Criminologists‘ Values and
Horizons of Criminology
Aleksandras Dobryninas
Vilnius University
Foundation of Criminology: Philosophical and
Logical Aspects (1990)
Foundation of Criminology: the Book‘s
Chapter 1. Past and present of criminological theory
1.1. Two paradigms of criminological theory
1.2. Current stance of criminological theory
1.3. Paradoxes of criminological theory.
Chapter 2. Logical and linguistic analysis of criminological concepts
2.1 Scientific criteria in criminology
2.2. Sense and meaning of the terms of the criminological research
2.3. Logical and linguistic analysis of criminological paradoxes
Chapter 3. Criminological personalization
3.1. Explanation and understanding in criminology
3.2. Criminological framing
3.2. Criminological text
Chapter 4. Criminological institualization
4.1. Horizon of criminological investigations
4.2. Legislation and the implementation of law
4.3. Criminological values
Towards Hermeneutical Criminology
• „For criminology it is important to understand
criminological paradigms, to scrutinize their
theoretical, institutional, and cultural sources.
Such understanding is needed, if criminologist
wants not only to grasp plain criminological
theoretical constructions, but also - to
penetrate into their background: live human
world, were criminologist finds himself as a
moral subject and as a producer of the
criminological world“ (JB&AD, p. 207)
Prospect for revision: three Add-Ons
• 1st add-on: cultural vision of criminal justice:
Source: Hulsman L. (1991). “The Abolitionist Case: Alternative Crime Policies”, Israel Law Review, vol. 25, p. 684.
• 2nd add-on: constructionist methodological
Formulation of
definitions of crime
Application of
definitions of crime
Class strugle
and class
Construction of the
idelology of crime
Development of
behavior patterns in
relation to definition
of crime
The Social Reality of Crime (Quinney, 1970)
• 3rd add-on: socio-epistemic discourses:
– Discourse as empowered usage of language in epistemically
segmented society (A Schutz, M Foucault, P Bourdieu)
– Three types of criminal justice discourses:
• Experts – criminologists, law professionals, officers of law
enforcement institutions – discourse on “true” justice.
• Well-informed citizen – politicians, decision-makers, journalists,
etc. – discourse on criminal justice in the context of societal
interests (inter-esse).
• People from the street – ordinary people with common sense
approach to crime and punishment
Example of Research Application
• Research on Reception of Criminal Justice in Society
(the research is funded by the European Social Fund
under the Global Grant measure (VP1-3.1-ŠMM-07-K01-049); 2011-2014.
• Goals:
- Analysis of the reception of criminal justice in society.
• Methodology:
– Constructionist approach with elements of discourse
• Team:
– Interdisciplinary team consists of psychologist, sociologist,
criminologist, economist, and lawyer.
Back to Punishment: Biblical sources
• Vengeance is mine, and recompense, for the
time when their foot shall slip; for the day of
their calamity is at hand, and their doom
comes swiftly. (Deuteronomy 32:35)
• Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but
leave room for God's wrath, for it is written:
"It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the
Lord (Romans 12:19)
• “Criminology is a boring subject, but its
questions…” (N. Christie)

Criminologists* Values and Horizons of Criminology