We are facing a human catastrophe at the moment. Between 45 and 60 million people worldwide are on the run due to wars and ethnic, religious or political persecution. About 1.5 million refugees are expected in Europe by the end of 2015, most of them trying to escape the wars in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine and other regions where their lives are in danger.
Europe is the birthplace of modern criminology, and in particular of criminology as a science in the 19th century. Its birth was part of a major endeavour across European states to access the moral state of the rapidly changing societies of the 19th century.
I will not go into the discussion whether criminology is an autonomous discipline or rather a field where various disciplines meet. My concern here is with a different question: are we, as criminologists, still ‘scientists’ if we get involved with values? But how can we avoid this involvement when how societies deal with crime and punishment is suffused with values?
Measurement issues can be complex and uncomfortable. Yet they are among the most important features to consider in order to make reliable and valid scientific statements. However, measurement issues are often missed, underrated, or simply ignored. Although often borrowed from sociology or psychology, a lot of concepts commonly and currently discussed in criminology lack consideration of a comprehensive measurement theory.
The Eurogang working group consists of leading European and American scholars in the field of research on gangs and troublesome youth groups. Researchers within this network have been working together for more than 15 years to develop and apply a common framework for comparative research, based on standardised methodological instruments and a common research design.