Theory and Explanation in Contemporary European Homicide Research

  • Janne KivivuoriEmail author
  • Jukka Savolainen
  • Petri Danielsson


In this chapter we review recent European homicide research from the point of view of criminological theory. European research on homicide tends to be dominated by social structural explanations such as strain theory and social disorganization theory. Examples of alternative perspectives include evolutionary psychology and feminist theories of violence. Given that a single study may include elements from multiple theoretical perspectives, some studies will be discussed under more than one heading. For example, historical research informed by the theory of the civilizing process (Elias 2004 [1939]) contains elements of what later came to be known as self-control theory and institutional (anomie) theory. Focussing on the contemporary theoretical scene, this chapter draws on a systematic search of European homicide research published since 2000 in mainstream criminological peer-reviewed journals.


Intimate Partner Homicide Rate Social Disorganization Economic Deprivation Criminological Theory 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janne Kivivuori
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jukka Savolainen
    • 2
  • Petri Danielsson
    • 1
  1. 1.National Research Institute of Legal PolicyHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.University of Nebraska at OmahaOmahaUSA

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