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One Looter, Two Looters, Three Looters … The Discipline of Cultural Heritage Crime Within Criminology and Its Inherent Measurement Problems

  • Marc Balcells
Chapter

Abstract

Crimes are very complicated phenomena to directly observe, because of their nature: cultural heritage crimes are no exception to the rule. Using the case of Italian illegal excavations perpetrated by looters as an example, the chapter traces the evolution of the concept of ‘cultural heritage crime’; how these crimes have gone from tolerance to criminalization; how criminology provides an interpretative framework to analyze this form of crime; and finally, the challenges to measure the prevalence and incidence of cultural heritage crime, highlighting the benefits and shortcomings of a wide variety of data sources and research methods. The chapter pays special attention to qualitative techniques that recent research projects have used, in order to find alternatives to official statistics.

Keywords

Cultural heritage crime Archaeological looting Research methods Measurement problems 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc Balcells
    • 1
  1. 1.Law and Political Science FacultyUniversitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)BarcelonaSpain

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