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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Institut für Europäische Ethnologie


Navigating citizenship through European landscapes of criminalisation
Project Duration:

Nov. 2020 – Nov. 2023

Project Description:

The CrimScapes project explores the expanding application of criminal law, crime control measures and imaginaries of (il)legality as both responses to, and producers of, the politics of threat and uncertainty that are currently expanding across the European region. Given the inherent tensions between democratic processes and ever-expanding legal regulations, the project investigates this growing reliance on criminal technologies and institutions as a challenge to the participatory nature of democratic societies, and as possible symptoms and causes of the general sense of turbulence that has come to dominate much of economic, social and political life. It works to analytically grasp the motivations behind, and challenges and implications of, criminalisation for the variety of actors and practices that (re-)shape entangled crimscapes - i.e. landscapes of criminalisation. With the support of secondary literature, archival research and interviews, project members will develop - for a variety of publics - CrimeLines (i.e. genealogical timelines) of seven European crimscapes (of drug use, migration, sex work, infectious diseases, the prison context, sexuality/gender, and hate speech). Additional ethnographic fieldwork will help to conceptualise - in publications and an EthnoGraphic Novel - the strategies, relations and citizenship dynamics of the implicated actors as they navigate democratic participation and freedoms with legal regulation and measures of crime control. Extracting from this empirical data, researchers will then highlight and open for discussion - with policy makers and other stakeholders - documented dilemmas of democratic governance so as to enhance the lived realities, rights-claims and desired futures of all implicated actors.


Additional Team Members:

Jagiellonian University, Institute of Sociology
Dr. Agata Dziuban (Principle Investigator)
Dr. Justyna Struzik

National Centre for Scientific Research, Centre for Sociological Research on Law and Criminal Justice Institutions
Dr. Mathilde Darley (Principle Investigator)
Dr. Jérémy Geeraert

University of Helsinki, Department of Social Sciences
Dr. Salla Sariola (Principle Investigator)


Project Funding:

CrimScapes is financially supported by the New Opportunities for Research Funding Agency Cooperation in Europe (NORFACE) network within the research programme ‘Democratic governance in a turbulent age’ (www.norface.net/14-projects-funded-in-transnational-programme-democratic-governance-in-a-turbulent-age/)