Criminology as Vocation and Profession –
Slovenian Perspectives and Challenges
Gorazd Meško & Katja Eman
Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security
University of Maribor, Slovenia
Presentation prepared for the Conference ‘27th Baltic Criminological Conference:
Criminology as vocation and profession’
Vilnius, June 26-27, 2014
 As criminality changes through time, so does
criminology (Kangaspunta and Marshall, 2009):
 1) criminology’s explicit interest is the normative behavior
(considering norms and rules);
 2) criminology gives the central role to inequality, power
and politics in the process of criminalization (criminality is
based on politics);
 3) in the last period criminology has developed a great
interest for victimization, especially to the different kind of
threats, which origins from the social and economic
inequality;
 4) from surveys of criminality and deviance expert’s reports
about researching the socially harmful behavior developed
(for example street criminality, victimization surveys etc.);
 5) criminology took over the politics that is based on
evidence and focused into preventing and control of the
illegal behavior;
 6) criminology is very quickly becoming more and more
international and globalized; and
 7) the fields of justice and human rights have become the
main topic of research and writing of numerous
criminologists.
 Politicisation of crime control (crime control as a political
discourse, crime and order have become big issues in political
campaigns)
 Rise of ‘populist punitiveness’ (public opinion led policies, media
pressures, folk devils & demonisation of dangerous people)
 Impact of risk mentalities and managerialism (risk
management, managerial solutions most welcome)
 Neo-liberalism (competition, consumer society, crime
beyond frontiers, cyber crimes…)
 Modernization of the civil service (especially equipment,
training – more slowly)
 Politicization of the civil service (and support of NGOs)
 Attempts of ‘evidence-based policy-making’
 Programmes reduction – economic crisis
 ESC Constitution – Section 1:
 The term criminology, as used in this
Constitution, refers to all scholarly,
scientific and professional knowledge
concerning the explanation, prevention,
control and treatment of crime and
delinquency, offenders and victims,
including the measurement and detection
of crime, legislation and the practice of
criminal law, and law enforcement,
judicial, and correctional systems.
 Where does Criminology belong as a teaching discipline?
 ISCED (International Standard Classification of Education I
S C E D, 1997, UNESCO) – Security (86) (Protection of
property and persons: police work and related law
enforcement, criminology, fire-protection and fire fighting,
civil security; military).
 Scientific discipline:
 SLO scientific classification - KLASIUS (criminology and social
work) – implication – criminology should contribute to solving
social problems.
Vocation
Profession

Ph.D.
M.A.


B.A.
- Security and Policing
- Information Security
- Criminal Justice and
Security


Vocational
programmes

High school

Research and academic institutions or
(non-)governmental organisations (experts
who possess theoretical and empirical
knowledge + leading positions)
Practical skills + demanding tasks of analysing,
planning, developing, and leading security
processes in the public and private spheres of
the economy or in non-government
organisations.
(leading positions and broader understanding
of crime analytics)
Practical skills and basics of crime analysis
(problem solving approach).
Practical skills
 Bologna convention
 Educational discipline(s)
 Scientific discipline(s)
 National, continental and global understanding
of disciplines
 Requirements
 Cooperation, flow of ideas, comparability, applicability,
topicality, research based, employability of graduates, impact
factor…
 Reach for the sky… (high research goals) more teaching and
research workload, less time, new managerialism – academia
as production – “academic production” counts only –
competition...
 Huge challenges even for the developed western countries...
 Economic crisis
 Importance of close cooperation with practice –
search and compliance with the needs of practice
SLO - Criminologist - a professional in a
list of professions coincidentally added
on the list of professions at the same
time as a prostitute…
- A Criminologist - a professional?
- What does a criminologist do?
Different descriptions of their
competencies and job opportunities.
- How many criminologists do we need?
 Teaching criminology as a generalist – a little bit




of everything – little research
Teaching criminology as a specialist – high level
of specialised knowledge – little teaching
Need for both – generalists and specialists
How to write a textbook on criminology – ‘phone
directories’, selection of research articles, general
textbooks, original theories....
Study material must be of high quality –
Slovenian language - a small community
 Sutherland (1960)
 Criminology includes the scientific study of
making laws, breaking laws, and reacting
toward the breaking of laws.
 Pečar (1998), former director of IC-LJ
 Criminology is a discipline for a better
understanding of crime and its curbing.
 When cynical: “A marginal science on marginal
problems.”
 Kanduč (2000), Slovenian radical
criminologist
 Criminology is a discourse in which
everything is questionable, including
what criminology is or what it is
supposed to be.
 A multidisciplinary hybrid developed from
police studies and public administration
 Criminal justice studies (USA, GB, AUS,
Canada) and Criminology
 Security/safety studies (Europe)
 Tradition – Slovenia – Internal affairs –
public safety/security, crime prevention,
crime control… criminology & and other
social control disciplines (Pečar-formal,
informal and institutionalised informal
social control) + foreign templates
(borrowed from the West)
 To become a centre of excellence in CE Europe –
Criminology, CJ and Security/Safety Studies (teaching and
research) – joint degrees, joint research projects, exchange of
professors, students; overcoming a national perspective –
broadening perspectives…
 To teach BA, MA and PhD levels and train (lifelong learning)
future experts and lay people in the field of crime control,
crime prevention, safety/security matters (alumni - informal
networking).
 To further increase the quality of the existing programmes
while preparing new undergraduate and postgraduate
curricula to respond to the new security/safety issues
 To further develop the information security study programme
embracing the state-of-the-art knowledge available within the
social and natural sciences.
 High quality of research – overcoming a method





fetishism (falling in love just with one research
method for the entire career)
Diverse social problems require diverse research
methods
Publications in English/other foreign languages
(going beyond the idea of “Five writers for six
readers” ...in a small village
Joining international research teams – learning from
each other, improvement in quality of research (not an
easy task to do)
Development of new theories – ‘contextualised’ theory –
late-modern, post-modern criminology in the Western
Balkans… (20 minutes out of the city = going back 30 or
more years...)
Contribution to the development of criminology in
general (impact factor… contribution to a global
knowledge) + national impact – transfer of knowledge,
community service… Being a prophet in your own
house…
[email protected]
[email protected]
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Criminology as Vocation and Profession