Consensus Model vs Conflict Model, Essay Example

In criminal justice, the origin of conflict model is clearly distinct from the consensus model, in which case, the “Social Contract Theory” that was developed by John Locke lays the foundation of the consensus model. In this situation, the society members have a significant role to play in the control of the existing governing entities. On the other hand, the “Marxist ideology” is the fundamental principle guiding the conflict model that lays special interest on the class division, struggling to achieve power as well as disparity (Peak, 2010).

The two models are marked by distinctive foundational discrepancies in regard to level of consistency of the societal values that are mirrored in the criminal law in as far as the various societal elements are concerned. According to the perceptions of the consensus theory, most of the values have a wide application in different societies. This is however disputed by the supporters of conflict theory who hold to the fact that, there is a significant variation in values in consideration of the diverse elements and the classes in the society. Consequently, the proponents of the conflict theory deny the potentials of the criminal justice in the reflection of entire values in the society as a whole (Peak, 2010).

It is therefore clearly evident that the two models have a distinctive boundary in there applicability that guides the ideal purpose of the code of criminal law. According to the consensus theory, the making of the criminal law is the function of the entire society for the purpose of serving the same society. On the contrary, the conflict model holds that, the system of criminal justice is executed for the purpose of maintaining political along with economic control in favor of dominant class in the society.


Peak, K. J. (2010). Justice administration: Police, courts, and corrections management, 6th Ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.