INTRODUCTION TO COMPARATIVE CRIMINAL
"When a classification does not exhaust, a haphazard classification is preferable" (Kierkegaard)
There are four kinds of societies in the world: (1) folk-communal, which are also called primitive societies; (2) urban-commercial, which rely on trade as the essence of their market system; (3) urban-industrial, which produce most of the goods and services they need without government interference; and (4) bureaucratic, or modern post-industrial societies where the emphasis is upon technique or the "technologizing" of everything, with the government taking the lead. Some people also talk about a fifth type, the post-modern society, where the emphasis is upon the meaning of words, coded narratives, and the deconstruction of institutions. Developing countries tend to be lumped into the first two types (1 & 2) where the study of culture becomes more important than the study of structure. Developed countries tend to be lumped into the last two types (3 & 4) where the study of structure becomes more important. The study of culture involves the study of customs and folkways of the people, culture referring to things which come and go, which are mainly produced by people each generation. The study of social structure involves the study of enduring institutions, like economic and political systems, which remain in place generation after generation. It should also be noted that some comparativists are "splitters" instead of "lumpers" which means that instead of lumping closely similar societies together, they may make some fine comparisons, thereby splitting types into subtypes. The lumping-splitting problem is a problem in any social science, and unfortunately, there is no good way to resolve it. Most people are lumpers, and the four types of societies presented here are examples of lumping similar things together (knowing full well that finer subtypes exist).
folk-communal -- little codification of law, little specialization among police, and a system of punishment that just lets things go for awhile without attention until things become too much, and then harsh, barbaric punishment is resorted to. Classic examples include the early Roman gentiles, African and Middle Eastern tribes, and Puritan settlements in North America (with the Salem "witch trials").
urban-commercial -- presence of civil law (some standards and customs are written down), specialized police forces (some for religious offenses, others for enforcing the King's law), and punishment is inconsistent, sometimes harsh, sometimes lenient, but mostly harsh. Most of Continental Europe developed along this path.
urban-industrial -- presence of codified law (statutes that proscribe as well as prescribe) with an attempt to create more law in a direction that prescribes good behavior; police become specialized in how to handle property crimes, and the system of punishment attempts to run on market principles of creating incentives and disincentives. England and the U.S. followed this positive legal path.
bureaucratic -- a coherent system of laws (along with armies of lawyers), police who tend to keep busy handling rare events, terrorism, and newly emerging forms of crime; a system of punishment often characterized by moral panics, overcriminalization and overcrowding. The U.S. and perhaps only eight other nations fit the bureaucratic pattern. Juvenile delinquency is a phenomenon that usually only occurs in a bureaucratic society because of the way such societies extend the adolescent age period.
Many comparativists romanticize the folk-communal society for its low crime rates as well as the way most quarrels and conflicts are settled privately. However, folk societies are also known for "lumping it" which is a process of letting things go on too long until it's too much to tolerate anymore. Basically, the more primitive the society, the more likely it is to let things build up until it reaches a "boiling point" or the "straw that broke the camel's back." By contrast, the more modern a society is, the more likely it is to over-react to the slightest, little thing. Folk societies work very hard to avoid the overcriminalization common to modern bureaucratic societies. Theorists have worked hard to attempt understanding exactly when and where societies became so crime-fixated. In this regard, the most frequently pointed-to variable in comparative criminal justice is urbanization, or the process of internal migration from the countryside to the cities. It is suspected that urbanization dissolves family ties, creates cultures of poverty, and produces a stabilized criminal underworld consisting of well-defined criminal career pathways. Also of importance are the variables of colonization and underdevelopment, as these processes of globalization shape underdog ideologies among exploited poor people which come back in the form of terrorism against the more developed countries. However, an event (like urbanization or colonization) cannot be the cause of crime if it occurs when crime rates are falling, as anomolies don't occur that often against "master trends." However, there are so many examples of fluctuating crime rates in so many countries under so many conditions that any search for a "master variable" is likely futile. Regardless, since about 90% of people in the world access their justice via traditional mechanisms, the most instructive case is with "folk-communal" (primitive or traditional) justice systems, and for the pros and cons of that, Forber (2008) provides a neat summary, as follows:
|(1) Male domination
-- Most rural societies in the developing world orbit around male
authority figures and tend to exclude women and children and
discriminate against young adults
(2) Ethnic/tribal/religious exclusion -- Traditional structures often exclude those who are not from the relevant tribe, village or religion; sentences can be delivered which are nonsensical to the victim or accused
(3) Violation of human rights -- Sentences can include execution, violent punishment, forced marriage or other results which seem inconsistent with a Western interpretation of human rights
(4) Unpredictability -- Judgments can vary wildly one day to the next, and district to district; laws are rarely codified and written down (even if practitioners can read them)
(5) No appeal process -- Either there is no right of appeal, or it is not widely known about; plus making an appeal jeopardizes one's interests and their family may be penalized for undermining an elder’s authority
-- The system is usually in the area where the victim lives, uses
the same language he/she speaks and does not require the use of
expensive solicitors and barristers
(2) Culturally relevant -- Those applying judgment to the case have similar values/religion/beliefs as those before them and base sentences in ways that make sense to all concerned
(3) Quick and engaging -- It involves the family/clan/tribe/ village which ensures that every decision is enforced, and need not involve the police force or other government agents who are susceptible to bribes
(4) Conciliatory -- It takes the need of the entire community into account and often focuses on reconciliation as anyone found guilty will almost always continue to live in the community; sentences often include fines or other reparative mechanisms rather than retributive violence or exclusion from the community
(5) Flexibility -- Rules and procedures are not fixed and can adapt to the specifics of the case at hand
FOUR LEGAL TRADITIONS
It is the consensus of experts is that there are four types of legal traditions in the world: (1) common; (2) civil; (3) socialist; and (4) Islamic. This pretty much classifies about 185 different nations. It is important to compare nations that have similar legal traditions because crimes may not be defined the same. In fact, legal systems may not even be the same. According to Reichel (2005), a legal tradition refers to a culture's attitudes, values, and norms (the conceptual components), whereas a legal system refers to the operational components that function day in and day out. Interpol and the U.N. have dealt with this problem for years -- that even something as simple as murder is defined differently by different nations, and even within the same nation, there may be a dozen or more different kinds of murder. There's also a reporting problem. In some countries, crime data are based on offenses known to police, and in other countries, statistical data is based on convictions. Certain countries (such as those in Central Africa) do not even collect crime statistics. In other countries (mostly socialist ones), crime statistics are collected, but the data are classified. It is also difficult to compare punishments, since in some countries, the family members of the offender are punished, and the range of punishments includes such things as stoning and mutilation. The four legal traditions are:
common law systems -- also known as Anglo-American justice. They exist in most English-speaking countries of the world, such as the U.S., England, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, and former British colonies in Africa. They are distinguished by a strong adversarial system where lawyers interpret and judges are bound by precedent (or stare decisis). Common law systems are distinctive in the significance they attach to precedent (the importance of previously decided cases). They rely primarily upon oral systems of evidence in which the public trial is a main focal point. Conceptually, all common law countries believe that law originates in custom, that a fair and open competition will sort out the truth, and that if everybody just plays by the rules, everything will work out.
civil law systems -- also known as Continental justice, Romano-Germanic justice, or Roman law. It is the largest and most prevalent system of justice in the world. About 48% of the world is on the Roman system according to Reichel (2005). It is practiced throughout most of the European Union, in places such as Sweden, Germany, France, and Japan, and throughout much of Latin America. It is distinguished by a strong inquisitorial process where less rights are granted to the accused, and the written law is taken as gospel and subject to little interpretation. For example, a French maxim goes like this: "If a judge knows the answer, he must not be prohibited from achieving it by undue attention to regulations of procedure and evidence." By contrast, the common law method is for a judge to at least suspend belief until the sporting event of a trial is over. Legal scholarship is much more sophisticated in civil law systems, as opposed to the more democratic common law countries where just about anybody can get into law school or write legal scholarshp. Romano-Germanic systems are founded on the basis of natural law, which has a deep respect for tradition. The sovereigns, or leaders, of a civil law system are considered above the law, as opposed to the common law notion that nobody is above the law. Despite this elitism, everyone who works in a civil law system, from police to prosecutor to judge, sees themselves as equals who pool their efforts to determine what happened. Historically, civil law systems go back to the Corpus Juris Romanis of 450 B.C., and this is mentioned because over the years, there have been various other important codes, or landmark pieces of legislation, which are taken as gospel within this tradition, an example being the famous Napoleonic Code of 1804.
socialist systems -- also known as Marxist-Leninist or Communist justice. It exists in many places, such as Africa and Asia, and parts of Latin America, anywhere where there has been a Communist revolution or the remnants of one. It is distinguished by procedures designed to forcibly rehabilitate or retrain people into fulfilling their responsibilities to the state. It is the ultimate expression of positive law, designed to move the state forward toward the perfectibility of state and mankind. It is also primarily characterized by administrative law, where non-legal officials make most of the decisions. For example, in a socialist state, neither judges nor lawyers are allowed to make law. Law is the same as policy, and an orthodox Marxist view is that eventually, the law will not be necessary. In practice, however, most societies which claim to have a socialist system of justice either have a dictatorship (no law at all) or some variant of a Roman legal tradition.
Islamic systems -- also known as Muslim or Arabic justice. It derives all of its procedures and practices from interpretation of the Koran. It is the only legal tradition in the world which considers all law to be of divine origin. Most Islamic law is in the form of commands, orders, or directives which govern the whole lifestyle of a person. For example, a citizen in a common law or Roman law society might be able to find some place, some time, where a little bit of unlawful behavior would be tolerated. Not so with Islamic law. There are few exceptions, and few situations where the Shari'a (the path to follow - another word for Islamic law) does not apply. Exceptions include places where Islamic law is not uniformly applied, but Islamic systems in general are characterized by the absence of positive law (the use of law to move society forward toward some progressive future). It is based on a concept of natural justice (crimes are considered acts of injustice that offend a religious or moral tradition). Religion plays an important role in Islamic systems, so much so that most nations of this type are theocracies, where legal rule and religious rule go together. In point of fact, religion must play an important role in Islamic law because only a few verses of the Koran can be used for law. Additional guidance can be had from books which point out statements and deeds by the Prophet, and although Islamic jurisprudence varies on this, one can also rely upon analogical reasoning (qiyas) to resolve controversies, and following that, the consensus of legal scholars (ijma).
Each society also has its own customary law or tribal traditions. Many parts of Africa, for example, have reverted back to a tribal system because they could not accommodate their heritage of colonialism, or could not choose among Common, Civil, Socialist and Islamic systems. Tribal justice systems tend to be characterized by arrest without trial and other summary procedures. In other parts of the world, such as Latin America, the problem has involved the profit of drug crime outpacing the capability of justice systems, and where a normal trend toward decriminalization should have occurred, an opposite trend of haphazard legal practice and harsh punishment has occurred. Traditionalism, colonialism, modernization, and the increasing tendency for crime to become transnational in an international marketplace form the components of the globalization problem in comparative criminal justice. It is important now, more than ever, to understand how we got to this point.
If one had to summarize the whole time span of human history into what have been the three "master trends," what would one say? The renowned sociologist, Max Weber (1947) said they were demystification, rationalization, and bureaucratization. The history of mankind has been the history of movement from myth to reason, and bureaucracy has been what we simultaneously depend on and deplore (Jacoby 1973). The first large-scale project that mankind probably faced was irrigation to grow crops. That's why most of the earliest societies -- the "cradles of civilization" -- were river valley societies. Someone (perhaps the first government) had to organize the irrigation of water so that there was not too much or too little, and Wittfogel (1957) argues that such "hydraulic societies" took on a form of government he calls "Oriental despotism" because total power was required over the land and property relations. Marxists called it the "Asiatic mode of production" and it pulled the world out of a tribal system into a class or status-based system.
Next came the world's great empires (the Egyptian, Chinese, Hindu, Persian, Inca, Aztec, Roman, and Ottoman) which Eisenstadt (1963) has documented as movement toward a centralized bureaucratic structure. Bureaucracies were crucial to the rulers of such empires if only for the reason that unquestionable loyalty was required of their staff. A tendency for empires to have some kind of in-house magic or primitive religious belief as an adjunct to their rule probably led to the first cases of specialization and professionalization in the form of shamans or viziers (the world's first bureaucrats). Secular specialization and professionalism came about with the advent of the Chinese civil service. The American civilizations (Mayas, Incas, and Aztecs) followed a different route, relying instead upon blood-based clan or interclan councils. The city-state system also emerged independently, or by colonization, in the Mediterranean basin (Heady 2001). Athens, Sparta, Carthage, and Rome started out as perfect examples of the urban-commercial pattern, but only Imperial Rome and its Byzantine Empire became influential enough to impact Western civilization as we know it. The movement from strict, civil-military hierarchies of the Byzantine Empire to the strict, royal court hierarchies of European feudalism was relatively seamless. Feudalism, by definition, required every person to know their place, and although customs varied, it was common for a peasant to have a small plot, or share a communal plot, on which to grow food for subsistence as long as they paid a portion to their lord who protected them and dispensed justice when the need arose.
Feudalism was eventually replaced by powerful monarchies with central bureaucracies. The key historical development was a money economy which replaced a barter economy. The ability to accumulate "coin of the realm" produced freemen, burgesses (municipal officials/bankers), and a middle-class. To manage these new groups of people, rulers fell back upon Roman Law traditions which saw the "right" of sovereignty (owning the state) vested in one person. The king (or queen) shared their power with the aristocracy, but also created the countervailing institution of "privy councils" (advisors) which consisted of non-aristocrats given royal duties (the most famous of which was the French Conseil d'Etat which still exists today). Bureaucracies grew because a growing manufacturing sector required subsidies and controls, colonies required administrators, and the huge treasuries required the attention of clerks and accountants. Kings also had little time for dispensing justice as was done in the old feudalism days, so they appointed justice officials (intendants or commissioners) to act as their representatives. Old-fashioned competition, however, took place among people who wanted appointment to the royal service, and various training/education services sprang up along with other screening devices such as entrance exams. Thus, the royal service was converted into the public service. Only the "best and the brightest" obtained government work. All that followed was development of the nation-state and manufacturing (industrialization).
POLICE, COURT, AND CORRECTIONAL SYSTEMS
Every type of system -- Common, Civil, Socialist, Islamic -- has local variation. Even in English-speaking countries, for example, there is variation. Canadian justice places more emphasis upon the right to a fair trial, free from prejudicial publicity. In Canada, the public and the media are usually banned from the courtroom, and there is little interest in crime news. In England, there is more emphasis upon fairness in sentencing, and making sure the guilty don't go free. English police dossiers along with two types of lawyers (solicitors and barristers) and two types of courts (Magistrate and Crown) help ensure this.
Police systems are quite different around the world. With the exceptions of Japan and the Common Law nations, few countries hold their police officers strictly accountable for violations of civil rights. In Socialist and Islamic countries, the police hold enormous political and religious powers. In fact, in such places, crime is always seen as political crime and a co-occurring religious problem. Police everywhere are the most visible (and accountable) symbols of criminal justice, so one universal finding is that when police fail to control crime, informal methods of law (vigilante policing and community courts) tend to arise. Other universal findings include the fact that minorities everywhere seem to distrust police, and that the American innovation of community policing doesn't transfer well to other countries because it comes off as too omnipresent (Braga et al. 2007).
Court systems of the world are of two types: adversarial, where the accused is innocent until proven guilty; and inquisitorial, where the accused is guilty until proven innocent or mitigated. The U.S. adversarial system is unique in the world. No other nation, not even the U.K., places as much emphasis upon determination of factual guilt in the courtroom as the U.S. does. Outside the U.S., most trials are concerned with legal guilt where everyone knows the offender did it, and the purpose is to get the offender to apologize, own up to their responsibility, argue for mercy, or suggest an appropriate sentence for themselves. Inquisitorial systems have more secret procedures. Outside of the United States, one is likely to encounter community (or neighborhood-focused) courts which offer an array of non-conventional, alternative sanctions.
Correctional systems worldwide can be fairly easily distinguished by whether they support corporal punishment (beatings) or not. Some so-called "civilized" countries that claim they are better than the U.S. because they don't have the death penalty regularly practice such corporal punishments as beatings and whippings. Nations that practice corporal punishment do tend, however, to have less of a correctional overcrowding problem. Probation and parole, where they exist cross-culturally, tend to be available only for native citizens, and not for foreigners nor immigrants. Outside of the United States, prisons tend to be less sanitary and unhealthy.
Juvenile Justice systems vary widely. Scotland has the toughest system, regularly sentencing juveniles to harsh boot camps with a strict military regimen and forced labor. Germany has a juvenile justice system similar to the U.S., but there is more emphasis upon education. Not every country in the world believes in special handling of juveniles, nor the concept of adolescence.
THE MODERNIZATION AND COLONIZATION THESES
The idea that technology produces common effects which tend to make all nations increasingly similar is the modernization thesis (Shelley 1981). In this view, the developing countries are destined to go through the same crime and control patterns as the developed nations have gone through. This pattern mainly involves a skyrocketing increase in property crime, the hallmark of industrial society. It also involves more female emancipation, and certain problems arise from this, not the least of which is a backlash of male violence. The implication of the modernization thesis is that developed countries, like the U.S., ought to reach out, and help developing countries manage or regulate the inevitable stages they will have to go through.
Opposed to this idea is the underdevelopment, or colonization thesis (Sumner 1982) which holds that it is the more advanced, developed nations in the world which cause crime in dependent, Third World nations. Corporations, for example, are allowed to pillage raw materials and resources in the Third World. Likewise, most of the developed nations do not engage in free trade. Instead, they subsidize their farmers and producers at home, prohibit the import of cheap, foreign-made products, and make their money by saturating foreign markets with luxury goods that create a sense of rising expectations or unreachable aspirations in the Third World.
There is little debate, however, over the value of the urbanization thesis. Comparative criminologists believe urbanization to be the primary cause of violent crime in most society (Archer & Gartner 1984). When citizens migrate to the cities, kinship and community ties are broken, and a sense of anonymity and impersonality develops. Some of this impersonality is inherent to the nature of industrial and bureaucratic work, but the problem in the cities appears to be the problem of income inequality, where vast numbers of poor people live in fairly close concentration to wealthier people, or those who are on the verge of "making it" economically.
PLACES WITH LITTLE OR NO CRIME
Switzerland for many years used to have travel brochures saying "there is no crime in Switzerland", and criminologists were stumped on why this was so, whether because of the high rate of firearm ownership or the extensive welfare system. It turned out that the Swiss (along with some other welfare nations, like Sweden) were not reporting all their crime rates. However, it was true that their crime rate was fairly low. The answer seemed to be that nations such as this did a remarkable job in managing their underclass population, the poor people who lived in the ghettos and slums. Swiss crime control is highly effective in using an "iron fist, velvet glove" approach toward those who commit crime and come from the bottom echelons of Swiss society. For example, when a poor person commits a crime, the government goes to work analyzing the family, educational, and employment needs of everyone in that poor person's family. Then, after some punishment (which the offender frequently agrees with as deserved), a long-term treatment plan is put into effect to raise that family out of poverty.
Another country with an interestingly low crime rate is Japan where the crime rates are not necessarily that low, but stable and resistant to fluctuating spikes. Some of the characteristics of this country include community policing, a patriarchal family system, the importance of higher education, and the way businesses serve as surrogate families. Asian societies are also "shame-based" rather than "guilt-based" as Western societies are. For example, it is unthinkable to commit a crime in such places because of the shame it would bring upon one's family and the business or corporation with which that family is associated with.
Ireland is another place with an unexpectedly low crime rate. Despite a serious unemployment problem, the presence of large urban ghettos, and a crisis with religious terrorism, the Irish pattern of urban crime is no higher than its pattern of rural crime. The key factor appears to be a sense of hope and confidence among the people. Legitimacy surveys, for example, show that 86% of more of the population believe that the local authorities are well-skilled and doing everything they can. Adler (1983), in her discussion of synomie (absence of anomie), found similar results in her study of seven other countries (Bulgaria, Germany, Costa Rica, Peru, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, and Nepal) where the people had a high degree of confidence in authorities and felt like they had a high degree of popular participation in crime control.
The Siwa Oasis in Egypt is another place with little or no crime. The population of 23,000 consists of 11 tribes who are the descendants of ancient Greeks, and it is said that Plato himself fashioned his model of perfect government in The Republic there. The inhabitants practice a moderate form of Islamic justice, rejecting Shariah punishment and embracing Urrf law (the law of tradition). Conflicts are resolved by a tribal council, and there are no jails or prisons. The last known crime occurred around 1950, and was an act of involuntary manslaughter. The typical punishment for wrongdoing is social ostracization (shunning). This type of society is an excellent example of the folk-communal, or informal justice system.
SEVEN THEORIES IN COMPARATIVE CRIMINOLOGY
Schneider (2001) does a good job summarizing the various theories that exist with at least some empirical support. They are listed here with little comment since, as theories, they are always under development:
alertness to crime theory -- holds that as a nation develops, people's alertness to crime is heightened, so they report more crime to police and also demand the police become more effective at solving crime problems.
economic or migration theory -- holds that crime everywhere is the result of unrestrained migration and overpopulation in urban areas such as ghettos and slums.
opportunity theory -- holds that along with higher standards of living, victims become more careless of their belongings, and opportunities for committing crime multiply.
demographic theory -- holds that when the event occurs when a great number of children are born, as the baby boom grow up, delinquent subcultures develop out of the adolescent identity crisis.
deprivation theory -- holds that progress comes along with rising expectations, and people at the bottom develop unrealistic expectations while people at the top don't see themselves rising fast enough.
modernization theory -- holds that (and this is an oversimplification) that the basic problem is society becoming too complex.
anomie and synomie theory -- suggests that progressive lifestyles and norms result in the disintegration of older norms that once held people together (anomie), but in other cases, people can come together and achieve social consensus or social cohesion over values (synomie).
THE CRITIQUE OF WESTERN CRIME CONTROL MODELS
It would be foolish to argue that the American criminal justice system should be exported overseas to every developing country as a model to imitate or emulate. Yet, it is being done every day, deliberately and also in a benign fashion. Stanley Cohen (1988) was the first to point this out -- that the Third World tends to pick up on the criminological theories that have been discredited in the West. For example, phrenology (or reading people's personalities from the bumps on their head), to take an extreme example, is totally discredited in the West, but someone, somewhere in the Third World will jump on this theory as viable simply because it came from the West. It's almost as if a corollary existed with the modernization thesis -- along with developing nations having to go through the crime problems a developed nation has gone through, they also have to go through all the discredited theories and policies. There seems to be few ways to avoid this, short of renouncing Western crime control models altogether.
Latin American criminology, for example, renounces Western crime control completely. The movement known as the criminology of liberation (de Castro 1987) has been an attempt to conceive of a totally new type of Latin American criminology, a type that will benefit the masses of people, and free them from exploitation and suppression. It is unfortunately tied to outdated conflict or Marxist viewpoints, and there is sadly too little empirical research on crime in Latin America. What is vastly needed is a way to transfer the best of what American criminal justice and criminology has to offer, and to blend or hybridize those ideas with what is appropriate in the local context.
THE HISTORICAL-COMPARATIVE METHOD
The study of comparative justice and law is a fairly new field less than fifty years old, and it has corresponded with rising interest in a more established field, comparative criminology, which can be traced back to Durkheim's famous 1895 statement that "comparative sociology is ... sociology itself." Whether the purpose is to discover more successful crime control policies or to test hypotheses in diverse cultures, the goal of comparative justice and comparative criminology is to remedy American ethnocentrism (the view that American ideas apply naturally to other parts of the world). Comparative research is usually carried out by the so-called "safari" method (a researcher visits another country) or "collaborative" method (the researcher communicates with a foreign researcher). Published works tend to fall into one of three categories: single-culture studies (the crime problem of a single foreign country is discussed), two-culture studies (the most common type), and comprehensive studies (which cover three or more countries). Examinations of crime and its control in the comparative context often require an historical perspective since the phenomena under study have frequently developed under unique social, economic, and political structures. Hence, the method most often employed by researchers is the historical-comparative method.
To summarize the historical-comparative method in a few words, it is basically an alternative to both quantitative and qualitative research methods that is sometimes called historiography or holism. In historiography, there are at least eight (8) ways to do history: the Great Man approach, the historical forces approach, the crisis of civilization approach, the dialectic approach, the evolutionary approach, the geographic factors approach, the conflict or "who won" approach, and the serendipity or accidental discovery approach. In holism (which is a term that describes when a whole gives meaning to parts), there is an emphasis upon inductive inference from description, which is similar to Max Weber's notion of "ideal types" that are general to many cases. The idea of "wholes as configurations of parts" is also part of the idea behind Boolean algebra, which is a comparative method advocated by Ragin (1987). Max Weber's main method was case-based and covered only a handful of cultures at a time. Durkheim's method was variable-based and would consider hundreds of cultures at a time. It should be noted that Durkheim's method is the one that caught on in historical-comparative sociology and sociology in general. One might say it is this Durkheimian bias toward large sample sizes which has made sociology and criminology so quantitative. In conclusion, patterns, trends, and syndromes are mostly synonymous words used in comparative criminal justice with essentially the same meaning as ideal-types. One should not be afraid of using their intuition and announcing their "discovery" of a pattern, trend, or syndrome.
ASC Division of International Criminology
BJS International Justice Statistics
Comparative Criminal Justice chapter of Handbook of CJ Administration
International Center for Criminal Law Reform
International Center for the Prevention of Crime
Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization
Joint Research Centre on Transnational Crime
Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Law
Michigan State's List of International Criminal Justice Sites
NCJRS International Resources
NIJ International Center
Office of International Criminal Justice
Prof. Dreveskracht's Comparative Criminal Justice Resources
Prof. Greek's Comparative Criminal Justice Resources
Prof. Greek's Course on International Crime
Prof. Reichel's Textbook Supplement Site
Prof. Round's Textbook Companion Website
Transnational Crime and Corruption Center
United Nations Crime and Justice Network
United Nations Interregional Crime Institute
United Nations Surveys of Criminal Justice Operations
World Criminal Justice Library Electronic Network
World Justice Information Network
World Factbook of Criminal Justice Systems
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Last updated: Oct. 21, 2011
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O'Connor, T. (2011). "Comparative Criminal Justice," MegaLinks in Criminal Justice. Retrieved from http://www.drtomoconnor.com/3040/3040lect01a.htm accessed on Oct. 21, 2011.