School of Law

Leeds Conference fosters focused dialogue between historians and criminologists

17 July 2015 |

Professor Markus Dubber, University of Toronto

On 8 – 9 July the School of Law welcomed leading historians and criminologists for a two-day conference

The 'Histories of Policing, Regulation and Security’ conference was organised to unite criminologists with criminal justice historians to discuss the topics from a historical perspective.

One of the intentions of the event was to encourage participants to reflect on how contemporary policing, security and urban order can be explained in light of its historical development, and what the future ramifications of such developmental processes are likely to be.

Speakers presented on diverse aspects of contemporary crime control through an historical perspective, from the formation of classical crowd psychology and risk-based policing, to the origins of international criminal ‘blacklists’ and the regulation of financial crime. Several members of the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies (CCJS) presented their research, including Dr David Churchill, Professor Adam Crawford, Stuart Lister, Dr Clifford Stott and Dr Henry Yeomans.

The event was organised by Criminal Justice Lecturer Dr David Churchill, who has an academic background as a historian. He commented:

“This event brought historians and criminologists together in really fruitful dialogue around the possibilities of ‘historical criminology’ as an intellectual endeavour, in what promises to be the first step towards more sustained development of interdisciplinary enquiry in this field. The conference showcased the strength of historical research in the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, the professionalism of the School’s support staff, and the excellent facilities provided by The Liberty Building.”

Over two days in the Moot Court Room academics participated in panel sessions, discussions and a plenary lecture on law, police and history delivered by Professor Markus Dubber from the University of Toronto. He commented: "I was delighted to have a chance to participate in this wonderfully interdisciplinary gathering that introduced me not only to a vibrant community of scholars engaged in the very sort of ambitious and creative collaborative thinking and doing that makes academic events of this sort both enjoyable and productive but also to the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit that animates the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies." 

Dr Paul Lawrence from the Open University commented: “This was an energising and intellectually-stimulating event. The practical arrangements were flawless and the whole two days gave a real sense of ambitious and ground-breaking academic endeavour.”

Professor Adam Crawford commented: “I would like to thank and congratulate David Churchill on organising a truly excellent international conference over the last two days in the Liberty Building which has helped place CCJS (and the Law School) at the forefront of innovative developments in ‘historical criminology’ – another melodic interdisciplinary string to our bow! The papers from Leeds colleagues were all excellent and very much engaged with the themes. All the external visitors were immensely impressed with what we have here and what we are building.”

If you are interested in learning more about historical criminology at Leeds, please contact Dr David Churchill, or review some of our current projects by looking at the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies Research Page.

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