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Starting from the End: A Plea for Focusing on the Consequences of Crime

In: European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice
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  • 1 Leuven Institute of Criminology, kuLeuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • | 2 Department of Criminology, Law and Society, George Mason University,Fairfax, va, USA
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* Corresponding author, e-mail: Letizia.Paoli@law.kuleuven.be

Introduction

Since its institutionalization as an autonomous discipline in the late 19th century, criminology’s main project has been identifying the causes of crime. The project began when Cesare Lombroso, the “father” of criminology, applied the methods of the natural sciences to explain why some individuals commit crime (e.g., Fijnaut, 2014). Building on L’Uomo Delinquente (Lombroso, 1876), the ensuing literature has greatly enhanced our understanding of the problem of crime, its causes, and its links to the broader societal context (e.g., Merton, 1938; Hirschi, 1969; Sampson, 2013

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