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Comparative Criminology

Code: 103952 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2500257 Criminology OT 4 0
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Albert Pedrosa Bou

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
english (eng)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:

Other comments on languages

La asignatura se realizará en inglés. Este curso requiere tener un nivel B2 de inglés.


This course requires a B2 level of English.

Objectives and Contextualisation


-      Understand the methodological problems related to the comparisons of crime across nations.

-      Understand the way in which crime data are collected across nations.

-      Understand the theoretical explanations of the evolution of crime across time and space.


-      Be able to critically assess the explanations of levels of crime across nations provided by researchers and by the press.

-      Be able to use data to explain trends in crime across nations.

-      Be able to effectively communicate about comparative criminology.


  • Ability to analyse and summarise.
  • Accessing and interpreting sources of crime data.
  • Drawing up an academic text.
  • Generating innovative and competitive proposals in research and professional activity.
  • Reflecting on the foundations of criminology (theoretical, empirical and ethical-political ones) and expressing this in analysis and propositions.
  • Students must be capable of autonomously updating their criminological knowledge.
  • Students must demonstrate they comprehend the criminological theories.
  • Students must demonstrate they know a variety of criminal policies in order to face criminality and its different foundations.
  • Verbally transmitting ideas to an audience.
  • Working autonomously.
  • Working in teams and networking.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Ability to analyse and summarise.
  2. Applying the variety of criminal policies and their foundations in the criminological field.
  3. Drawing up an academic text.
  4. Effectively using the theoretical foundations of criminology.
  5. Finding and analysing crime databases.
  6. Generating innovative and competitive proposals in research and professional activity.
  7. Inferring the scientific knowledge of criminology in the applied field.
  8. Students must show interest for the scientific updates in the criminological field.
  9. Verbally transmitting ideas to an audience.
  10. Working autonomously.
  11. Working in teams and networking.


1. Historical development of comparative criminology.

2. Methodology of international comparisons of crime.

3. Theories in comparative criminology.

4. Long-term trends in violence.

5. Police statistics in comparative perspective.

6. Conviction and prosecution statistics in comparative perspective.

7. Prison statistics in comparative perspective.

8. Probation statistics in comparative perspective.

9. Self-reported delinquency studies in comparative perspective.

10. Victimization studies in comparative perspective.

11. Victimization of women and of ethnic minorities in comparative perspective.

12. Criminal policy in comparative perspective.


- The course combines lectures and seminars. It requires reading a series of scientific articles for their discussion in class. In the seminars the lectures and other assignments will be discussed and submitted by the students.

- Before the starting of the course a detailed weekly schedule of activities will be provided.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Evaluation 5 0.2 2, 6, 7, 3, 1, 9, 10, 11, 5, 4
Lectures 19.5 0.78 2, 6, 7, 8, 5, 4
Seminar 19.5 0.78 2, 7, 8, 3, 1, 9, 11, 5, 4
Type: Autonomous      
Required readings 53 2.12 10
Written assignment 53 2.12 6, 3, 1, 10, 4


Evaluation assignments:

- The evaluation takes into consideration:

  • An article summary and its presentation (25%), and an academic review (15%).
  • Class and seminar participation (10%).
  • A final academic essay of the course and its presentation (50%). 

Evaluation criteria:

Essays out of time will not accepted and the student will get a fail mark (0), without possibility of late assignment .Only excuses based on illness or similar reasons may be accepted under proper justification. 

Plagiarism in essays will conduct to a fail mark (0) and the student will lose the right of a new assessment.  In case of relapse, the student will obtain a fail mark for the whole course (0) and will lose the right of a new assessment.

- It's necessary to obtain a final mean grade of 5 in order to pass the course.

- A minimum of 80% attendance to lectures and seminaris is requited  to be assessed (only absences due to illneess or similar reasons are accepted).

-Classes start on time. Late arrival is not admitted.


Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Academic essay 50% 0 0 2, 6, 7, 8, 3, 1, 9, 10, 5, 4
Academic review 15% 0 0 3, 1, 10
Article summary and presentation 25% 0 0 3, 1, 9, 10, 5, 4
Class participation 10% 0 0 6, 8, 9, 11


Required readings:

1. Aebi, M.F. & Linde, A. (2016). Long-term Trends in Crime: Continuity and Change. In Knepper P. & Johansen A. (Eds.). The Oxford Handbook of the History of Crime and Criminal Justice (pp. 57-87). New York: Oxford University Press.

2. Aebi M.F. & Linde A. (2015). The epistemological obstacles in comparative criminology: A special issue introduction. European Journal of Criminology12(4): 381-385.

3. Aebi, M.F. (2010). Methodological Issues in the Comparison of Police-Recorded Crime Rates. InShoham S.G., Knepper P. & Kett M. (Eds.). International Handbook of Criminology(pp. 211-227). Boca Raton / London / New York: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group.

4. von Hofer, H. (2000). Crime Statistics as Constructs: The Case of Swedish Rape Statistics. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research8(1): 77‐89.

5. Campistol C. & Aebi M.F. (2018). Are juvenile criminal justice statistics comparable across countries? A study of the data available in 45 European nations. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research24(1): 55-78. 

6. Aebi, M.F. & Linde, A. (2010). Is There a Crime Drop in Western Europe? European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research16(4): 251-277.

7. Caneppele, S. & Aebi, M. F. (2019). Crime Drop or Police Recording Flop? On the Relationship between the Decrease of Offline Crime and the Increase of Online and Hybrid Crimes. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 13(1): 66-79.

8. Aebi, M.F. & Linde, A. (2012). Conviction Statistics as an Indicator of Crime Trends in Europe from 1990 to 2006. European Journal on CriminalPolicy and Research18(1): 103-144.

9. Aebi M.F. & Linde A. (2012). Crime Trends in Western Europe according to Official Statistics from 1990 to 2007. In van Dijk J., Tseloni A. and Farrell G. (Eds.). The International Crime Drop: New Directions in Research (pp. 37-75). New York, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.

10. Aebi, M.F. & Linde, A. (2014). The persistence of lifestyles: Rates and correlates of homicide in Western Europe from 1960 to 2010. European Journal of Criminology, 11(5):552-577.

11. Aebi, M.F., Linde, A., & Delgrande, N. (2015). Is There a Relationship Between Imprisonment and Crime in Western Europe? European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research21(3): 425-446.

12. Aebi, M.F., Delgrande, N. & Marguet, Y. (2015). Have community sanctions and measures widened the net of the European criminal justice systems? Punishment & Society17(5): 575–597.

13. Aebi, M.F. (2009). Self-reported delinquency surveys in EuropeEnquêtes de délinquance autoreportée en Europe. Guyancourt : CRIMPREV (pp. 1-68) ISBN 978-2-917565278.

14. Aebi, M.F. & Linde, A. (2014). National Victimization Surveys. In Bruinsma G. & Weisburd D. (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice (pp. 3228-3242). New York: Springer