About Criminology

The Centre for Criminology is a leading site of social enquiry and graduate education in criminology and criminal justice, with staff and students committed to understanding and addressing contemporary public policy dilemmas across many domains of order, justice and control.

We understand criminology as a ‘meeting place’ – staff in the Centre are orginally trained in history, law, politics and international relations, psychology and sociology. We treat criminology as a field of enquiry where questions of order, justice and control around the globe are brought into conversation with the larger concerns of the social sciences, and social and political theory, with such matters as de-colonialism, gender, political economy, race, and the futures or a climate-changed planet.

Criminology Staff - Nov 2023

The staff of the Centre - November 2023

What issues do we work on?

Staff in the Centre are involved in scholarly research and policy engagement around the following topics and themes, as well as supervising doctoral research in these areas:


Criminal law, justice and border control; counter-terrorism; counter-extremism; preventive justice; state regulation of family life.


International/global criminal justice; transitional justice; youth justice; crime, justice and the family; well-being of criminal justice workers; ideologies in crime control.


Death penalty in global perspective; prisons and incarceration; immigration detention; deportation; citizenship deprivation; prisoners’ families; maternal imprisonment, children’s rights; penal cultures and policy.


Urban security and everyday life; policing and private security; the (dis)orders of automobility.


Domestic violence and homicide; online harms; refugees; victims in international criminal justice.

How do we approach these topics?

Our work across these areas is intersected by orientations and intellectual commitments that speak to the distinctive collective character of criminological research in Oxford. These are:

A research focus that investigates these topics internationally and globally, and in many jurisdictions across the global north and global south. Centre staff are currently working in Australia, Bangladesh, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Kenya, Indonesia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Uganda and Zimbabwe, as well as the UK. 

A conception of criminology comprised of productive dialogue between empirical enquiry and social theorizing, and critical normative theorizing about systems of police, criminal justice and punishment and their alternatives.

An overarching interest in the relation of police, criminal justice and punishment to the production of social and political subjectivities (around race, gender, membership etc.)

An approach to exploring questions of order, crime and justice that is attuned to the politics of knowledge production and experiments with ‘new’ methodologies (visual, digital, de-colonial).

A commitment to engaging closely with practitioners, policy-makers and diverse publics with a view to using criminology to help build a better politics of order, justice and control.


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