Slovenian Criminology: Its Beginnings, Development and State of the Art

author: Gorazd Meško, University of Maribor
published: Oct. 30, 2009,   recorded: September 2009,   views: 5277

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The early beginnings of the literature on Slovenian Criminology go back to the early 1920s when Fran Milčinski, a judge with enough literary talent to depict complex issues of law and crime, published the first Slovenian novel on juvenile delinquency. In the 1930s, Aleksander Vasiljevič Maklecov, a Russian criminal lawyer and refugee from Russia, joined the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana and became well known for his reflections upon several criminological issues and problems, of which many are still topical today: alcohol abuse and juvenile delinquency prevention, women and crime, crime in newspapers, etc. He is also the author of the first Slovenian textbook on criminology, ‘Introduction to criminology’, (1948). In 1950, the Secretariat of the Internal Affairs, having established a research unit to study crime and delinquency, started publishing ‘Criminal Investigation Topics’, a professional journal to gradually evolve into ‘Journal of Criminal Investigation and Criminology’, now an SSCI journal. In addition, there are two more recent journals dealing with criminological topics: ‘Social Education’ and ‘Journal of Criminal Justice and Security’. The Institute of Criminology was established in 1954, and its first director was Hinko Lučovnik. The first research project, finished in 1957, has so far been followed by more than 150 research projects. The most fertile development era of the Institute’s (positivistic) research endeavours was that under Katja Vodopivec, Maklecov’s PhD graduate (1943) and the second director of the Institute. She established Slovenian criminology as a science on equal footing with other disciplines and headed a huge number of research projects. Her successors, as directors of the Institute, were Janez Pečar, Alenka Šelih and Matjaž Jager. In addition to the Institute of Criminology, other institutions have developed in this field of expertise, studying crime, delinquency, safety and security issues and other crime related problems (Social Education Depart72 ment at the Faculty of Education, UL; Faculty of Law, UM, and Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security, UM). Slovenian criminology developed in several stages making significant contributions and enjoying international recognition. The leading perspectives on this discussion relate to crime control and prevention, the impact of Slovenian criminological thought on policy making, international projects, publications, as well as contributions to global criminology.

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