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Susanne Karstedt

Biography

Susanne Karstedt photoSusanne Karstedt joined the University of Leeds as a Professor of Criminology in 2009, having previously held a Chair in Criminology at Keele University, UK, since 2000. Before, she researched and taught at the universities of Bielefeld and Hamburg, Germany. She is Adjunct Professor at the School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology, Australia. She received the Christa-Hoffmann-Riehm Award for Socio-Legal Studies in 2005, and the Sellin-Glueck-Award of the American Society of Criminology in 2007. She has been a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University since 1997, and to the Catholic University of Leuven and the American Bar Foundation.  She regularly teaches in the International Master's Programme of the International Institute of Sociology of Law, Onati, Spain, and in the Master Programme "International Crimes" at VU University Amsterdam.

Professor Karstedt's research interests focus on cross-national and cross-cultural comparative perspectives in criminology, and comprise mass atrocity crimes, state crimes, and international and transitional justice. In the area of international and comparative studies of crime and justice her research explores the role of democratic values, institutions and culture for patterns and levels of crime and criminal justice. Of particular interest are democracy's comparative advantages or disadvantages relating to violence, corruption, or state crime, as well as to imprisonment and prison conditions, and legitimacy of criminal justice institutions. Her other major areas of research are international and transitional justice, with a focus on public opinion, emotions, and perpetrators and victims in post-war Germany. Presently she is researching the micro- and macro-dynamics of events of mass atrocities, within the context of 'extremely violent societies'.  To this purpose she has created and is working with a global Index of Violent Societies.

 

Abstract

Global Hotspots of Violence: How to Focus Intervention and Prevention

Most violence is highly concentrated in space and time. This applies to violence by organised actors and within an organised setting, as well as to acts of violence committed by individuals in their daily lives. Hotspots of violence therefore are found on the street-level of communities as well as on the global level of countries and regions. Seemingly an advantage for intervention and prevention, the concentrated nature of violence nonetheless poses a number of problems and difficult questions. What would be the overall impact on violence levels if hotspots are targeted? How responsive are hotspots to violence reduction programmes, are they "hard" or "soft" targets? In which ways are different forms of violence related in hotspots, and will interventions targeting one form of violence have spill-over effects on another type? Based on a unique global data set of "Violent Societies", which combines types of organised and non-organised violence for 134 countries since 1976, these questions will be addressed in three steps. First, the impact of violence reduction in hot spots on global violence levels will be estimated, for various global regions. Next, the responsiveness / elasticity of violence in hotspots with regard to intervention will be analysed. Finally, the relationship between organised and non-organised violence will be explored for hotspots of violence, with particular attention to their contextual pattern.  Conclusions will be drawn as to the advantages, disadvantages and tools of interventions targeting hot spots.

 

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