Calls for public criminology suggest various forms of , frequently begging for a greater academic recognition of criminologists’ involvement in non-academic communication networks, particularly in the mass media. Criminologists are invited to embrace Marx’s (1845) eleventh thesis on Feuerbach, to practice a form of criminology that is , geared towards outside academia, particularly by making a difference in how people think and feel about criminological objects, and how sovereign power is exercised upon them. A repeated exhortation found in cookbooks is to use outside of academic frontiers. This article identifies some limits of the core qualities of academic orations on public criminology: the division of criminological labour, the diminished influence of criminology, the framework of relevance, the framework of transmission, and the framework of impact. In some cases, these limits can be observed as paradoxes folded into the work of the proselytizers. Such is the case, notably, in what I will call the paradox of mastery, where critics of social control show themselves obsessed with controlling and manipulating their fellow citizens, as well as in the paradox of exclusion, where critics of exclusionary policies advocate for public criminological discourses and engagements premised on the negation of the validity of certain criminological discourses. To be clear: my object is constituted by communications in the scientific system, not by the many utterances of academics outside academic communication networks. Whether or not the civic engagements of criminologists actually display the limits and paradoxes observable in academic calls for public criminology is a question that could inform future empirical research, and on which I shall not speculate in this article.
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