History of Geographic Criminology Part I: Nineteenth Century

Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Criminologists have had a long enduring interest in the geography of crime and the explanation of spatial variations of crimes and offenders. In this entry, we describe the first century of empirical research starting in Europe in the late 20s and early 30s in Europe, especially in Belgium and France and in England (London). These studies contain the first analyses of registered figures on crime and prisoners. The results were also displayed on maps. There existed a vivid discussion between mathematicians, statisticians, and politicians during several meetings in London. The unit of analyses was in the beginning larger administrative areas and countries. The research agenda was inspired by new administrative data that became available in France in 1825 and by the political agenda of reformism, a political movement that after the Napoleon wars aimed at the improvement of education and health for the poor and illiterates. After 1860, the interest in geographic criminology in Europe diminished. Criminologists in Chicago took over the lead in geographic research in the beginning of the twentieth century.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice
EditorsGerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781461456902
StatePublished - 2014


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