We have the honour of hosting the last ESC conference in the UK before Brexit: at Cardiff University 13-16 September 2017. Its theme is Challenging ‘Crime’ and ‘Crime Control’ in Contemporary Europe. One can hardly think of any more appropriate label for this dramatic period for those of us both in Britain and elsewhere in Europe (not to mention the US).
The last year has been the Year of the Disruptor, when right wing populist movements have transformed the political landscape and the climate for constructing and dealing with ‘crimmigration’ and other ‘security problems’, despite generally falling conventional crime rates. It is therefore a great time for us to get together and reflect both on our existing areas of research and theoretical expertise and on the challenges that are posed for them by these broader economic and political currents.
The theme of the conference explores four key challenges for ‘crime’ and ‘crime control’ as phenomena and criminology as a discipline:
- The rise in intolerance of longer-established but often termed ‘new’ crimes such as domestic and commercial violence against women and men (aspects of which are now badged as ‘modern slavery’).
- The changes in technologies which (alongside other influences) have impacted on the police-recorded and real rates of some more traditional crimes, requiring a shift in focus, in crime measurement and in public & private ‘plural policing’, as well as on personal transparency to commerce, to other internet users, and to domestic and foreign governments.
- The simultaneous localisation and globalisation of ‘terrorist threats’, which have generated a shift in securitisation, growing monitoring/restrictions on civil liberties and a closer relationship between the police and security services in European countries and elsewhere.
- The impact of austerity and public finances on levels of crime and on how we react to crimes, including policing, criminal justice and the sanctioning of offenders.
We are very pleased to welcome you in Cardiff!