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European Homicide Research Group (EHRG)
Homicide, unlike other crimes, is characterised by a low frequency and high variability of events. In order to adequately study this phenomenon it is essential to join forces across Europe. We are therefore very excited to welcome a number of new members of the European Homicide Research Group, including Maria Lameiras Fernandez from the University of Vigo (Spain), Juan David Gómez-Quintero, Santiago Boira and Chaime Marcuello Servós from the University of Zaragoza (Spain) and UNAM (Mexico), Birgitt Haller from the Institute of Conflict Research (Austria), Sadik Toprak from Bulent Ecevit University (Turkey), Gunilla Krantz from Goteborg University (Sweden) and Aneta Wilkowska-Płóciennik from the University of Warsaw (Poland). To accommodate our expanding group, we launched a new website that provides an overview of our members and their affiliations. Please visit www.violenceresearchinitiative.org/EHRG for news and updates.
In the past year, many of our EHRG members have also been actively involved in the COST Action on Femicide, a network action that involves 15 of the 28 EU countries. The difficulties encountered in homicide research are similarly present in femicide research, as rates cannot be adequately compared since there is too much non-comparative material. Notwithstanding, this research initiative aims to facilitate contact between scholars from different fields in order to draw attention to femicide as a visible social fact.
Further, the EHRG is organising a panel at the upcoming European Society of Criminology annual meeting. We are glad to announce presentations by our members Janine Janssen on ‘Killing in the name of honour’, Aneta Wilkowska-Płóciennik on ‘A family origin of a killer’, Karoliina Suonpää on ‘Trajectories of crime and income before homicides and other types of violence’ and Simone Walser on ‘Homicides in Switzerland from 2005 until 2014’.
Other recent developments include the extension of the European Homicide Monitor. To examine various explanations for (cross-national) differences in homicide in Europe, several years ago three European countries (Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden) launched a joint database, the European Homicide Monitor (EHM). Now, several years down the road, other European countries are in the process of joining this initiative and collecting data according to this easy-to-use, accessible framework. These countries include Switzerland, Italy, Denmark and Estonia. The European Homicide Monitor enables comparisons and analyses among European countries, filling a long-existing lacuna when it comes to the comparability of homicides between European countries. A homicide measurement project like this is fundamental for further research that will provide evidence-based knowledge on topics such as the social factors that foster lethal violence, effective violence prevention, and setting rational parameters for punishment, sentencing policy and the treatment of offenders. This year, we have been actively promoting this instrument at international conferences, including the Stockholm Criminology Symposium and the 3rd UNODC International Conference on Governance, Crime and Justice Statistics. We would like to invite the ESC members to join the working group, and explore the possibilities of the European Homicide Monitor.
If you would like to join these and other activities in homicide research in Europe, please email m.c.a.liem [at] fgga.leidenuniv.nl.
Marieke Liem is Assistant Professor at Leiden University