Responding to Global Challenges of Crime and Insecurity

Academic Lead – Adam Crawford (Leeds) 

Security and crime-related concerns inform diverse forms of governance above, within and below the level of
the nation-state; the traditional guardian of social order. This position has been unsettled by newer
questions about internal and external security as these have become blurred by the practices of the police
and military in relation to crime, conflict and warfare. The implications of such shifts in emphasis are a
number of new questions for prevention and understanding. Increasingly the trans-national nature and flow
of crime and security risks and the importance of regions, cities and localities in fostering a sense of place,
security and identity have raised questions about the appropriate scale of preventative interventions,
systems of governance and social order. New conceptual models and methodological techniques will be
needed to move between different scales of analysis along a continuum ranging from the local, city, regional,
national to the global.

Security has traditionally been seen as a public good, but is increasingly authorised and provided either by
private corporations or by partnerships that straddle public and private interests. They demand a rethinking
of the nature of governmental accountability and responsibility. This network allows the strategic
development of research capacity in an area of growing societal and global importance and, in so doing,
draws together leading researchers in the three institutions to focus on these questions in relation to their own
research fields. The network:
i. Forges a new grouping of researchers well placed to exploit their collective expertise.
ii. Generates potential future collaborative funding initiatives.
iii. Advances and transform the existing research relations that exist between collaborators both under the
WUN ICCJnet initiative and previous EU funded CRIMPREV co-ordination action project (2006-9).

The challenge of security and crime in the context of globalisation constitutes an intellectual meeting place
where a variety of disciplinary approaches coalesce. The aim is to develop a new breed of research
students able to combine multi-disciplinary insights in ways that forge new conceptual understandings and
methodologies. The collaborators have research expertise that spreads across a number of disciplines –
law, criminology, sociology and urban studies – and backgrounds in different social research approaches.
Collectively, they will expose students to a range of theoretical perspectives and research methodologies.
The added value of the network will derive from the benefits to the students and the collaborators who will
forge regional alliances under the umbrella of a genuinely global research network.

Network Projects 

Security, Diversity and Locality: Community perceptions of crime disorder and terror within everyday urbanism

Principal Supervisor  – Rowland Atkinson – York

Being Feared: Micro-dynamics of fear and insecurity in global city spaces

Principal Supervisor – Susanne Karstedt (Leeds)

Men and Violence: contextualising dangerousness in global cultural transformations

Principal Supervisor – Maggie Wykes (Sheffield)