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Violence Research Centre

Main picture: Yoksel Zok, Unplash, daffodils

The Michaelmas and Lent terms have been very productive for researchers associated with the VRC. New publications are coming out alongside the spring's daffodils. These cover a variety of topics from theoretical contributions in the field of criminology to longitudinal studies tackling women's and children's mental health and wellbeing.


Book launch at the IoC

This week sees the launch, at the Institute of Criminology (IoC), of Crime, Justice, and Social Order. Essays in Honour of A. E. Bottoms. This scholarly publication honours the extraordinary contribution of Prof Anthony Edward Bottoms to criminology and criminal justice, featuring chapters by renown criminologists. Dr Justice Tankebe is one of the editors and author of Rightful Authority: Exploring the Structure of Police Self-Legitimacy (Chapter 14). 

A. Liebling, J. Shapland, R. Sparks & J. Tankebe (eds.) (2022) Crime, Justice, and Social Order. Essays in Honour of A. E. Bottoms. (Clarendon Studies in Criminology) Oxford. Oxford University Press.



Ramaj, K. (2022) online. The 2015 South Korean–Japanese Agreement on ‘Comfort Women’: A Critical Analysis. International Criminal Law Review, p.1-35.

Abstract: Before and during the Second World War, Japan established a legalised system of sexual slavery, in which approximately up to 200,000 women, euphemistically known as ‘comfort women’, were exploited. Although the victims came from all the regions of the Japanese Empire, the majority of them were Korean. While initial reconciliation attempts were met with refusal, a seemingly positive step was taken in December 2015, when South Korea and Japan announced that they had reached an agreement which would ‘finally and irreversibly’ resolve this issue. The main argument developed throughout the present article is that the agreement does not do justice in addressing the victims’ needs and rights in many ways, with the need for acknowledgement and memorialisation being primarily neglected. A critical evaluation of the 2015 agreement is particularly important in light of its suspension due to the dissolution of the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation.


Carlota Urruela, Tom Booth, Manuel Eisner, Denis Ribeaud, and Aja L. Murray (2022). Validation of an Extended Violent Ideations Scale to Measure Both Non-Sexual and Sexual Violent Ideations (The VIS-X). Online first:

Abstract: A previous study developed and validated a multi-item instrument for the assessment of violent ideations, the “Violent Ideations Scale” (VIS). However, the final 12-item scale contained no items relating to sexual violence and was thus lacking an important dimension of violence. The current study explores an expansion of the original VIS to include ideations of sexual violence and investigates the psychometric properties of this new version: The Violent Ideations Scale-Extended (VIS-X). The VIS-X was completed by participants in the latest wave of the z-proso study (N = 1,177; 595 females, 580 males aged 19–22 years). Exploratory factor analysis was conducted in a calibration sample and confirmatory factor analysis in a validation sample to establish a two subscale structure as optimal. Cronbach’s α and Composite Reliability suggested good internal consistency. Nomological analysis supported the convergent validity of the scores.


Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology - update

Volume 7, Issue 3 and Issue 4 (co-edited by Manuel Eisner) have just been published. You can view these issues here. Here are two papers in the journal. The Cohort Study is only published online at present.

Zych, I., Farrington, D. P., Ribeaud, D., & Eisner, M. (2021) Childhood Explanatory Factors for Adolescent Offending: a Cross-national Comparison Based on Official Records in London, Pittsburgh, and Zurich.

Abstract: This study compares childhood explanatory factors for adolescent offending according to official records obtained in three longitudinal projects conducted in three different countries: the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development, the Pittsburgh Youth Study, and the Zurich Project on the Social Development from Childhood to Adulthood. This is the first comparison of a great variety of explanatory factors for recorded offending measured in three different geographic areas and different generations. Several common explanatory factors were found in the three projects, and they seem to be generalizable across time and context. Common explanatory factors for offending included individual factors such as high impulsivity, attention deficit, and low school achievement. Childrearing explanatory factors included poor supervision, physical discipline, and parental conflict. Socioeconomic explanatory factors included low family income and divorced parents. Parental imprisonment was also a common risk factor among the three studies. Replicable childhood predictors of youth offending should be targeted in prevention.


Ribeaud, D., Murray, A., Shanahan, L. [...] Eisner, M. (2022) Cohort Profile: The Zurich Project on the Social Development from Childhood to Adulthood (z-proso). J Dev Life Course Criminology.

Abstract: The Zurich Project on the Social Development from Childhood to Adulthood (z-proso) began in 2004 in response to the need for a better evidence base to support optimal child social development and prevent crime and violence. Since then, the study has tracked the development of a diverse sample of youths (N = 1,675 in the target sample; ~50% female) from age 7 (n = 1,360) to age 20 (n = 1,180), with primary data collection waves at ages 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17, and 20. The study uses a multi-method, multi-informant design that combines teacher, youth, and parent reports with observational and behavioural measures, biosampling, functional imaging, and ecological momentary assessment. Analyses of the data have contributed important evidence to a diversity of topics in child and adolescent development, illuminating the developmental roots of crime and aggression, the impacts of exposure to different forms and combinations of victimisation, and trajectories of mental health and neurodevelopmental symptoms.


Free 'hits papers' from Crime and Justice Chicago 

To celebrate its 50th volume, Crime and Justice Chicago is making a number of greatest hits available freely for the rest of 2022, including an article by Manuel Eisner. Crime and Justice has for a half century specialized in publication of state-of-the-art review essays on knowledge about crime and punishment. The aim was to be catalytic. The result surprisingly often has been. Some essays laid foundations on which major, mainstream literatures now stand—Ron Clarke’s on situational crime prevention, Al Reiss’s on criminal careers of communities, Rolf Loeber and Marc Le Blanc’s on developmental criminology, Michael Tonry’s on ethnicity, immigration, and crime, Manuel Eisner’s on the history of violent crime, and Tapio Lappi‐Seppälä’s on why countries have moderate or intemperate punishment policies. Others became the classic, still read and often cited, statements of their subjects—David Farrington’s on age and crime, Joan Petersilia and Susan Turner’s on intensive probation programs, Daniel Nagin’s on deterrent effects of punishment, Travis Pratt and Frank Cullen’s on the predictive validity of etiological theories, and Bob Crutchfield’s on sociological writing on race and crime which for generations hid racial bias wolves behind social class sheepskins. Intellectual frameworks provided by economists Phil Cook and Peter Reuter for understanding drug markets and crime prevention were cutting edge when they were published and remain cutting edge today.

Manuel Eisner, “Long-Term Historical Trends in Violent Crime,” Volume 30 (2003), pp. 83–142.


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