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Helena Machado

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Biography

Full Professor of Sociology at the Institute for Social Sciences, University of Minho. Her current research critically engages STS, bioethics, sociological and criminological perspectives to explore the challenges emerging from the uses of genetics in contemporary modes of governance of criminality. She has written extensively about societal implications of criminal DNA databases, informed consent and practices of volunteering in the criminal field, media discourses about DNA technologies, public attitudes and convicted offenders’ views about forensic genetic technologies. Helena’s current research has a focus on the transnational surveillance of criminalized populations through sociotechnical systems of exchange of forensic DNA data and intelligence information in the EU.

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Forensic Genetics in the Governance of Crime

This open access book uses a critical sociological perspective to explore contemporary ways of reformulating the governance of crime through genetics. Through the lens of scientific knowledge and genetic technology, Machado and Granja offer a unique perspective on current trends in crime governance. They explore the place and role of genetics in criminal justice systems, and show how classical and contemporary social theory can help address challenges posed by social processes and interactions generated by the uses, meanings, and expectations attributed to genetics in the governance of crime. Cutting-edge methods and research techniques are also integrated to address crucial aspects of this social reality. Finally, the authors examine new challenges emerging from recent paradigm shifts within forensic genetics, moving away from the construction of evidence as presented in court to the production of intelligence guiding criminal investigations.

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