You are hereHome ›
ESC Executive Secretariat Annual Report 2015
2015 was the year of all the records for the European Society of Criminology (ESC). The number of members reached 1308, and 1369 criminologists attended the 15th Annual Meeting of the ESC, which took place in Porto, Portugal, from 2 to 5 September 2015. During the conference, Sonja Snacken received the 2015 European Criminology Award and Daniel Seddig the 2015 ESC Young Criminologist Award. The ESC awarded three fellowships to attend the conference. The General Assembly of the ESC elected Rossella Selmini as President-Elect and Letizia Paoli as at-large Board member. The day following the General Assembly, Frieder Dünkel took office as President of the ESC, replacing Gerben Bruinsma until the end of the next conference, which will take place in Münster, Germany, from 21 to 24 September 2016.
The 15th Annual Meeting of the ESC (Porto, Portugal, 2-5 September 2015)
Figure 1 shows the evolution of the participation in ESC conferences from 2004 to 2015. The growth in conference participation during the latest three years is particularly impressive. Porto set a new record with 1369 participants. This represents a 19% increase from the previous record, set one year before in Prague 2014. Furthermore, the number of participants in Porto 2015 was almost three times higher than the number of participants in Krakow 2005 and Tübingen 2006.
Among the participants in Porto there were 421 students (31% of the total) as well as 360 participants (26% of the total) that were not members of the ESC. These two percentages overlap because, among the non-members, 143 were students. The percentage of students is the highest registered until now. This can be explained by the wonderful job done by the local organizers of the Porto conference, who found accommodation for students at a really affordable price.
Foreseeing the number of participants in the ESC Annual Meetings has become a very complicated task. One could think that, once the period for abstracts submission is open, the progress in the reception of abstracts can be used as a predictor of the final number of participants. The next section tests that hypothesis.
When do participants submit abstracts for ESC conferences?
In 2013, the 13th Annual Meeting of the ESC took place in Budapest, Hungary, from 4 to 7 September. The original deadline for abstract submission was set for the 1st of June 2013. The deadline was later extended until the 15th of June. Eva Inzelt (ELTE Faculty of Law, Budapest, Hungary), who was part of the organizing committee of the conference, registered carefully the flow of submissions. Based on her data, we have produced figure 2, which shows the increase in the total number of abstracts during the 20 days that went from 27 May to 15 June 2013.
It can be seen in Figure 2 that, 5 days before the first deadline, only 211 abstracts had been received. That was less than 23% of the final number of abstracts. Now put yourself for a moment in the skin of the local organizers who have assured to their University that the conference was going to be a success and have engaged in expenses and made reservations for at least 800 participants. Every year, one of the tasks of the Executive Secretariat during these days is to reassure them that everything will turn out right, although we cannot be fully sure about the final outcome. Then, in the next two days, 29 and 30 May, the number of abstracts almost doubled. But the real peak came during the 31st May and the 1st of June. Roughly 40% of the abstracts arrived during those 48 hours. Finally, during the extension of the deadline, 156 abstracts, representing 17% of the deadline, were submitted. Thus, all in all, three quarters of the abstracts were received in only 20 days, and just around the two deadlines. There is no linear progression in the reception of the abstracts, and therefore one cannot use their number to forecast the number of participants in the conference… unless you wait until the deadline comes along.
A note for professors: Not only students deliver their written assignments just in time… Deadlines, deadlines. You cannot leave with them, but you cannot leave without them.
ESC Membership in 2015
Figure 3 shows the evolution of the ESC membership from 2004 to 2015. In this case, with the exceptions of 2010 and 2011, the progression has been linear. Nevertheless, the jump from 2014 to 2015, when the number of members reached 1308, is particularly impressive. It represents a rise of 19%, which is the same percentage observed in the increase of the number of participants to the conference. It can also be noted that 2015 was one of the only three years –the other ones were 2004 and 2007– in which the number of participants to the conference was slightly higher than the number of members. This configuration always reflects the arrival of an important number of persons that participate for the first time in an ESC conference. Usually they familiarize quite soon with the society and realize that they can have all the benefits of the membership for the same amount they paid for registering as non-members. In that context, we have mentioned that, in Porto, 26% of the participants were not members of the ESC. If we add these 360 persons to the total number of ESC members, we can conclude that, in 2015, there were 1688 criminologists linked to the ESC. This is again an absolute record and a sign of the strength of criminology in Europe.
The future seems also bright because in 2015 there were 320 students among the 1308 ESC members. Hence, students represented 24% of them. Since 2008, the percentage of students had oscillated between 21 and 22% of the ESC members. Only in 2007 that percentage was higher (27%).
In 2015, ESC Members came from 57 countries (60 if figures for the United Kingdom are breakdown by nations), covering the five continents. The United Kingdom remained the most well represented country with 301 members, followed by Germany (105 members), the United States of America (101), the Netherlands (88), Belgium (86), Switzerland (75), Spain (67), Italy (57), Portugal (52), Norway (29), Sweden (28), Australia (24), Poland (23), Israel (20), Greece (19), Canada (18), Denmark (15), Finland and France (both with 14 members), Austria and Hungary (13), Brazil, the Czech Republic and Japan (12), Slovenia (11), Croatia (10), Ireland (9), Turkey (7), Serbia (6), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania and Russia (5), Cyprus, Lithuania and Peru (4), Albania, FYRO Macedonia, Iceland, Latvia, Malta and South Africa (3), Argentina, Chile, China, Estonia, Georgia and Luxemburg (2), and Bulgaria, Colombia, Korea, Kosovo (UNR), Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Slovakia and Ukraine (1).
Figure 4 presents the countries with at least 10 ESC members in 2005. It can be seen that a third American country, Brazil, has joined this group. This can be explained by the strong ties between Brazil and Portugal, but is also a sign of the growth of criminology in Portuguese speaking countries. This growth is reflected in the recent creation of an International Association of Portuguese Speaking Criminologists.
In order to appreciate the evolution of the membership, Figure 4 can be complemented with Table 1, presented in Annex, which presents the 27 countries that, in one year of another between 2004 and 2015 had at least 10 ESC members. There are 8 countries that always reached that number, and 3 of them –the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States of America– always had the highest number of members. Belgium and the Netherlands traditionally occupied the fourth and fifth place, sometimes with more members from one country and sometimes with more members of the other. Then come Switzerland, Spain and Italy. For the other 19 countries, the increase in the number of participants has been relatively constant. As we have mentioned in previous annual reports, the fact of organizing an ESC conference always leads to a peak in the number of participants from that country, but the good news is that, after the conference, the number of members from that country traditionally remains higher than before.
Members from countries of the Balkan region are also on the rise. This trend seems related to the organization of the 2009 ESC conference in Ljubljana as well as to the work of the Balkan Criminology ESC working group, which is very active in the region. The future organization of the 2018 ESC conference in Sarajevo will surely contribute to that positive trend.
Awards and Fellowships granted by the ESC in 2015
European Criminology Award
Sonja Snacken, Professor at the Faculty of Law and Criminology of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium, received the 2015 ESC European Criminology Award in recognition of her lifetime contribution to criminology. The award committee –composed by former ESC presidents Henrik Tham (chair, University of Stockholm, Sweden), Vesna Nikolic-Ristanovic (University of Belgrade, Serbia), and Michael Tonry (University of Minnesota, United States of America)– considered that:
“Sonja Snacken combines in her writings the role of the sharp and empirically oriented researcher with that of the engaged citizen who believes in humane values and who is willing to fight for them. In comparing penal systems and prison regimes in Europe she tries – together with other European criminologists – to explain variations historically and between nations. The differences in punitivity are shown to mainly be a function of differences in welfare and social equality, in human rights and in democracy. Having established these criminological facts she points to the main cause of these differences – political decision-making. And in her official capacity in organizations, committees and councils she confronts the politicians.
The winner of the European Society of Criminology Award 2015, Sonja Snacken, is a European criminologist in the best sense of the word.”
The Awards Ceremony took place during the ESC conference in Porto, and the laudatio of the awardee was delivered by Elena Larrauri (Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain).
Young Criminologist Award
Daniel Seddig (University of Zurich, Switzerland) received the 2015 ESC Young Criminologist Award in recognition of his article “Peer Group Association, the Acceptance of Norms and Violent Behaviour: A Longitudinal Analysis of Reciprocal Effects” published in 2014 in the European Journal of Criminology.
The award committee was composed by Paul Knepper (chair, University of Sheffield, England, United Kingdom), Klaus Boers (University of Muenster, Germany) and May-Len Skilbrei (University of Oslo, Norway). The committee considered that:
“The article deals with a question at the centre of criminology: the question of peer group association. The article brings a rich theoretical framework to a robust empirical analysis (specifically, a structural equation model) with panel data. We believe that Dr Daniel Seddig is a worthy recipient of the ESC Young Scholar Award.”
The Awards Ceremony also took place during the ESC conference in Porto, where Daniel Seddig had a talk with Paul Knepper, which is available as a podcast on the website of the European Journal of Criminology (http://euc.sagepub.com/site/Podcast/podcast_dir.xhtml). Several other podcasts, reflecting interviews with some of the authors that participated in a special double issue on comparative criminology of the journal (issues 4 and 5 of 2015), are also available at the same Internet address.
Fellowships to attend the 15th Annual Meeting of the ESC
In 2015, the ESC granted three fellowships to attend the ESC conference in Porto. The fellowships were granted to Angelina Stanojska (University of Bitola, FYRO Macedonia), Ivona Shushak (University of Bitola, FYRO Macedonia) and Srdan Vujović (University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina). The panel that awarded the fellowships was composed by Krzysztof Krajewski (chair, Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland), Aleksandras Dobryninas (University of Vilnius, Lithuania), and Jaime Waters (Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, United Kingdom).
After several years chairing the panel of the ESC fellowships, Krzysztof Krajewski decided to retire from that position. The members of the ESC thanked him with a long applause during the General Assembly that took place in Porto.
And that is all for the 2015 Annual Report from the Executive Secretariat. We are looking forward to see you in Münster!
Marcelo F. Aebi is Professor of Criminology at the School of Criminal Sciences, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Grace Kronicz is the Secretary of the General Secretariat of the European Society of Criminology