Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Historical Criminology

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_672



Historical criminology brings methods and concepts from history to the study of crime and criminal justice. This entry covers the differences between criminologists and historians, leading theoretical frameworks in historical criminology, methods of historical research, and the role of time in criminology theory and research.

Key Issues/Controversies

Criminologists and Historians

There are well-established areas of research that overlap history and criminology. Manuel Eisner (2003) and Hans van Hofer (2011) analyze levels of crime over time. The study of crime trends makes intuitive sense to criminologists, particularly when these trends are examined from the Second World War. Trends in crime and imprisonment during the late twentieth century are readily interpreted using criminological models, so readily that criminologists do not regard this as “history.” Criminologists are also interested in the history of criminology. This research examines the...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Recommended Reading and References

  1. Bosworth M (2001) The past as a foreign country? Some methodological implications of doing historical criminology. Br J Criminol 41:431–442Google Scholar
  2. Braudel F (1980) On history. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  3. Deflem M (2002) Policing World Society: historical foundations of international police coperation. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  4. Eisner M (2001) Modernization, self-control and lethal violence: the long-term dynamics of European homicide rates in theoretical perspective. Br J Criminol 41:618–638Google Scholar
  5. Eisner M (2003) Long-term historical trends in violent crime. Crime Justice A Rev Res 30: 83–142Google Scholar
  6. Garland D, Sparks R (2000) Criminology, social theory and the challenge of our times. Br J Criminol 40:189–204Google Scholar
  7. Gibson M (2002) Born to crime: Cesare Lombroso and the origins of biosocial criminology. Praeger, WestportGoogle Scholar
  8. Godfrey B, Dunstall G (2005) Crime and empire 1840-1940. Willan, DevonGoogle Scholar
  9. Godfrey B, Lawrence P, Williams C (2010) History and crime. Sage, LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. Killias M (2006) The opening and closing of breaches: a theory on crime waves, law creation and crime prevention. Eur J Criminol 3:11–31Google Scholar
  11. Knepper P (2009) The invention of international crime: a global issue in the making, 1881-1914. Palgrave, LondonGoogle Scholar
  12. Knepper P (2011) International crime in the twentieth century: the league of nations era, 1919-1939. Palgrave, LondonGoogle Scholar
  13. Knepper P, Scicluna S (2010) Historical criminology and the imprisonment of women in nineteenth century Malta. Theor Criminol 14:407–424Google Scholar
  14. LaFree G (2007) Expanding criminology’s domain: The American Society of Criminology 2006 presidential address. Criminology 45:1–31Google Scholar
  15. Laub J (2004) The life course of criminology in the United States: The American Society of Criminology 2003 presidential address’. Criminology 42:1Google Scholar
  16. Laub J, Sampson R (2003) Shared beginnings, divergent lives: delinquent boys to age 70. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  17. Lawrence P (2012) History, criminology and the ‘use’ of the past. Theor Criminol 16(3):313–328Google Scholar
  18. Loader I, Sparks R (2005) For an historical sociology of crime policy in England and Wales since 1968. In: Matravers M (ed) Managing modernity: politics and the culture of control. Routledge, Oxford, pp 5–32Google Scholar
  19. Mucchielli L (2010) Are we living in a more violent society? A socio-historical analysis of interpersonal violence in France, 1970s-present. Br J Criminol 50:808–829Google Scholar
  20. Pratt J (2000) Civilization and punishment. Aust N Z J Criminol 33:183–201Google Scholar
  21. Rafter N (1985) Gender, prison and prison history. Soc Sci Hist 9:233–247Google Scholar
  22. Rafter N (1990) Partial justice: women, prisons and control. Transaction, New BrunswickGoogle Scholar
  23. Rafter N (1992) Criminal anthropology in the United States. Criminology 30:525–546Google Scholar
  24. Sampson R, Laub J (2005) A life-course view of the development of crime. Ann Am Acad Pol Soc Sci 602:12–45Google Scholar
  25. Shoemaker R (2009) Print culture and the creation of public knowledge about crime in 18th century London. In: Knepper P, Doak J, Shapland J (eds) Urban crime prevention, surveillance and restorative justice: effects of social technologies. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 1–22Google Scholar
  26. Spierenburg P (1984) The spectacle of suffering. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  27. Von Hofer H (2011) Punishment and crime statistics in Scandinavia, 1750-2008. Crime Justice A Rev Res 40:33–108Google Scholar
  28. Zedner L (1998) Women, crime and custody in Victorian England. Clarendon, OxfordGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of LawUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK