One of the core reasons for establishing the MPPG was to boost criminological and criminal justice research throughout the Balkans. Such an endeavour would of course have to be able to rely on criminological expertise from the region itself, preferably grouped around a common concept and on a long term basis. Therefore the project’s main goal was to ‘map’ the criminological landscape in order to detect key actors and institutions, their areas of interest and expertise, the state of art on the different national levels as well as common challenges on the regional level. Based on prior studies into the criminological research setting in the region the basic assumption was that there is little if any coordinated criminological activity going on. That is why the project aimed at bringing together experts from all the countries of the region and conducting a first research study into the current state of art in criminology and crime in the Balkans.
On the occasion of the official presentation of the MPPG in Zagreb in June 2013 the group of researchers met for the first time and discussed the state of art in criminology in the Balkans. Prior to the meeting all participants provided basic information about criminology and crime in their countries. This ‘pilot study’ together with the topics that came up during the discussions were then used for constructing the ‘guidelines’ on investigating criminology and crime in all 14 countries of the region. The group of researchers eventually transformed into the Balkan Criminology Network (BCNet) which is being hosted by the MPPG.
The criminological mapping covered the following topics:
- criminological education:
- criminological research:
The second part, the crime mapping, concentrated on the following topics:
- crime trends and problems:
- the criminal justice system:
The project findings were discussed for the first time at the 1st Annual Conference of the MPPG in Zagreb in 2014, whereas the research results have been published as the first volume of the MPPG Balkan Criminology publication series. Some common fields of interest and potential further areas of scientific and educational cooperation could be identified: joint BCNet PhD study programme, Balkan Criminology textbook, BCNet Database of Who’s Who, BCNet Research Agenda for the Balkans, BCNet Newsletter and potentially even a Journal of Balkan Criminology.
MPPG contact for Mapping the Criminological Landscape of the Balkans: Assoc. Prof. Anna-Marie Getoš Kalac