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Aitchison in Handbook on Crime

Andy Aitchison contributes to new Handbook on Crime

Andy Aitchison, Lecturer in Social Policy, is among many contributors to the new Handbook on Crime published in February. The volume, edited by academics at Glamorgan University, brings together academic perspectives on a range of crimes, how they are defined, how they are explained, and how they have been addressed through criminal justice systems and other approaches.

In his chapter on Genocide and 'ethnic cleansing' Andy examines legal, historical and sociological attempts to define the key elements of genocide since the term was first used by Raphael Lemkin in 1944. The chapter goes on to outline various approaches to explaining the crime of genocide in terms of state and individual behaviours. Finally, the question of prevalence is examined, recognising that genocide, genocidal massacres and other mass violence have been a significant feature of the 20th century.

Andy is currently developing research into police participation in war crimes and teaches on the subject of genocide and war crimes in the MSc in Global Crime, Justice and Security.  He says, 'for me, contributing to the handbook was a useful first step in developing a new area of research that moves on from my work on criminal justice reform in post-war Bosnia. At the same time it gave me a chance to develop materials that could be used in my teaching on genocide and war crimes at honours and post-graduate level.  The chapter makes for a useful starting point for thinking about what genocide is, and why we might choose to define it in particular ways'.

Also in February, Andy's paper 'Global meets local: International participation in prison reform and restructuring in Bosnia and Herzegovina' was published in Criminology and Criminal Justice.  The paper examines the question of the provision of adequate facilities for forensic psychiatric patients in Bosnia against a background of broader prison reform. In spite of receptive political actors in Bosnia, strong institutional backing for reform from the Council of Europe, critical reports from the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, a settlement at the European Court of Human Rights, and links to EU accession conditions, the fragmentation of political authority and the prison system has acted as an obstacle to reform.

Andy is currently supervising PhD students working on community policing in Bosnia and forms of democratic policing in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

You can follow Andy's work on

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