The capable guardian in routine activities theory: A theoretical and conceptual reappraisal

Abstract

Guardianship or the absence of capable guardianship is a central element in routine activities theory, and has been the subject of research for more than 30 years. The original conceptualization of guardianship has been interpreted and expanded upon in many ways during this period of time. This article charts the evolution of research on the guardianship component of routine activities theory and provides a theoretical and conceptual reappraisal of guardianship. Aiding future empirical research is a central aim of this endeavor. A refined definition of guardianship is presented that is consistent with its original conceptualization and new theoretical advancements. Implications for theory and research are discussed.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the editor and the anonymous reviewers for helpful comments.

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Correspondence to Brandon C Welsh.

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Hollis, M., Felson, M. & Welsh, B. The capable guardian in routine activities theory: A theoretical and conceptual reappraisal. Crime Prev Community Saf 15, 65–79 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1057/cpcs.2012.14

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Keywords

  • routine activities theory
  • guardianship
  • defensible space
  • environmental criminology
  • social control