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Crime and Crime Control - Structures, Developments and Actors
The ESC-Conference 2016 and the hosting Criminology Department at the University of Münster
Prisons, policing, life-course criminology, economic crime and state crime are major issues at the macro-, meso- and micro-levels of criminological research. They are also of significant interest for practitioners and in criminal policy. Under the umbrella of ‘Crime and Crime Control’, a link that is at the core of modern criminological research, these topics form the plenary programme of the upcoming conference in Münster. ESC conferences continue to draw many European criminologists, as well as criminologists from all over the world. For the Münster meeting we received 930 abstracts and expect more than 1,000 participants (www.eurocrim2016.com).
The hosting Criminology Department at Münster University is, as is usual in Germany, part of the Institute of Penal Sciences within the law faculty. Comprised of one full professor, three post-doc and three doctoral scholars (criminologists, lawyers and social scientists), the department mainly teaches law students in criminology, and also in juvenile justice, corrections and criminal procedural law. The law faculty, with over 5,000 students – one of the largest in Germany – is greatly acknowledged among scholars and practitioners and very attractive for students.
The department’s research focus is on life-course criminology. Since 2002, we have conducted an ongoing panel study (Crime in modern Cities, CrimoC) together with the Department of Quantitative Methods in Social Research at the University of Bielefeld (www.crimoc.org). Besides developmental and methodological analyses, this longitudinal study allows investigations into particular criminological and policy interests, e.g. normative orientations, peer association, parental education, consumption of violent media, migration, lifestyles, school climate, impact of formal control interventions or – in cooperation with the Cambridge Institute of Criminology – a comparison between the English and German juvenile justice systems. A second research focus is on corporate crime. A larger qualitative case study has been carried out on the privatisation of former state owned enterprises in East Germany (Boers et al. 2015). Currently, we are investigating the impact of penal control on corporate compliance.
The criminology department at Münster University was founded in 1971 when Hans Joachim Schneider, a lawyer and psychologist, was appointed professor of criminology. At that time, and unfortunately until today, professorships for the sole study of criminology were quite rare in Germany, as criminology was mostly seen as an “auxiliary discipline” of criminal law. Thus, most criminology professors were teaching at law faculties and were required to be also criminal law experts. Hans Joachim Schneider wrote criminology textbooks and edited several handbooks. His research focused on media crime reporting and in particular on victimological issues. In 1979, the department hosted the Second International Symposium on Victimology, during which the World Society of Victimology was founded and Hans-Joachim Schneider was elected its first president (the 16th ESC conference will be the second international criminology conference taking place in Münster). In 1998, Klaus Boers became the department’s professor of criminology. The department’s scholars have been active members of the ESC working groups on development and life-course criminology, organisational crime, quantitative methods, juvenile justice and immigration. In September 2017, we will also be hosting the conference of the Society of German, Austrian and Swiss Criminologists, with a plenary focus on migration and refugees, Islamic and right-wing radicalisation, and economic crime as well as environmental crime.
Klaus Boers is Professor of Criminology, Kristina-Maria Kanz, Christian Walburg and Christina Bentrup are Senior Researchers at the Faculty of Law, Munster University, Germany. They are all members of the organising team of the 2016 Annual Meeting.
Boers, K., Theile, H., Bischoff, B., Karliczek, K-M. 2015. Economic Crime and the Privatization of East German Corporations. In van Erp, J., Huisman, W., Vande Walle, G.(eds.). The Routledge Handbook of White-Collar and Corporate Crime in Europe, 167–181. London.