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School of Health and Society

Professor Christopher Birkbeck

Professor of Criminology


I graduated in Geography from the University of Oxford and then did doctoral research (at the University of Wales) on crime in Latin America. From 1980 to 2006 I was based at the Universidad de Los Andes, Venezuela, teaching and researching criminology. During that time, I also spent more than five years as a visiting lecturer and researcher at the University of New Mexico in the United States. I moved to the University of Salford in 2006, where I continue to research and teach in the field of Criminology.


  • The Criminal Justice Process
  • Constructing Guilt and Innocence
  • International Criminal Justice

Research Interests

My initial research, in the 1970s, focused on informal sector employment in urban Latin America and led to an interest in crime. For the past 30 years my main area of substantive interest has been criminology, with particular attention to Latin America and, more recently, the Americas in general. I have written on the comparative method in criminology; situational theories of crime; and many aspects of crime and criminal justice in Venezuela. In the past five years, I have concluded projects on police use of force, alternatives to imprisonment, and juvenile delinquency. My current research focuses mainly on the moral dimensions of crime in two very different domains: adolescent peer groups, and victim-offender conferences.

Qualifications and Memberships

  • MA (Oxon)
  • PhD (Wales)
  • Member of the British Society of Criminology


2016: ‘Internationalizing the Study of Gang Membership: Validation Issues from Latin America.’ Juan Antonio Rodríguez, Neelie Pérez-Santiago, Christopher Birkbeck, Freddy Crespo, Solbey Morillo. British Journal of Criminology DOI: 10.1093/bjc/azw058.

2015: ‘Surveys as Cultural Artefacts: Applying the International Self-Report Delinquency Study to Latin American Adolescents.’ Juan Antonio Rodríguez, Neelie Pérez-Santiago, Christopher Birkbeck. European Journal of Criminology 12(4):420-436. DOI: 10.1177/1477370815581701.

2014: ‘Media Representations of Crime and Justice.’ Oxford Handbooks Online - Criminology and Criminal Justice, edited by Michael Tonry. New York: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199935383.013.15

2013: Collective Morality and Crime in the Americas. London: Routledge.

2012: Criminología Comparada: Estudios de Caso sobre Delincuencia, Control Social y Moralidad (Comparative Criminology: Case Studies on Crime, Social Control and Morality). Madrid: Dykinson.

See complete list:

Postgraduate research

  • Criminology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Cross-National Studies
  • Human Rights
  • Latin America