, instead punishment took place in prisons, behind closed doors and there was more of an attempt by authorities to control and reform criminals through the use of timetables and other interventions such as educational programmes.

Foucault argues that disciplinary power evolved significantly in the late 19th century with Jeremy Bentham’s new design of prison known as the panopticon – which consisted of a central observational tower and prison cells arranged around it in such a way that the prisoners could potentially be under observation at any time, but could not see whether they were being observed or not. Because of this, prisoners had to self-monitor their behaviour so that, in effect, they ended up disciplining themselves as a result of being under constant surveillance (or because they were subjected to disciplinary power in strict Foucauldian terms)

The significance of Foucault (the important bit)

Foucault argues that the use of disciplinary power has extend everywhere in society – it is not only in prisons that disciplinary power (surveillance) is used to control people; and it is not only criminals who are subjected to disciplinary power.

Disciplinary power (surveillance) is now everywhere and everyone is subjected to it – the most obvious examples are the use of CCTV in public spaces; but disciplinary power is also at work in schools – through the use of electronic registers and reports; we can see it in workplaces – through the use of performance monitoring; and we can even see it in our personal lives – both pregnancy and childhood are highly monitored by health care professionals and social workers for example, and most of us just accept this as normal.

Most people now obey the rules because they know they are being watched – they regulate their own behaviour for fear of becoming the wrong kind of person – a failing student, an unproductive worker, a bad mother, an obese-person, for example.

NB – This is quintessentially sociological – it is only in very recent human history that we have become so obsessed with monitoring every aspect of our daily-lives, and one of Foucault’s points is that this constant surveillance doesn’t necessarily improve our lives – there are both winners and losers.

Appendix: An extract from the beginning of Michel Foucault’s ‘Discipline and Punish’

On 2 March 1757 Damiens the regicide was condemned “to make the amende honorable before the main door of the Church of Paris”, where he was to be “taken and conveyed in a cart, wearing nothing but a shirt, holding a torch of burning wax weighing two pounds”; then, “in the said cart, to the Place de Grève, where, on a scaffold that will be erected there, the flesh will be torn from his breasts, arms, thighs and calves with red-hot pincers, his right hand, holding the knife with which he committed the said parricide, burnt with sulphur, and, on those places where the flesh will be torn away, poured molten lead, boiling oil, burning resin, wax and sulphur melted together and then his body drawn and quartered by four horses and his limbs and body consumed by fire, reduced to ashes and his ashes thrown to the winds” (Pièces originales…, 372-4).

“Finally, he was quartered,” recounts the Gazette d’Amsterdam of 1 April 1757. “This last operation was very long, because the horses used were not accustomed to drawing; consequently, instead of four, six were needed; and when that did not suffice, they were forced, in order to cut off the wretch’s thighs, to sever the sinews and hack at the joints…
Bouton, an officer of the watch, left us his account: “The sulphur was lit, but the flame was so poor that only the top skin of the hand was burnt, and that only slightly. Then the executioner, his sleeves rolled up, took the steel pincers, which had been especially made for the occasion, and which were about a foot and a half long, and pulled first at the calf of the right leg, then at the thigh, and from there at the two fleshy parts of the right arm; then at the breasts. Though a strong, sturdy fellow, this executioner found it so difficult to tear away the pieces of flesh that he set about the same spot two or three times, twisting the pincers as he did so, and what he took away formed at each part a wound about the size of a six-pound crown piece.

“After these tearings with the pincers, Damiens, who cried out profusely, though without swearing, raised his head and looked at himself; the same executioner dipped an iron spoon in the pot containing the boiling potion, which he poured liberally over each wound. Then the ropes that were to be harnessed to the horses were attached with cords to the patient’s body; the horses were then harnessed and placed alongside the arms and legs, one at each limb.

“The horses tugged hard, each pulling straight on a limb, each horse held by an executioner. After a quarter of an hour, the same ceremony was repeated and finally, after several attempts, the direction of the horses had to be changed, thus: those at the arms were made to pull towards the head, those at the thighs towards the arms, which broke the arms at the joints. This was repeated several times without success. He raised his head and looked at himself. Two more horses had to be added to those harnessed to the thighs, which made six horses in all. Without success.

“After two or three attempts, the executioner Samson and he who had used the pincers each drew out a knife from his pocket and cut the body at the thighs instead of severing the legs at the joints; the four horses gave a tug and carried off the two thighs after them, namely, that of the right side first, the other following; then the same was done to the arms, the shoulders, the arm-pits and the four limbs; the flesh had to be cut almost to the bone, the horses pulling hard carried off the right arm first and the other afterwards.

“When the four limbs had been pulled away, the confessors came to speak to him; but his executioner told them that he was dead, though the truth was that I saw the man move, his lower jaw moving from side to side as if he were talking. One of the executioners even said shortly afterwards that when they had lifted the trunk to throw it on the stake, he was still alive. The four limbs were untied from the ropes and thrown on the stake set up in the enclosure in line with the scaffold, then the trunk and the rest were covered with logs and faggots, and fire was put to the straw mixed with this wood.

“…In accordance with the decree, the whole was reduced to ashes. The last piece to be found in the embers was still burning at half-past ten in the evening. The pieces of flesh and the trunk had taken about four hours to burn. The officers of whom I was one, as also was my son and a detachment of archers remained in the square until nearly eleven o’clock.