This main session at the 10th International Conference on Urban History in Ghent (1-4 September 2010) seeks to identify the peculiarities of urban crime patterns, the specific problems of policing cities and the urban system of criminal justice. We will welcome proposals from different disciplines (history, sociology, literature, economics, criminology, legal studies etc.). The main questions of this session are:
(1) How did cities cope with criminality? In what ways did police systems change over time and how successful were their actions and policies? Was policing a central task of urban or central government, and did these relations change over time? Which tasks were preserved for other urban institutions or social groups?
(2) Can we distinguish patterns in urban crime in contrast to rural crime (involvement of different social groups, gender roles etc.)? Did the urban environment offer particular opportunities (international crime, organized crime, pickpockets, receiving) or were cities central places in the criminal geography?
(3) Did major historical transformations – such as proletarization, state formation and religious reform – modify crime patterns? Is it possible to describe general patterns of urban crime in the premodern and modern period, or to distinguish crime patterns in various types of urban communities (such as seafaring towns, proto-industrial centres or centres of administration)? Were such changes related to altering mentalities and attitudes, or do crime patterns reflect real changes in crime?
Potential paper givers can send a short cv and their paper proposals to Manon van der Heijden (email@example.com). The deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 November and they should not exceed the length of 500 words. After acceptation, paper proposals have to be posted at the conference website (http://www.eauh2010.ugent.be) between 1 October and 1 December 2009 and participants should register for the conference. Please do not hesitate to contact the session organizers for further questions:
Manon van der Heijden (Leiden University,The Netherlands), firstname.lastname@example.org
Maarten Van Dijck (University of Antwerp, Belgium), email@example.com
Joachim Eibach (University of Bern, Switzerland), firstname.lastname@example.org
Lars Behrisch (University of Bielefeld, Germany), email@example.com
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