Research has focused over the last 25 years on a critical analysis of the social phenomena of crime and deviance and of the formal and informal reactions to these phenomena. It developed through three main research areas: penology, juvenile criminology and policing and security. This has resulted in a strong interdisciplinary tradition of theoretical and empirical research into crime phenomena (e.g. persistent juvenile delinquency, sex offences, desistance from crime), societal reactions (e.g. risk or exclusive society, neighbourhood watch initiatives, public attitudes towards crime and punishment) and criminal justice policies and practices (e.g. public and private policing, juvenile justice systems, sentencing and implementation of custodial and non-custodial sanctions for adult offenders).
The current Strategic Research Program “Crossing Borders: Crime, Culture and Control” aims at integrating the expertise of the three research domains into one single research team and research plan, focusing on our common constructionist, critical, comparative and interdisciplinary approach to crime and crime control as social phenomena.
“Crossing borders” therefore refers to different scientific aims and levels of research:
‹ crossing borders epistemologically by the critical study of links between crime/crime control and social structures, social inequality, cultural and human rights issues (social deprivation, ethnicity, migration, gender,..),
‹ crossing borders methodologically by further integrating our present expertise in both qualitative and quantitative research methods,
‹ crossing borders in space through further fostering our international and comparative research,
‹ crossing borders in time through continued historical research,
‹ crossing borders by an interdisciplinary approach, bringing together criminology, sociology, law, history, pedagogical sciences, psychology and psychiatry,
‹ crossing borders through synergy and integration between our three main research domains in order to strengthen and deepen the expertise of our research team.