The Criminology of Humanitarianism Research Network

Criminology of humanitarianism is the study of crime, control and social harm in humanitarian contexts.

About the project

The Criminology of humanitarianism aims to adapt the field of criminology to broad, evolving transformations in a globalized world by encouraging criminologists to study the growing role of humanitarian actors in the Global South.

Whilst it seeks to contribute to recent efforts to broaden the scope of the discipline of criminology to the global arena (such as supranational criminology, criminology of war and international crimes), criminology of humanitarianism makes the critical move of arguing that humanitarian actors – whether NGO, governmental, or UN personnel – are not just subjects but also agents of power and governance and as such, worthy of criminological attention.

The focus is on humanitarian ideas and practices in the new world (dis)order, although with a clear attention to their historical roots and trajectories. As a consequence, criminology of humanitarianism offers a new perspective on crime, control and social harm in humanitarian contexts that is post-colonial in theory and practice.


The Criminology of Humanitarianism Research Network aims to bring together criminologists sharing research interests about the discourses and practices of humanitarian actors in the Global South. The goal of this network is to develop a strong international research community, with the ability to undertake state-of-the-art criminological scholarship and research on crime, control and social harm in humanitarian contexts. While the overarching aim is to place criminology of humanitarianism firmly on the criminological agenda, the network is equally intended to stimulate debates and discussions on humanitarian issues from a variety of perspectives across disciplinary boundaries.

Equally importantly, the postcolonial sensibility of criminology of humanitarianism means countering one-sided knowledge constructions, including much of criminological thought, and so encourages properly collaborative scholarship and research beyond the Global North. We are welcoming anyone who is interested to contribute to the advancement of criminology of humanitarianism.

Project Leader: Kjersti Lohne (PRIO)

Project Members: