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Expanding Criminology's Domain: The American Society of Criminology 2006 Presidential Address


Expanding Criminology's Domain: The American Society of Criminology 2006 Presidential Address

Abstract: 
Democracy is directly linked to the two main components of criminology: crime and justice. Moreover, the scientific study of crime and justice has been limited in large part to researchers working in democratic regimes. In this article, I address the question of how criminologists through research and education can better nurture democratic, nonauthoritarian societies. I argue that our field would be strengthened by expanding the domain of criminology in five directions: 1) by providing more emphasis on historical data and analysis, 2) by broadening the scope of emotions we test for among offenders, 3) by doing more cross-national comparative analysis, 4) by bringing situational variables into our research, and 5) by making criminology more interdisciplinary. Although the most recent wave of democratization produced a record number of democratic regimes, we are observing ominous challenges to fundamental democratic rights from around the world. As criminologists, we have a vested interest in supporting the democratic, nonauthoritarian societies in which our craft has thrived.

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Full Citation: 

LaFree, Gary. 2007. "Expanding Criminology's Domain: The American Society of Criminology 2006 Presidential Address." Criminology 45 (February): 1-31. https://www.ojp.gov/ncjrs/virtual-library/abstracts/expanding-criminolog...

START Author(s): 
Gary LaFree
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