Balkan Criminology in the Media: Violence in the Balkans, Penal Populism & ‘Femicide Offence’ in Croatia

Head of the Balkan Criminology Network Prof. Dr. Getoš Kalac explains why the media and thus the public perceive that there is an ongoing rise in violence and its brutalisation, whereas facts and figures do not provide grounds for such conclusions. She thus critically reflects on the recent introduction of ‘femicide’ as a special criminal offence in Croatia. Getoš Kalac pointed out that Croatia belongs to the circle of European countries with a “relatively low rate” when looking at the rate of homicide victims, and in that sense stands alongside Denmark, while the rate is somewhat less favorable if only female victims are looked at. Nevertheless, Getoš Kalac concludes, Croatia is undoubtedly one of the safer countries in the European Union. She also referred to “Balkan Homicide Study” research findings which indicate that almost 30% of all attempted and completed homicides in the Balkans take place during evening outings (night clubs and cafes), while alcohol is one of the most significant risk factors for blood crimes.

In conclusion, to the question about the profile of ‘child killers’, as a topic brought up to date by the recent murder of a girl in Serbia, Getoš Kalac answers that such people are often characterized by shyness, anxiety and a sense of inferiority. However, she also points out that research on this issue is rather ambiguous and expresses the hope that a better insight into the understanding of their personality profile will be provided by neuroscience and neurocriminology.

The interview is based on the findings of the Balkan Homicide Study and Eurostat data. 

The full interview in Croatian is available in the document below.